Our Faculty

Sarah Blackwood

Associate Professor

Dyson College of Arts and Sciences

English - NYC

  • @New York City
Office Hours
New York City


Dr. Blackwood is on sabbatical for academic year 2016-2017.

Sarah Blackwood researches and teaches American literature, culture, and art with a particular focus on nineteenth-century visual culture, African American literature, and the history of inner life. She is currently working on a monograph about nineteenth-century portraiture and the invention of inner life, is co-founder and co-editor of the web magazine Avidly, and co-editor of the book series (NYU Press) Avidly Reads. She writes literary and cultural criticism regularly for national outlets.

Dr. Blackwood teaches courses on nineteenth-century American literature and art, African American literature, American Studies, gender studies, popular and young adult fiction, high/low culture, and writing cultural criticism for the web.


PhD , Northwestern University , 2009

MA , University of Illinois , 2001

BA , University of Virginia , 1998


Blackwood, S. (2015, November 4). "Room is the Crash of Feminism". Los Angeles Review of Books. http://https://lareviewofbooks.org/essay/room-is-the-crash-of-feminism/

Blackwood, S. (2014, October (4th Quarter/Autumn) 16). "The Woman Wild". Los Angeles Review of Books. http://lareviewofbooks.org/review/woman-wild

Blackwood, S. (2014, July (3rd Quarter/Summer)). "Making Good Use of Our Eyes”: Nineteenth-Century African Americans Write Visual Culture. MELUS: Multiethnic Literature of the United States. Vol 39 (Issue 2) , pages 42-65. http://melus.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/04/17/melus.mlu014.short?rss=1

Blackwood, S. (2014, June 6). "Editing as Carework: The Gendered Labor of Public Intellectuals". http://avidly.lareviewofbooks.org/2014/06/06/editing-as-carework-the-gendered-labor-of-public-intellectuals/

Blackwood, S. (2013). "Seeing Black". Vol 65 (Issue 4) , pages 927-936.

Blackwood, S. (2013). "So Difficult to Instruct": Re-envisioning Abraham and Tad Lincoln. Common-Place. Vol 13 (Issue 4) http://www.common-place.org/vol-13/no-04/notes/

Blackwood, S. (2010). "Isabel Archer's Body". Henry James Review. Vol 31 (Issue 3) , pages 271-279.

Blackwood, S. (2010, September). "Psychology". David McWhirter (Eds.), in Henry James in Context, ed David McWhirter, Cambridge University Press. Cambridge, Mass, USA: Cambridge University Press. , pages 271-280. http://www.cambridge.org/gb/knowledge/isbn/item2707952/?site_locale=en_GB

Blackwood, S. (2009). "Fugitive Obscura: Runaway Slave Portraiture and Early Photographic Technology". American Literature. Vol 81 (Issue 1) , pages 93-126.


Blackwood, S. (2016, February 25). "The Critic as Writer". Hendrix College, Conway, Arkansas

Blackwood, S. (2016, January 10). Modern Language Association. Race and Nineteenth-Century Media. Austin

Blackwood, S. (2015, October 15). "Hand in Mind: X Ray Portraiture and the Invention of Inner Life". Pomona College, Claremont, California

Blackwood, S. (2015, October 9). American Studies Association. "Re-making Institutions for Resistance: The Present and Future of the Public Intellectual". Toronto, ON

Blackwood, S. (2015, September 15). "Avid Criticism". Columbia University, New York, NY

Blackwood, S. (2014, November 7). American Studies Association. "Selfie Nation". Los Angeles, CA

Blackwood, S. (2014, March 15). C19: Society for Nineteenth-Century Americanists. "Editing the Commons". Chapel Hill, NC

Blackwood, S. (2013, April). American Comparative Literature Association. "The Slave in the Portrait Gallery". Toronto, CA

Blackwood, S. (2013, February). American Literature Association Symposium. "Monstrous Births, or Is the Uterus a Grave?". Savannah, Georgia

Blackwood, S. (2013, January). Modern Language Association. "How to Do Things with Twilight: Young Adult Fiction in the College Literature Classroom". Organizer and Participant, Boston, MA / January 2013

Grants, Sponsored Research and Contracts

Blackwood, S. (2012, July 9). Summer Institute, "The Visual Culture of the Civil War".
National Endowment for the Humanities , Federal . Funded,


  • Dance Dance Revelation [Internet], September 18 2012
    An essay on the narrative conventions of reality television and theories of bodily emotion. Republished on Salon.com
  • Avidly.org [Internet], June 2012
    Co-founder and co-editor.
  • "Our Bella, Ourselves" [Internet], November 16 2011
    An essay on the Twilight saga, feminism, and traditions of female heroism in American literature since the 18th century.
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