Vita | Publications

Daniel S. Malachuk

Professor of English | Western Illinois University

I research nineteenth-century British and American literature in relation to political theory with particular attention to the rise of liberal democracy, environmentalism, and secularism.  While my approach is usually transnational, much of my research can be sorted into work on Victorian liberalism and American Transcendentalism.  I have also published essays on related topics like civic republicanism, realism, human rights, pragmatism, and cosmopolitanism. 

In Victorian liberalism, my major publication is Perfection,the State, and Victorian Liberalism (Palgrave, 2005), a book recognized as one of a handful responsible for the revival of this subject in Victorian studies.  Most recently I have published a few essays on this topic by invitation, including “George Eliot’s Liberalism” in The Blackwell Companion to George Eliot (2013), “Liberalism” in The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Victorian Literature (2015), and “Disinterestedness and Liberalism” in Victorian Literature: Criticism and Debates (Routledge, 2016). 

My work on American Transcendentalism includes two books.  A Political Companion to Ralph Waldo Emerson (Kentucky, 2011), which I co-edited with the political theorist Alan M. Levine, provocatively recasts Emersonian self-reliance as both political and transcendental.  Two Cities: The Political Thought of American Transcendentalism (Kansas, 2016) is the first book to illuminate the shared political vision of the Transcendentalists, especially the three major authors, Emerson, Fuller, and Thoreau.  Recent essays on Transcendentalism have also focused on these authors, including invited essays on “Democracy” in Emerson in Context (Cambridge, 2013) and “Politics” in Thoreau in Context (Cambridge, forthcoming) as well as “Green Exaltadas: Fuller, Transcendentalism, and Antebellum Women’s Nature Writing” in Toward a Female Genealogy of Transcendentalism (Georgia, 2014), and “Transcendentalist and Gothic Intentions” in Revue Française d'Etudes Américaines (2015).  I have served on the Boards of the Ralph Waldo Emerson Society and Henry David Thoreau Society and am serving 2016-17 as the President Elect of the RWES.

I received my BA in English from Bowdoin College (1989) and my PhD in Literatures in English from Rutgers University (1996).  Prior to Western Illinois University (2007-present), I taught humanities at Daniel Webster College (1997-2005), political theory at Georgetown and George Washington Universities (2006), and literature at American University (2006-07).  At WIU, I teach classes in support of General Education and the English and Liberal Arts & Sciences majors at the new Quad Cities campus.  I was a Residential Fellow at the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study (2013) and have taught at the University of Heidelberg as both a Fulbright Senior Lecturer (2014) and a Max Kade Visiting Professor (2015).

My Western Illinois University webpage describes my teaching; I can be reached at ds-malachuk at wiu dot edu