Don James McLaughlin - Faculty & Adjuncts

Don James McLaughlin, PhD

Don James McLaughlin
Don James McLaughlin, PhD
Assistant Professor of English
College of Arts & Sciences
English and Creative Writing
918-631-2812 Zink Hall Room ZH342


PhD – University of Pennsylvania MA – Villanova University BA – Harding University


Don James McLaughlin is an Assistant Professor of 19th-Century American Literature at the University of Tulsa. Professor McLaughlin holds a PhD in English from the University of Pennsylvania and an MA in English from Villanova University. His book-in-progress, Phobia: The Therapeutic Imagination in American Liberalism, traces the emergence of the -phobia suffix in early American and nineteenth-century print culture as a medical diagnosis, political metaphor, and aesthetic sensation.

In and beyond this research, Professor McLaughlin’s scholarship focuses on 18th- and 19th-century literary movements in the Americas; the medical humanities; LGBTQ historiography; disability studies; and the history of emotions.

While a doctoral candidate in 2014, he had the privilege of collaborating with Connie King, Curator of Women's History at the Library Company of Philadelphia, on an exhibit titled "That's So Gay: Outing Early America." The show documented instances of queer life in early America across a diverse array of materials at LCP, from rare books to bawdy stereographs, comic valentines, and other ephemera. Research for his dissertation and first book has been supported by a Hench Post-Dissertation Fellowship from the American Antiquarian Society, a Marguerite Bartlett Hamer Dissertation Fellowship at the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, the John Carter Brown Library, the Center for Mark Twain Studies, the First Book Institute at the Center for American Literary Studies at Penn State, and the Penn Humanities Forum. His writing has appeared in American Literature, J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists, Literature and Medicine, American Literary History, Legacies: The Magazine of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Public Books, and The New Republic.

Research Interests

Intersections between the history of psychiatry and American progressivism; philology of queer and antiracist activism; Walt Whitman’s disability aesthetics

Teaching Interests

18th- and 19th-century literary movements in the Americas; the medical humanities; disability theory; queer theory and queer of color critique; affect theory and the history of emotions

Courses Taught

  • 19th-Century American Texts and Contexts
  • Directed M.A. Research; Directed Writing
  • Literature Across Time
  • 19th Century American Literature
  • Senior Project
  • Reading Major American Writers
  • Special Topics in American Literature
  • Independent Study

Professional Affiliations

  • Modern Language Association
  • Society for the History of Emotions
  • Society for Early Americanists
  • C19: The Association of 19th Century Americanists
  • Charlotte Cushman Society, Library Company of Philadelphia
  • American Studies Association

Awards & Honors

  • Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching by a Graduate Student
  • William Patrick Day Essay Prize
  • Dissertation Research Fellowship (Year on Color)
  • Marguerite Bartlett Hamer Dissertation Fellowship
  • Dissertation Research Fellowship
  • Critical Writing Fellowship in Teaching Excellence
  • Research Associate Fellowship
  • Diane Hunter Prize for Best Dissertation
  • Hench Post-Dissertation Fellowship