Brian Sweeney

Chair and Associate Professor of English


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

Teaching Interests

Dr. Sweeney teaches courses in long-nineteenth US literature, the novel, critical theory, and periodical studies. He is the recipient of a Chancellor’s Innovation in Teaching Award from The University of Massachusetts.

Research/Creative Works

Dr. Sweeney’s areas of research include nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century American and African American literature, periodical studies, digital humanities, historical memory, cultures of amateurism and professionalism, and literature and music. He is completing a book on professionalism, affect, and genre in the 19th-century US novel, titled For Love or Money: Professionalism, Postsentimentalism, and US Fiction, 1830-1910. His essay “Throwing Stones Across the Potomac: The Colored American Magazine, the Atlantic Monthly, and the Cultural Politics of National Reunion” (American Periodicals 29.2) was awarded the Nineteenth Century Studies Association 2021 article prize. He co-directs The Digital Colored American Magazine (, a digital humanities project undertaken in partnership with the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, and is co-editor of the forthcoming Broadview Press edition of Pauline Hopkins’s Of One Blood. Sweeney earned his Ph.D. from Brown University, where he was a Russell and Selina Wonderlic Fellow. He serves on the Advisory Board of the Research Society for American Periodicals and is Review Editor for American Periodicals.