Faculty Profiles

faculty photo imageSarah Wagner-McCoy

Associate Professor of English and Humanities
English Department
Division of Literature and Languages

Sarah Wagner-McCoy is an Associate Professor of English and the Humanities at Reed College. She received her Ph.D. from Harvard University, M.A. from University College Dublin, and B.A. from Columbia University. She specializes in 19th- and 20th-century U.S. literature and is currently working on an edition of the complete writings of Charles W. Chesnutt, the first major African American fiction writer, publishing manuscripts discovered in 2014 with the support of the NEH. Her book manuscript, Eden Scams: Transatlantic Pastoral and the Realist Novel, builds on her doctoral work at Harvard, for which she received the Helen Choate Bell Dissertation Prize. She argues that developments such as speculation, slavery, industrialization, and immigration required increasingly abstract conceptions of American land and labor; realist novelists used pastoral literary conventions to envision America’s changing international economic and cultural role. At Reed, Sarah teaches a range of seminars including The American Con Artist, Transatlantic Bestsellers, Race and Region: Southern Fiction, American Pastoral, and, based on her time in Ireland as a Mitchell Scholar, Modern Irish Drama. She also teaches in Humanities 110, the college’s first-year interdisciplinary course, where she is able to synthesize her love of classical literature with her interest in the politics of educational access in America.

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