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Department of English

David Faflik

Peter Covino Assistant Professor of English
Faculty Supervisor, Literature TA's

Ph.D. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
M.A. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
B.A. University of Texas, Austin

Office: 175D Swan Hall
Phone: 401-874-4670
Office Hours: Tuesday and Thursday 2:00 - 3:00 pm

David Faflik worries about time and space. A student of the antebellum city in literature, he thinks that many American authors before the U.S. Civil War shared his concerns with the fleeting sense of time and narrowing realizations of space that have characterized metropolitan modernity in the West. His teaching and research to date have attempted to demonstrate that the era's authors wrote similar concerns into their work.

David Faflik’s book, Boarding Out: Inhabiting the American Urban Literary Imagination, 1840-1860 (Northwestern University Press, 2012) identifies the antebellum boardinghouse as the signature city shelter around which these modern preoccupations occurred. The communal urban domestic arrangement of boarding not only shaped the subject matter of contemporary writing; it impacted the very forms and functions of literary production in the period.

When not investigating cities (as he has in articles appearing in such journals as American Speech, New England Quarterly, and Studies in the Literary Imagination, as well as in his edited volume for Rutgers University Press of English author Thomas Butler Gunn’s The Physiology of New York Boarding-Houses), Faflik ranges widely over the American nineteenth century, and beyond. His current work finds him asking reflexive questions about reading, as he does in an article that he is completing on romanticism, transcendentalism, and Henry David Thoreau. This questioning continues in his next book project, which considers class-encoded perceptions (and misperceptions) of the nineteenth-century U.S. metropolis. Modes of reading - and writing - similarly reside at the center of any number of Faflik’s course offerings, such as “Reading the Antebellum City,” “The American Short Story,” and “Melville and Historical Method.” An enthusiast of global American Studies, finally, Faflik practices interdisciplinary study when- and wherever he can.