Greetings! I'm Spencer Tricker, a Ph.D. candidate in English and graduate fellow at the University of Miami (FL). My work primarily focuses on American literature of the "long" nineteenth century (1789-1914) with an interest in questions of race, nationality, imperialism, and philosophy.

My dissertation is a study of nineteenth-century transpacific literature, with chapters on James Fenimore Cooper, Herman Melville, José Rizal, and Sui Sin Far.

Over the last four years at the University of Miami, I have developed and taught a thematic writing course called California in Literature and Film.  The course combines a focus on writing with the acquisition of basic research skills in Humanities and Social Science literature.   Modules on Chicano/a cultures, Asian-American cultures, the Western, and the Hardboiled Detective narrative precede an independent research project on a cultural artifact (literature, film, television, or other media) pertaining to California or the American West.

I am currently working on my dissertation and plan to go on the academic job market in Fall 2017.

CV Highlights:

  • In April, I was awarded a travel award from the Literary Encyclopedia (link) to conduct research at Duke University's David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library. I examined letters and journals in the Library's Charles Wilkes collection in mid-June for use in my dissertation.
  • In May, I organized a panel at ALA 2016 in San Francisco. Chaired by Hsuan L. Hsu (UC Davis), "US Imperialism and Nineteenth-century Pacific Narratives" addressed the emergence and development of C19 American narratives in relation to transpacific cultural and material exchanges. I presented a paper entitled "'A Healthful Industry': Labor, Race, and Utopian History in James Fenimore Cooper's The Crater."
  • In June, I participated in the Futures of American Studies Institute at Dartmouth College. My seminar leader was Eric Lott (CUNY Graduate Center), and I presented work on Cooper.

  • In January, I organized a lecture by the University of Virginia's Rita Felski on "Critical and Postcritical Reading" held at the University of Miami's Richter Library.  The event was sponsored by the Center for the Humanities.  You can hear an audio recording of Dr. Felski's talk at the following link.
  • In March, I was awarded a Summer Research Fellowship through the University of Miami's College of Arts and Sciences to fund a research trip to Asia.
  • In June, I visited the National Archives of the Philippines in Manila to examine the Spanish Documents collection.  I discovered some interesting materials pertaining to nineteenth-century Pacific piracy and the maritime history of the Philippines. 
  • Later in June, I attended the 10th International Melville Conference at Keio University in Tokyo, Japan.  I presented a paper entitled "Five Dusky Phantoms" on representations of Filipino sailors in Moby-Dick.

  • Co-founded the Critical Theory Interdisciplinary Research Group at the University of Miami's Center for the Humanities.  You can view the Group's website here.  The Group met over the summer of 2014 to discuss works of the Frankfurt School and its contemporaries (T. W. Adorno, Max Horkheimer, Herbert Marcuse, Walter Benjamin, Hannah Arendt).  The group will become the Cultural Studies Interdisciplinary Research Group under new leadership in 2015.
  • Published the critical essay "Respite on the Brink: Complicating the Crisis of Caribbean Identity in Andrew Salkey's Escape to an Autumn Pavement" in the collection Diasporic Identities and Empire: Cultural Contentions and Literary Landscapes (Cambridge Scholars Press).  You can view an extract of the Introduction on the publisher's website and view the Amazon page here.
  • Presented an early version of the above essay at the British Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies Conference in Savannah, GA in February 2013. 
  • Awarded the University of Miami English Department's Mary K. Parker Prize for Outstanding Graduate Student Essay.

  • Awarded a University of Miami Fellowship; entered the Ph.D. program in English Literature
  • Graduated from the University of Central Florida (M.A. in Literary, Cultural, and Textual Studies) with a thesis on the novels of Malcolm Lowry.
  • Graduated from New York University (B.A. in English and American Literature)