I teach courses in American literature and culture in the English department at Villanova University, where I am an assistant professor. My research focuses on race and racialization, genre and genre criticism, ordinariness, gender and queer studies, and regionalist fiction, especially Sarah Orne Jewett.

My first book, Genre and White Supremacy in the Postemancipation United States, is forthcoming as part of the Oxford Studies in American Literary History series. I’m currently working on a second book project, tentatively titled White Supremacy’s Queer Desires: A Racial History of Lesbian and Gay Literature. With Timothy Griffiths, I’m also co-editing a special issue of Legacy, “American Women’s Writing & the Genealogies of Queer Thought.”


Ph.D. in English and American Literature, 2009, University of Wisconsin

B.A. in English and Economics, 1999, Amherst College



Jewett’s Natural History of Sexuality.” History of the Present 5.2 (2015): 169 – 186.

Campus Novels and the Nation of Peers.” ALH 26.3 (2014): 462-483.

Grotesque Sympathy: Lydia Maria Child, White Reform, and the Embodiment of Urban Space.” ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance 56.1 (2010): 1-32.

Ascendant Obtuseness and Aesthetic Perception in The House of Mirth.” The Edith Wharton Review 23.1 (2007): 1-8. (2007 Edith Wharton Essay Prize Winner.)

Matthiessen’s Public Privates: Homosexual Expression and the Aesthetics of Sexual Inversion.” American Literature 78.3 (2006): 235-62.


Book Chapters

“Mary Wilkins Freeman’s Queer Materialism,” Nineteenth-Century American Literature in Transition, series ed. Cole Hutchinson, volume ed. Lindsay Reckson (New York: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2020).

Nineteenth-Century Queer Literature,” in The Cambridge Companion to American Gay and Lesbian Literature, ed. Scott Herring (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015).

“How to Read: Regionalism and the Ladies’ Home Journal,” in The Oxford Handbook of Nineteenth-Century American Literature, ed. Russ Castronovo (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012).

Travis M. Foster

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