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Erik Dussere

Associate Professor Department of Literature

Professor Dussere's teaching and research are primarily focused on the literature, film, and culture of twentieth-century America. He has published Balancing the Books (a study of the way that the novels of Toni Morrison and William Faulkner deal with the legacies of slavery) and, more recently, America Is Elsewhere (which looks at the tradition of "noir" in post-WWII film and fiction and its relation to consumer culture). He has also published articles about comic books and strips, among other things.


PhD, Literatures in English, Rutgers University
BA, English, University of Massachusetts

CAS - Literature
Battelle Tompkins - 231
Mon & Thurs: 2:30-4:30
Contact Info
(202) 885-2428 (Office)
(202) 885-2938 (Fax)

Send email to Erik Dussere

For the Media
To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.
See Also
Literature Department


  • Fall 2018

    • CORE-105 Complex Problems Seminar: Making Up Your Life
    • Description
    • LIT-446 Advanced Studies in Film: Race and Film
    • Description
  • Spring 2019

    • LIT-422 Adv Studies in Contemp Lit: 21st Century Literature
    • Description

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Selected Publications

  • America Is Elsewhere: The Noir Tradition in the Age of Consumer Culture. New York: Oxford, 2014
  • Balancing the Books: Faulkner, Morrison, and the Economies of Slavery. New York: Routledge, 2003
  • “Out of the Past, Into the Supermarket: Consuming Film Noir,” Film Quarterly 60:1
  •  “Subversion in the Swamp: Pogo and the Folk in the McCarthy Era,” The Journal of American Culture 26:1
  • “Accounting for Slavery: Economic Narratives in Morrison and Faulkner,” Modern Fiction Studies 47:2
  • The Debts of History: Southern Honor, Affirmative Action, and Faulkner’s Intruder in the Dust,” Faulkner Journal 17:1; Winner of the Hinkle Award for Scholarship in the Faulkner Journal 2000-2005
  • The Queer World of the X-Men,” Salon, July 12, 2000.

Professional Presentations

  • “The Space of Conspiracy in The Parallax View,” Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference, Chicago, IL, March 2007.
  •  Presentation and discussion on Fahrenheit 451 for the NEA’s “Big Read,” Institute of Museum and Library Services, Washington, DC, October 2006.
  • “Conspiracy of Skin: Chester Himes and the Detective Novel,” Modern Language Association Convention, Washington, DC, December 2005.
  • “Pulp is Beautiful: The Black Panther Meets the Seventies,” American Studies Association Conference, Washington, DC, November 2005; MLA Convention, Philadelphia, PA, December 2004.

AU News and Achievements