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Ryan Tracy


Ryan Tracy

Visiting Assistant Professor of English

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401



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Ford Center for the Fine Arts

Visiting Assistant Professor of English

General Interests


The most exciting thing about studying literature is when it makes bridges between the past and the present. Every problem we have today has roots in history. And though not “history” per se, literature lets us, in a very real sense, converse with the past as a way to better understand the present. I am most excited by experimental literature from the 1920s, 30s, and 40s. These decades coincide with the Harlem Renaissance and the avant garde aesthetic movement known as “modernism.” I’m interested in literature that speaks to the intersection of these two historical events both in terms of the things they have in common and things–such as racial segregation and curtailed career opportunities for Black writers–that make it impossible to simply collapse them. To study this body of literature is, for me, not only a way to take responsibility for history, but to gain tools for the making of a better and more beautiful world.

Years at Knox: 2023 to present

Ph.D., 2023, English, The City University of New York
M.Phil., 2021, English, The City University of New York
M.A., 2013, Gender Studies, Central European University
M.M., 2002, Composition, Mannes College of Music
B.M., 1999, Composition and Choral Conducting, Chapman University

Teaching Interests
Modernism, race, gender, critical theory, deconstruction

Selected Professional Accomplishments


  • The English Dissertation Program Prize, The CUNY Graduate Center, 2023.
  • The Edward Albee Foundation, 2002.
  • Yaddo, 2002.


Poetry and Fiction

Tender Bottoms. Auntie Press. 2022.

“Gay Willows” and “The Rug We Bought When We Were Fighting At The Strip Mall.” The Hyacinth Review, 2022.

“High Desert.” PANK, Issue 14. Nominated for the 2019-2020 Pushcart Prize.

Passing Affliction, novel excerpt. KGB Bar Lit Magazine., 2019.


“The Weather in Stein.” PMLA (forthcoming).

“This Is What Makes Us Girls.” Special issue of New American Notes Online (NANO), Issue 16, 2022.

“The Octopus and the Pelican: Queer “Efforts of Affection” Between Marianne Moore and Elizabeth Bishop,” Feminist Modernist Studies, 6:3, 191-207, 2022, DOI: 10.1080/24692921.2022.2132364

Writing in Cars with Jacques Derrida and Gertrude Stein, or, The Age of Autotheory.” Arizona Quarterly: A Journal of American Literature, Culture, and Theory, 76:1, 2020, p. 15-37. Project MUSE

“‘To Work Black Magic’: Richard Bruce Nugent’s Queer Black Insurgency.” Special issue “Nationalism: Hyper and Post,” Journal of American Studies in Italy, Number 1, May 2019.

Book Review, Derrida and Queer Theory. Derrida Today, 11:1, 2018, 114-128.


“Modernist Landscapes in Decline: Transnational Affinities Between Kushi Fusako and Nella Larsen.” 2024 MLA Convention. Philadelphia, PA.

“‘Inky Blackness’: Race and Writing in Orlando.”  2024 MLA Convention. Philadelphia, PA.

“Queer Parties, Camp Pleasures, Decadent Modernisms,” Roundtable, 2023 Modernist Studies Association Conference. Brooklyn, NY.

“‘Hirst’s Way of Life’: The Ecology of Queer Men in Virginia Woolf.” 32 nd Annual Conference on Virginia Woolf. 2023. Fort Myers, FL.

“Wherefore ‘Renaissance’?: Walter Pater, Nella Larsen, and James Weldon Johnson.” Global Decadence, Race, the Futures of Decadence Studies, online.

“You’re So Gay, You Probably Think This Gay Weather Is About You; or, What Gertrude Stein Knew About Global Warming in 1936.” 2023 MLA Convention. San Francisco, CA.

“A “Pretty Rotten” Novel: Paterean Corruption in Nella Larsen’s Quicksand.” 2023 MLA Convention, San Francisco, CA.

“The Weather in Stein.” 2022 Modernist Studies Association Conference. Portland, OR.

“‘His Shield’: Black Fugitivity in Marianne Moore’s Haile Selassie Poems.” Marianne Moore and the Archives, (online).

“‘Auntie’-fascism Between Gertrude Stein and Jacques Derrida,” 2021 American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA) Annual Meeting, virtual.

“The Octopus and the Pelican: Queer Efforts of Affection between Marianne Moore and Elizabeth Bishop,” 2021 MLA Convention, (online).

“Writing in Cars with Gertrude Stein and Jacques Derrida, 2020 MLA Convention. Seattle, WA.

“‘To Work Black Magic’: Richard Bruce Nugent’s Queer Black Insurgency,“ 2019 ACLA Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C.

“‘To Work Black Magic’: Richard Bruce Nugent’s Queer Black Insurgency,” 2018 Modernist Studies Association, Columbus, OH.

“‘Help Me Hold My Hair Back’: Lady Gaga’s Feminist Ethics of Regurgitation,” 2018 English Student Association (ESA) Conference, The CUNY Graduate Center, New York, NY.

“Black Narcissus, White Narcissus: Narcissism and Racialized Subjectivity in Frantz Fanon,” 2016 Derrida Today Conference. Goldsmiths, University of London, London, UK.

“Bloom ‘Overdrawn’, or, Ulysses’ Bad Debt,” 25th International James Joyce Symposium, 2016. University of London, London, UK.

“Of Sexting: D.H. Lawrence and ‘The Secret Rubbing of the Dirty Little Secret’,” Nakedness and Nudity: A Trans-historical Roundtable. 2015. CUNY Graduate Center, New York, NY.

“Radical Democracy, Activism, and the Specter of Theater, or, a Theatrical Haunting of Judith Butler,” Theater, Performance, Philosophy. 2014. The Sorbonne, Paris, France.

“Walk (on Ecstasy) With Me: Art Walks and the Politics of Participation,” Elastic City Talks. 2014. Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY.


Pottery, Polaroids, and Pride. Group show. 2023. Citiot Gallery, Catskill, NY.

GO FIGURE: SCULPTURE. Group show. 2023. Jane Street Art Center, Saugerties, NY.

One Foot Square. Group show. 2022. Athens Cultural Center, Athens, NY.

Spectrum. Group Show. 2022. Athens Cultural Center, Athens, NY.

Spring Member Show. 2022. CREATE Council on the Arts, Catskill, NY.

Chelsea Knight's Fall to Earth. 2015. The New Museum, NYC and the Aichi Triennial, Japan.

UNREAL, installation with Michael Hart. 2012. AMERICAN REALNESS Festival. Abrons Arts Center, NYC.

Kai Seki, collaboration with Juanli Carrión. 2011. Recess Art, NYC.

Art/Work. Group show. 2006. Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn, NY.


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Printed on Thursday, April 25, 2024