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Indiana University Bloomington

Scott Herring

Scott Herring


Associate Professor
Affiliate Faculty in Gender Studies and the American Studies Program

Ph.D. in English, 2004, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
M.A. in English, 1999, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
B.A. in English, 1998, University of Alabama at Birmingham, summa cum laude
B.A. in History, 1998, University of Alabama at Birmingham, summa cum laude

I specialize in modern American literature and queer American Studies. While I spend the majority of my time on sexual and social modernity, much of my current efforts also hover around urbanism, urbanity, and concepts of social disorder. My first book, Queering the Underworld: Slumming, Literature, and the Undoing of Lesbian and Gay History (University of Chicago Press, 2007), tracked how modern artists and writers tweaked the standard formulas of "city mysteries" or "slumming" literatures to undermine the genre’s promise of subcultural revelation. Winner of a Lambda Literary Award, my second book, Another Country: Queer Anti-Urbanism (New York University Press, 2010), tackles a complementary metropolitan narrative—the rural-to-urban flight to the city. It charts how U.S.-based artists use what I term "rural stylistics" to fashion critiques against lesbian and gay metro norms. The arguments presented in these two books have appeared in a number of articles on queer regionality, metronormativity and visual culture, Willa Cather, Frank O’Hara, and intra-national modernism. I am currently building on arguments in both books to craft a queer theory of material culture entitled "The Hoarders: Material Deviance in Modern America" for the University of Chicago Press and editing The Cambridge Companion to American Lesbian and Gay Literature.

Curriculum Vitae >>

Recent Courses


L111 Discovering Literature: Town and Country
L202 Literary Interpretation: Misfits
L354 American Literature since 1914: Gender, Sexuality, and American Modernism
L358 Twentieth Century American Fiction: Modern American Literature and Masculinities
L371 Critical Practices: Sex Across the Disciplines
L389 Feminist Literature and Criticism: Introduction to LGBTQ Studies


L509 How to Write a Scholarly Journal Article
L655 Sex, Gender, and American Modernisms
L742 Regional Sexualities
L752 Queer American Studies in the Long Twentieth Century

Selected Publications (click images for more information)


Another Country: Queer Anti-UrbanismAnother Country: Queer Anti-Urbanism. New York: New York University Press, 2010 (Sexual Cultures series).

Queering the Underworld: Slumming, Literature, and the Undoing of Lesbian and Gay HistoryQueering the Underworld: Slumming, Literature, and the Undoing of Lesbian and Gay History. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007.

Edited works:

The Cambridge Companion to American Lesbian and Gay Literature, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, contracted.

“Regional Modernisms.” Special Issue of MFS Modern Fiction Studies 55.1 (2009): 1-194.

Autobiography of an Androgyne, by Ralph Werther. Scholarly edition of 1919 text with critical introduction, textual introduction, and textual notes. New Brunswick , NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2008.

Brokeback Mountain Dossier.” Special section of GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies 13.1 (2007): 93-109.

Selected Articles:

“The LGBTQ Novel.” The Oxford History of the Novel in English: Volume 8: US Fiction from 1940. Ed. Deborah Williams and Cyrus R.K. Patell. Oxford: Oxford University Press, contracted.

“‘Hixploitation’ Cinema, Regional Drive-ins, and the Cultural Emergence of a Queer New Right.” GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies. Special issue on “Queering the Middle” edited by Siobhan Somerville, Martin Manalansan, Chantal Nadeau, and Richard Rodríguez. Forthcoming.

"Material Deviance: Theorizing Queer Objecthood." Postmodern Culture 21.2 (2011): 45 pars.

"Rural." Keywords for American Cultural Studies. Ed. Bruce Burgett and Glenn Hendler. Revised edition. New York: New York University Press, forthcoming.

"Collyer Curiosa: A Brief History of Hoarding." Criticism 53.2 (2011): 159-89.

"Erotic Uncreativity: A Response to Steven F. Kruger." American Literary History 22.4 (2010): 945-50.

"Tille Olsen, Unfinished (Slow Writing from the Seventies)." Studies in American Fiction (2010): 81-99.

"Micro: Region, History, Literature." American Literary History 22.3 (2010): 626-34. (review essay)

“The Hoosier Apex.” Southern Communication Journal 74.3 (2009): 243-51. Special issue on “Queering the South” edited by Charles E. Morris III.

“Southern Backwardness: Metronormativity and Regional Visual Culture.” American Studies 48.2 (2007): 37-48. [published 2008]

“Out of the Closets, Into the Woods: RFD, Country Women, and the Post-Stonewall Emergence of Queer Anti-urbanism.” American Quarterly 59.2 (2007): 341-372. Reprinted in West of Center: Art and the Counterculture Experiment in America, 1965-1977. Ed. Elissa Auther and Adam Lerner. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2012.

“Keith Haring and Queer Xerography.” Public Culture 19.2 (2007): 329-348.

“Catherian Friendship; Or, How Not To Do the History of Homosexuality.” MFS Modern Fiction Studies 52.1 (2006): 66-91.

“Caravaggio’s Rednecks.” GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies 12.2 (2006): 217-236. Special issue on “Art Works” edited by Richard Meyer and David Román.

"Spoon River Anthology's Heterosexual Heartland." Literature Compass 3.3 (2006): 256-69.

“Willa Cather’s Lost Boy: ‘Paul’s Case’ and Bohemian Tramping.” Arizona Quarterly 60.2 (2004): 87-116.

“Frank O’Hara’s Open Closet.” PMLA 117.3 (2002): 414-427.

"Makeovers: Regional Universalism and the Newer South's Public Spheres." The Southern Quarterly 41.1 (2002): 87-105.

"The Negro Artist and the Racial Manor: Infants of the Spring and the Conundrum of Publicity." African American Review 35.4 (2001): 581-98.

Select Honors and Awards

Lambda Literary Award, LGBT Studies, 2011 (Co-winner)
Outstanding Junior Faculty Award, Indiana University, 2008-2009.
Indiana University Trustees Teaching Award, 2008.
Committee for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Equity curriculum recognition award, Penn State, 2007.
Princeton University Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts, 2004-2007 (declined).
Modern Language Association Crompton-Noll Award for Best Essay in LGBTQ Studies. Honorable Mention. Awarded to “Frank O’Hara’s Open Closet.” PMLA, 2002.
University of California, Berkeley Summer Research Institute Fellow, 2000.