About

I am an Assistant Professor of American Literature at the University of North Georgia. I research and teach in American fiction, modernist studies, African-American literature, intellectual history, periodicals, and critical theory.

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I recently completed my first book, Making Liberalism New: American Intellectuals, Modern Literature, and the Rewriting of a Political Tradition, published by Johns Hopkins U.P. in November 2021. It offers a revisionist history of American liberalism from the Great Depression to the Cold War, a story I tell through literature. Here are a couple of early reviews:

Clear-eyed, illuminating, and deeply insightful, Making Liberalism New expertly challenges an altogether dominant academic narrative about liberalism’s naïveté, cruelty, and simple-mindedness by demonstrating that ‘modern liberalism’ anticipated―and incorporated―every significant criticism launched against it by the contemporary Left. This book will enrich conversations about the relationship between liberalism and radicalism and will complicate the knee-jerk equivalency of liberalism with neoliberalism.

– Lisi Schoenbach, U Tennessee, Knoxville, author of Pragmatic Modernism

A lucid and compelling account of the mutually informing relationship between liberalism and modernism in twentieth-century American culture. Making Liberalism New illuminates the key role of modernist aesthetics, especially irony, in literary engagements with liberalism, while also underscoring the enduring relevance and changing forms of liberalism’s constitutive tensions. An important new book that bridges modernist studies and American studies.

– Amanda Anderson, Brown University, author of Bleak Liberalism

Well written and lively throughout, Making Liberalism New is a pleasure to read.

– Michael Szalay, UC, Irvine, author of Hip Figures: A Literary History of the Democratic Party

 

Please feel free to reach out by email with questions about my research or teaching: ian.afflerbach@ung.edu

You can also visit my faculty page at UNG: https://ung.edu/english/faculty-staff-bio/ian-afflerbach.php or my academia.edu page at https://northgeorgia.academia.edu/IanAfflerbach

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