Mark Mattes

Associate Professor (Term)


I joined the English Department in 2014 after receiving my Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Iowa. My research focuses on how the cultural politics of media shape written forms. My book project, Archival Apocrypha: Indigenous Writing and the Figure of Logan in Colonial and Native American History, examines how eighteenth-century Native American writing systems and colonial archives shaped later-day histories of the Ohio River Valley. My writings appear in journals such as Early American Literature, Early American Studies, and The New England Quarterly, as well as in collections such as Handwritten Newspapers and Apocalypse in American Literature and Culture. My research has been supported by the Library Company of Philadelphia, the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, the American Antiquarian Society, the Newberry Library, and most recently, by the Friends of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries and The Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing.

I regularly teach courses in the fields of American Literature to 1900, Multiethnic American Literature, Media History, and Composition. Specific interests include Native American and African American Literature, Early American Studies, Book History, Digital Media, Visual Culture, Transatlantic Literature, and Archive Theory. In addition to teaching, I organized a NEH-funded workshop, "Print Culture in the Age of Shakespeare," in support of Kentucky’s First Folio! exhibition in 2016. In 2019, I chaired "The Futures of Handwriting," a symposium sponsored by UofL and the Rare Book School’s Mellon Society of Fellows in Critical Bibliography, in partnership with The Filson Historical Society. I am currently editing a collection of related essays, A Media History of Handwriting in Early America, under contract with the University of Massachusetts Press.