Skip to main content

James Mulholland



Associate Head

Department of English

Tompkins Hall 249

View CV 


I am Professor and Associate Head in the English department.

My research focuses on the global eighteenth century and world anglophone literature, especially literature produced within the British Empire. My book, Before the Raj: Writing Early Anglophone India, available from Johns Hopkins University Press, offers a new literary history for English-language writing in British Asia before 1820. It was honorably mentioned for Louis Gottschalk Prize (ASECS) and was shortlisted for the John Ben Snow Prize (American Historical Association), the Kenshur Prize, and the Marilyn Gaull Book Award. An introduction to this argument can be found in PMLA. This article was honorably mentioned for the William Riley Parker Prize (MLA).  My previous book, Sounding Imperial: Poetic Voice and the Politics of Empire, 1730-1820, describes the close relationship between the evolution of eighteenth-century poetry, the creation of a British nation, and colonial expansion overseas. My research has been supported by the ACLS, the Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry, the Whiting Foundation, and other organizations. I am a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

In addition to my scholarly work, I am also the Associate Head at NC State English, where I focus on faculty mentoring and retention. I also work closely with the Graduate School on professional development for future faculty.

I also write about professional issues in higher education, specifically about the value of the humanities, the creation of literary fields, how to apply for fellowships and grants, how to revise dissertations and publish academic books, and how to be a mid-career faculty member in ProfessionThe Chronicle of Higher EducationThe Guardian, Public Books, and the Journal of Scholarly Publishing that have been widely downloaded and read.

Research Publications


Before the Raj: Writing Early Anglophone India (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2021). Find it at JHUP or Amazon.

Honorable Mention: Louis Gottschalk Prize


John Ben Snow Prize (American Historical Association)

Kenshur Prize (Indiana University)

Marilyn Gaull Book Award (Wordsworth-Coleridge Association)

Sounding Imperial: Poetic Voice and the Politics of Empire, 1730-1820  (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013). (Find it here. Or here.)


“The Past and Future of Historical Poetics: Poetry and Empire.” Literature Compass 17.7 (July 2020) (Read it here).

“Translocal Anglo-India and the Mutlilingual Reading Public.” PMLA 135.2 (March 2020) (Read it here). Honorable Mention, 2020 William Riley Parker Prize (MLA); Honorable Mention, 2021 James Clifford Prize (American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies).

“Outpost Aesthetics: The Literary Culture of British-Occupied Java, 1811-16.” Postcolonial Text (2019) (Read it here).

“An Indian It-Narrative and the Problem of Circulation: Reconsidering a Useful Concept for Literary Study.” MLQ 79.4 (2018) (Link to TOC here.) Winner of the 2019 Srinivas Aravamudan Prize, American Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies.

“Impersonating Islanders: Inauthenticity, Sexuality, and the Making of the Tahitian Speaker in 1770s British Poetry.” The Eighteenth-Century: Theory and Interpretation (2016). (Web copy here.)

“Measuring Literature: Digital Humanities, Behavioral Economics, and the Problem of Data in Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-first Century.” Common-place (2016). (Read it here.)

“What I’ve Learned about Publishing a Book.” Journal of Scholarly Publishing (2014). (Web copy here.)

“Connecting Eighteenth-Century India: The Translocal Poetics of William and Anna Maria Jones.” In Representing Place in British Literature and Culture of the Long Eighteenth Century: From Local to Global. (Ashgate, 2013).

“What I’ve Learned about Revising a Dissertation.” Journal of Scholarly Publishing (2011). (Web copy here.)

“James Macpherson, Oral Traditions, and the Invention of Voice.” Oral Tradition (2009). (Read it here.)

“Gray’s Ambition: Printed Voices and Performing Bards in the Later Poetry.”  ELH (2008). (Web copy here.)

“‘To Sing the Toils of Each Revolving Year’: Song and Poetic Authority in Stephen Duck’s ‘The Thresher’s Labour’.” Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture (2004).

Professional Writing

“Slow Down: On Dealing with Midcareer Burnout.” Profession (Winter 2020) (Read it here).

“Academics: Forget About Public Engagement; Stay in Your Ivory Towers.” The Guardian (Dec. 10, 2015). (Read it here.)

“It’s Time to Stop Mourning the Humanities.” The Chronicle of Higher Education (June 1, 2010). (Read it here.)

“Neither a Trap nor a Lie: A Reply to Thomas Benton.” The Chronicle of Higher Education (March 12, 2010). (Read it here.)

“Life at the Center.” The Chronicle of Higher Education (Nov. 24, 2009). (Read it here.)

“Just Win?” The Chronicle of Higher Education (May 18, 2009). (Read it here.)

“Signposting and Frontloading.” The Chronicle of Higher Education (Dec. 5, 2008). (Read it here.)

“Money, Money, Money.” The Chronicle of Higher Education (Oct. 3, 2008). (Read it here.)

“Teaching and Learning the 9/11 Novel.”; interview with “American Fiction Notes” (May 2009). (Read it here.)

Funded Research

My research has been funded with assistance from the ACLS Burkhardt Fellowship, NC State’s Lightning Rod grant, the Folger Shakespeare Library, Emory University’s Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry, the Marion Jasper Whiting Fellowship, the ASECS/Paula Backscheider Archival Fellowship, the Daniel Francis Howard Travel Fellowship.


Ph.D. English Rutgers University 2005

B.A. English University of Virginia 1997


View all publications