Research Interests

  • 19th-century American literature
  • Literature and medicine
  • Digital humanities


Josh Doty, Ph.D., teaches American literature with an emphasis on the connections among writers, texts, and cultures. His teaching interests include American literature before 1900, critical theory, the digital humanities, and the medical humanities.

Doty’s research focuses on science and medicine in nineteenth-century American literature. His book, The Perfecting of Nature: Reforming Bodies in Antebellum Literature (UNC Press, Fall 2020) examines the intersection of medicine, health reform, and literature in the antebellum United States. His essays on literature, medicine, and culture have been published in journals such as Early American Literature, Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies, and The Nathaniel Hawthorne Review. His current research project explores depictions of health and illness in Harriet Jacobs’ Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.


The Perfecting of Nature: Reforming Bodies in Antebellum Literature. University of North Carolina Press, 2020.

“Fourierism and Nervous Sympathy in The Blithedale Romance.” Nathaniel Hawthorne Review 45.1 (Spring, 2019): 26-45.

“Digesting Moby-Dick.” Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies 19.1 (Spring, 2017): 85-101.

“Satire, Minstrelsy, and Embodiment in Sheppard Lee.” Early American Literature 51.1 (Spring, 2016): 131-156.

“William Faulkner’s Embodied Subjectivities.” Levinas and Twentieth-Century Literature: Ethics and the Reconstitution of Subjectivity. Ed. Donald Wehrs. Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2013. 111-131.

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