Brian Sweeney

Associate Professor


Ph.D.EnglishBrown University
A.M.EnglishBrown University
B.A.EnglishSaint Joseph's University

Professional Experience

Sweeney’s areas of research include nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century American and African American literature, print culture studies, digital humanities, cultures of amateurism and professionalism, and literature and music. He is completing a book on professionalism, affect, and genre in the 19th-century American novel, titled For Love or Money: Professionalism, Postsentimentalism, and American Fiction, 1830-1910. 
With his English Department colleague Eurie Dahn, he directs The Digital Colored American Magazine, a digital humanities project undertaken in partnership with the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale.
Sweeney earned his Ph.D. from Brown University, where he was a Russell and Selina Wonderlic Fellow. In addition to teaching at Saint Rose, Sweeney has been on the English faculty at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth.
Sweeney serves on the Advisory Board of the Research Society for American Periodicals and is an article referee for PMLA, American Literary History, and American Periodicals.

Teaching Interests

Sweeney teaches a range of courses in literature, expository writing, and critical theory, including sympathy and the early-American novel; race and incarceration in Poe’s America; American literature, magazines, and mass print; captivity and sentiment in the early Atlantic world; and Melville.

In 2010, he received the Chancellor’s Innovation in Teaching Award from The University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth.

Research/Creative Works

The Digital Colored American Magazine

  • “Throwing Stones Across the Potomac: The Colored American Magazine, the Atlantic Monthly, and the Cultural Politics of National Reunion,” American Periodicals 29.2 (2019): 135-162
  • Rvw. of Daniel Hack, Reaping Something New: African American Transformations of Victorian Literature (Princeton, 2016), American Literary History Online Review Series XIV (2017)
  • Rvw. of Eric Gardner, Black Print Unbound: The Christian Recorder, African American Literature, and Periodical Culture.  American Periodicals 26 (2016): 224-27.
  • Doctor Jekyll and Mister Jim Crow: Medical Professionalism, Race, and Postsentimentalism in The Marrow of Tradition.”  The Sentimental Mode, ed. Jennifer Williamson, Jennifer Larson, and Ashley Reed (Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2014): 15-35.
  • Rvw. of Michael Gorra, Portrait of a Novel: Henry James and the Making of an American Masterpiece. Journal of American Studies of Turkey 40 (2014): 156-59.
  • Amelia in the Digitally-Archived Republic of Letters; Just Teach One. Common-Place: The Interactive Journal of Early American Life, June 2013.