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Nicholas Bromell


picture of Nicholas Bromell

W339 South College

Nick Bromell received a BA in Classics and Philosophy from Amherst College and a PhD in English and American Literature from Stanford University. He was the founding editor of The Boston Review, where he continues to be a contributing editor; he also serves on the editorial board of The Sixties and as an advisory editor to the Class: Culture series published by the University of Michigan Press. He has been President of the New England American Studies Association, and he is the principal convener of Democratic Vistas: An Interdisciplinary Seminar in Political Theory and Cultural Studies.

Nick Bromell's primary research seeks to reconfigure conventional understanding of US intellectual history by demonstrating that works of literature and popular culture can be expressions of philosophy and political theory. His publications reflect his particular interest in bridging the gap between academic discourse and public debate.

Research Areas

  • African, African American, & African Diaspora Studies
  • American, Atlantic, & Hemispheric Studies
  • American Literature
  • Nonfiction Writing
  • Emerson and Du Bois, Antebellum American Literature, Walt Whitman In His Times, Literature and Democratic Theory and Cultural Studies



  • By the Sweat of the Brow: Literature and Labor in Antebellum America (University of Chicago Press, 1992)
  • Tomorrow Never Knows: Rock and Psychedelics in the 1960s (University of Chicago Press, 2000)
  • The Time Is Always Now: Black Thought and the Transformation of US Democracy (Oxford University Press, 2013)

His articles, essays, and reviews have appeared in American Quarterly,American LiteratureAmerican MusicThe Boston ReviewHarper'sThe Boston GlobeThe Sewanee ReviewThe Georgia ReviewFortuneThe New York TimesNew England MonthlyPolitical TheoryRaritan, and on-line at Exquisite Corpse and Salon.

Courses Recently Taught

  • Emerson and Du Bois
  • Antebellum American Literature
  • Walt Whitman In His Times
  • Literature and Democratic Theory