Dr Peter Riley

Senior Lecturer in American Literature


Extension: 5300

Telephone: 01392 725300

My research examines nineteenth- through early twentieth-century American literature in relation to labour history, critical theory, poetry and poetics, and archival studies, with developing focuses on race, ethnicity, German-American literature, and cultural ecology.

My first book, Against Vocation: Whitman, Melville, Crane, and the Labors of American Poetry was recently published by Oxford UP (May 2019). I have also published articles in the Walt Whitman Quarterly Review, the North Amerian Review, and Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies, as well as contributed essays to a number of edited collections including The Cambridge History of American Working-Class Literature (Cambridge UP), and the forthcoming Nineteenth-Century American Literature in Transition (Cambridge UP), The New Whitman Studies (Cambridge UP), and Understanding Marx, Understanding Modernism (Bloomsbury).

I joined the University of Exeter as Lecturer in American Literature in 2014 after spending two years as Early Career Fellow in American Literature at the University of Oxford. I received my AHRC-funded PhD in June 2012 from the University of Cambridge. I am a co-founder of BrANCA (British Association of Nineteenth-Century Americanists) and co-organiser of the inaugural BrANCA symposium “Aesthetics/Politics” at the University of Sussex (2013), as well as the third biennial symposium “The Not Yet of the Nineteenth-Century US” (University of Exeter, 2017). I also organised the International Walt Whitman Week at Exeter in 2016. Further back, during grad school, I was a committee member of the Cambridge Footlights (2008-2010).

I'm currently serving as Committee Member and Humanities Rep for the Exeter Branch of UCU (for any union matters, please contact me on p.riley@exeter.ac.uk). 

My office hours are Mondays 1-2:30 and Fridays 11:30-1