James Fitz Gerald

Teaching Interests

American Literature, 1850-1950; Literature and Medicine; Literature and the Environment; History of Science and Medicine; Disability Studies; Cultural Studies

Research Interests

Current research examines the ecology of health in American fiction, focusing on representations of physical, psychological, and social challenges posed by the estrangement of humans from nature in the construction of modern racial capitalism.


James Fitz Gerald earned his Ph.D. in English, General Literature, and Rhetoric from the State University of New York at Binghamton. He specializes in 19th- and 20th-century American literature, with an emphasis on narrative renderings of health, medicine, and the body. His current book project illuminates the ways that literary realism has given expression to changing historical and political dynamics of environmental health from the late nineteenth century through the present. In it, he analyzes writers whose work cultivates carefully wrought aesthetic strategies for portraying the juncture of human and planetary wellbeing in a social order where their separation prevails. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Literature and Medicine, American Literary Realism, Modern Fiction Studies, Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States, and Writing and Pedagogy, among other venues.

Professional Memberships

  • Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States 2021 - Present
  • American Comparative Literature Association 2017 - Present
  • Modern Language Association 2016 - Present
  • Publications

    Journal Articles

  • Fitz Gerald, J. (2024). "A World Made Flesh: Ecologies of Health in Rebecca Harding Davis’s Life in the Iron Mills". American Literary Realism . Forthcoming.
  • Fitz Gerald, J. (2021). "'These Jests of God': Arrowsmith and Tropical Medicine's Racial Ecology". Literature and Medicine, (39) 3: 249-272. (Link)
  • Fitz Gerald, J. (2021). "Loving Mean: Racialized Medicine and the Rise of Postwar Eugenics in Toni Morrison's Home". Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States, (46) 3: 140-158. (Link)
  • Fitz Gerald, J. (2019). “‘Hounded by the Terrible Threat’: Illness at the Edges of Citizenship in Carlos Bulosan’s America Is in the Heart” . Modern Fiction Studies, (65) 4: 599-617. (Link)
  • Fitz Gerald, J., Ryan, R. (2018). “Form at its Limits: Edward Said, Marxism, and the Valences of Critique” . Open Library of Humanities, (4) 2: 1-21. (Link)

    Book Reviews

  • Fitz Gerald, J. (2021). [Review of the book Viral Modernism: The Influenza Pandemic and Interwar Literature ]. Modern Fiction Studies, (67) 3: 593-595. (Link)
  • Fitz Gerald, J. (2017). [Review of the book Bioinsecurities: Disease Interventions, Empire, and the Government of Species ]. symploke, (25) 1: 590-592. (Link)

  • Presentations

  • Fitz Gerald, J. (2023). “"A World Made Flesh: Ecologies of Health in Harding Davis's Life in the Iron Mills." ” Presented at theAmerican Literature Association Boston, MA
  • Fitz Gerald, J. (2022). “"Ecologies of Health in American Literature." ” Presented at the University of Pennsylvania Institute on Culture and Society Philadelphia, PA
  • Fitz Gerald, J. (2021). ““Student Well-Being: Lessons from the Crisis.”” Presented at the Bentley University Bentley Learning and Teaching Council Colloquium Remote
  • Fitz Gerald, J. (2021). ““Why Literature?: Narrative Knowledge and the Pandemic Present.” ” Presented at the Mount Saint Mary College Sigma Tau Delta Induction Ceremony Newburgh, NY
  • Fitz Gerald, J. (2021). “Arrowsmith and the Racial Ecology of Imperial Medicine” Presented at theModern Language Association
  • Service

    Department Service

  • Committee Member for Critical Reading and Writing Committee 2022 - Present
  • University Service

  • Committee Member for First-Generation Student Support Committee 2020 - Present
  • Committee Member for Health Thought Leadership Network 2020 - Present
  • Professional Service

  • Reviewer, Journal Article for Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States 2021 - Present