Sarah Blackwood

Sarah Blackwood

Associate Professor
Dyson College of Arts and Sciences
English NY

Sarah Blackwood



Faculty Bio

Sarah Blackwood researches and teaches U.S. literature, culture, and art, with a particular focus on the nineteenth-century, visual and popular cultures, and the history of inner life. She is the author of The Portrait’s Subject: Inventing Inner Life in the Nineteenth-Century United States (Studies in U.S. Cultures Series, University of North Carolina Press, 2019), and co-founder and former co-editor of the Avidly Reads short book series with NYU Press. She has written the introductions for recent Penguin Classics editions of Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence (2019) and The Custom of the Country (2022) and her Norton Library edition of Louisa May Alcott's Little Women is forthcoming in 2023.

Dr. Blackwood's essays and criticism have appeared in The New Yorker, the New York Review of Books, The Paris Review, The New Republic and elsewhere, as well as in American Literature, the Henry James Review, MELUS: Multiethnic Literature of the United States and in the recent collection, Transitions in African American Literature, 1800-1830, edited by Jasmine Cobb (2021) and Feminists Reclaim Mentorship, edited by Nancy K. Miller and Tahneer Oksman (forthcoming 2023). She is currently conducting interviews and preliminary research for a new book project titled, Women’s Work: Writing for Children at Mid-Century, 1960-1980.

She was awarded the university-wide Kenan Award for Teaching Excellence in 2021.

Awards and Honors

  • 2021, Kenan Award for Teaching Excellence


PhD, Northwestern University, 2009

MA, University of Illinois, 2001

BA, University of Virginia, 1998

Research and Creative Works

Grants, Sponsored Research and Contracts

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

Courses Taught

Past Courses

AMS 202: Intro to American Studies
AMS 202: Intro to American Studies - LC
AMS 396: Internship in American Studies
AMS 399: Seminar in American Studies
ENG 110: Composition
ENG 120: Critical Writing
ENG 201: Writing in the Disciplines
ENG 201: Wrtng in the Disciplines
ENG 395: Independent Study in English
ENG 396: Wrtng Cltrl Criticism for Web
INT 299: Us & Them in Lit & Politics
LIT 205: Intro to Lit, Culture & Media
LIT 211: The Individual and Society
LIT 212: Early Amrcn Black Live Matter
LIT 212: Women in Literature II
LIT 212: Young Adult Fiction
LIT 319: Intro to Literary Studies
LIT 320: American Literature I
LIT 326: African American Literature
LIT 341: Selfies, Lit and the Visual
LIT 342: Studies in American Literature
LIT 347: American Short Fiction
LIT 379: Feminist Issues in Literature
LIT 499: Senior Year Experience
UNV 101: First-Year Smnr Unvrsty Cmmnty
WS 380: Seminar in Feminist Theory

Publications and Presentations


"Making Good Use of Our Eyes”: Nineteenth-Century African Americans Write Visual Culture
Blackwood, S. (2014). MELUS: Multiethnic Literature of the United States. Vol 39 (Issue 2) , pages 42-65.

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

"So Difficult to Instruct": Re-envisioning Abraham and Tad Lincoln
Blackwood, S. (2013). Common-Place. Vol 13 (Issue 4)

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

Blackwood, S. (2010). David McWhirter (Eds.), Cambridge, Mass , USA:Cambridge University Press. , pages 271-280.

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