John Schwetman

Professional title

Associate Professor, English Graduate Faculty


I have always been interested in literature as a cultural artifact that rewards intensive scrutiny by revealing the intricacies of written language and by presenting and critiquing the values of the community that has produced it. In addition, I see literature as arena for conflict between different interests. This means our study of literature can offer us important guidance as we enter into our own conflicts as engaged scholars and as participants in the debates over the shape of our community on and off campus.

Teaching Interests

American Literature, World Literature, Theory and Criticism; Courses: American Literature I and II, Great American Authors, Introduction to World Literature, Methods of Literary Study

Courses Taught

ENGL 1001: Great American Authors
ENGL 1582: Intro to World Literatures
ENGL 1907: Introduction to Literature
ENGL 3563: American Literature I
ENGL 3564: American Literature II
ENGL 3906: Methods of Literary Study

Research Interests

20th-Century American Literature, Cultural Studies, Literary Theory, Postcolonial Literature

Recent Publications

"Ships Passing: Encounters with Strangers in Melville's "Benito Cereno" and Conrad's "The Secret Sharer." Hearts of Darkness: Melville, Conrad and Narratives of Oppression. Zabrze, Poland: M-Studio, 2011. 243-254.

"The American Cosmopolitan: Deracination in the Works of Jack Kerouac and Toni Morrison." Cercles: Revue pluridisciplinaire du monde anglophone19 (2009).

"'Like a Thirst for Salt, for My Childhood River': Situating the San Francisco Bay Area in Robert Hass's Praise Poems." The River Is a Strong Brown God: Selected Papers from an Interdisciplinary Conference. Phoenix: Sunray, 2008.

"Romanticism and the Cortical Stack: Cyberpunk Subjectivity in the Takeshi Kovacs Novels of Richard K. Morgan." Pacific Coast Philology. 41 (Fall 2006): 124-140.