Michael Millner is an Associate Professor in the English Department at UMass Lowell.

Michael Wallace Millner, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
English, American Studies
O'Leary Library - 4th Floor


American Studies; a globally oriented American Literary Studies (especially of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries); Political & Critical Theory; Public Humanities & Digital Humanities; Gender & LGBQ Studies

Research Interests

American Studies; a globally oriented American Literary Studies, especially of the 19th and 20th centuries; Political & Critical Theory; Public Humanities & Digital Humanities; 1965-'66 New York City Scenes; the Political Economy of recent Cognitive Science


  • BA, Princeton University
  • MA: Modern Studies, University of Virginia
  • Ph.D: English, University of Virginia
  • Postdoc, University of Chicago, Harper Fellow, Society of Fellows


Michael Millner currently serves as the Nancy Donahue Professor of the Arts.

Michael Millner remains dedicated to one of the great democratic projects of the last 100 years, even as it becomes evermore endangered: the public university. He is Associate Professor of English and American Studies. He often works at the intersection of politics and American culture of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. For ten years, he has served as Director of the UMass Lowell Jack Kerouac Center, and he coordinates the MA-level Public Humanities and Arts Administration program.

Selected Awards and Honors

  • UMass Lowell Interdisciplinary Online Teaching Award (2014)
  • English Department Teaching Excellence Award (2008), Teaching - University of Massachusetts Lowell
  • University of Chicago Society of Fellows (2003) - University of Chicago
  • Junior Fellow (2003) - University of Virginia Society of Fellows

Selected Publications

  • Millner, M. and William Moylan (2023) "On the Structure of Feeling in Bob Dylan's “I've Made up my Mind to Give Myself to You.” Analyzing Recorded Music, Routledge.
  • Millner, M. (Spring 2022) "Kerouac's Archive Fever at 100," The Missouri Review.
  • Millner, M. (2020). Magus of Mass Production (April 2020). The Spectator (US)
  • Millner, M. (2019). "Why Blackface?". The Conversation
  • Millner, M. (2019). “Homo Probabilis, Behavioral Economics, and the Emotional Life of Neoliberalism” . Postmodern Culture,29(2).
  • Millner, M. (2018). “Want Real Affirmative Action? Don’t Look to Harvard,” . The Weekly Standard
  • Millner, M. (2018). “Why I Stopped Writing on My Students’ Papers”. The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • Millner, M. (2017). "The American Crime Novel and the Question of Identity Politics” in The Cambridge Companion to American Crime Fiction. Cambridge University Press
  • Millner, M. (2016). “‘The Feels’: Jack London and the Mass Cultural Public Sphere” in The Oxford Handbook to Jack London. Oxford University Press
  • Millner, M. (2016). "On Dylan's Nobel". The Brooklyn Rail
  • Millner, M. (2016). "Pictures from a Scene: Dylan and Warhol, Fifty Years On". First of the Month
  • Millner, M. (2013). "The Ends of Identity Politics and the Case of King Kong". Arizona Quarterly: A Journal of American Literature, Culture, and Theory,69(4) 111-132.
  • Millner, M. (2012). "Fever Reading: Affect and Reading Badly in the Early American Public Sphere" (pp. xxii, 188 pp.). New England University Press
  • Millner, M. (2011). "The Senses of Reading Badly: The Example of Antebellum 'Obscene Reading'". ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance,57(3) 275.
  • Millner, M. (2005). "Post Post-Identity" (57:2 pp. 541-554). American Quarterly
  • Millner, M. (2002). "The Fear Passing the Love of Women: Sodomy and Male Sentimental Citizenship in the Antebellum City". Arizona Quarterly: A Journal of American Literature, Culture, and Theory,58(2) 19-52.
  • Millner, M., (1999). “Hypertext and Literary Learning”. Currents in Electronic Literacy,1(1).

Selected Presentations

  • The Casino and the Museum: Plimoth Plantation, the Wampanoag, and the Effects of Neoliberal Sovereignty, November 2013 - Washington, D.C.
  • On Jack Kerouac's 'On The Road' - BBC 5 'Up All Night' Programme, September 2012
  • Notes on Re-Occupying the Past, Digitally - Digital Frontiers Conference, September 2012
  • Scandal! Sensation! Seduction! Fever Reading in the Past and the Present - Spring Speakers Series, May 2012 - Boston, MA
  • Digits, Data, and Dilemmas: Digitization and Knowledge Production in Nineteenth-Century American Literary Studies, April 2012 - Berkeley, CA
  • Making Tribal Culture and History Public: The Wampanoag, Professional Historians, and Plimoth Plantation - New England American Studies Association Conference, November 2011 - Plymouth, MA
  • The Psychoeconometrics of Happiness; or, Depressed? Maybe It's... - Faculty Research Series in FAHSS, October 2011 - Lowell, MA
  • The Senses of Reading Badly in the Nineteenth Century: The History of the Book, Affect Theory, and Imagining Future Methodologies - C19: The Society for Nineteenth Century Americanists, May 2010 - Penn State University
  • Print Culture and Antebellum Scandal, November 2008 - Santa Fe, NM
  • How to Be Gay in the 21st Century: Anti-Identity Arguments and the Future of Sexual Politics, November 2007 - Providence, RI
  • The Labor of the Negative: Depression and Neoliberalism - American Studies Association Conference, October 2007 - Philadelphia, PA
  • King Kong Returns: From the New Deal to Neoliberalism - Salon Talk, February 2007 - Lowell, MA
  • Terror & Torture, September 2006 - University of Southern Maine, Portland, ME
  • Cultural Studies and Public-Sphere Theory - Masters of Humanities Program, July 2006 - Dartmouth, NH
  • The State of the State - Midwest Modern Language Association Conference, November 2005 - Minneapolis, MN
  • The Space of the Public Sphere: The Example of the Antebellum Sporting Press, November 2005 - Washington, D.C.
  • Literacy, Emotion, and Antebellum Reading Publics, November 2004 - Atlanta, GA
  • Manhattan Harems: Class and Middle-Eastern Exotica in Antebellum Mass Culture - Nineteenth-Century American Section Panel, Modern Language Association Conference, 2003 - New York
  • Does Liberalism Have Feelings? - Narrative: An International Conference, March 2003 - Berkeley, CA
  • The 'Fegee Mermaid' and Melville: 'Exotics' in Antebellum Manhattan - American Studies Association Conference, November 2002 - Houston, TX
  • Queer Historiography Before the Great Divide - Queer Scholarship Lecture Series, December 2001
  • Intimate Publics: Sensationalism and White Heterosexuality in Antebellum America - American Studies Association Conference, November 2001 - Washington, D.C.
  • Pornography and the Public Sphere in Antebellum New York - Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association Annual Conference, March 2001 - Philadelphia, PA
  • Sensational Subversions in the Antebellum City - Southern American Studies Association Conference, February 2001 - Atlanta, GA
  • Sentimental Citizenship and Calamus Love - The Many Cultures of Walt Whitman Conference, November 1998 - Camden, NJ
  • T.S. Eliot in the Museum Gift Shop: Tradition, the Canon, and Pop Culture in the 'Waste Land' - Midwest Modern Language Association Conference, November 1997 - Chicago, IL
  • Rorty's Romance of the Future and Derrida's Specters of the Past - Midwest Modern Language Association Conference, November 1996 - Minneapolis, MN

Selected Artistic and Professional Performances and Exhibits

Millner, M., curator, "Visions of Kerouac," Lowell National Historical Park, 2022.