Faculty Profile

Dr. Kenneth M. Roemer

Professor of English, Piper Professor, Distinguished Scholar Professor, Distinguished Teaching Professor

Years of Service at UT Arlington

  • Piper Professor, (2011-present)
  • Distinguished Scholar Professor, (2005-present)
  • Distinguished Teaching Professor, (1998-2005)
  • Professor, (1982-1998)
  • Associate Professor, (1974-1982
  • Assistant Professor, (1971-1974


  • PhD, University of Pennsylvania, American Civilization, 1971
  • MA, University of Pennsylvania, American Civilization, 1968
  • BA, Harvard University, Honors English, 1967

English Professor Takes American Literature Anthologies, Merit Debates Online

For decades, scholars have debated which authors and which works should be included in the American literary canon. Some argue merit based on theme or a writer's birthplace; others allow political and personal agendas to shape their tomes. Few have been able to look at a complete, historical overview of these literary anthologies, which reflect the shifting canon.

Until now.

For more than 12 years, Dr. Kenneth Roemer, Professor of English, has been reviewing and cataloging American literature anthologies. With the help of a grant from the National Endowment of Humanities, Roemer plans to make his core collection - nearly 400 volumes, supplemental books and articles related to anthologies--available online.

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Current Research

A book, In My Father’s House: Gathering, Selling, and Creating Identity [creative nonfiction] is in progress. An article on the significance of listening in American Indian literature, specifically in Louise Erdrich’s fiction.

Recent Publications

  • "They Talk, Who Listens: Audience in American Indian Literatures - The Erdrich Example." Reception: Texts, Readers, Audiences [online] (2011). www.english.udel.edu/rssite.
  • "Paradise Transformed: Varieties of Nineteenth-Century Utopias." Ed. Gregory Claeys. The Cambridge Companion to Utopian Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge, UP. 2010. 79-106.
  • "Placing Readers at the Forefront of Nowhere: Reception Studies and Utopian Literature." American Reception Study: Reconsiderations and New Directions. Ed. James Machor and Philip Goldstein. New York: Oxford UP, 2008.
  • "More Aliens Transforming Utopia: The Futures of Reader Response and Utopian Studies." Utopia Method Vision: The Use Value of Social Dreaming. Ed. Tom Moylan and Raffaella Baccolini. Oxford: Peter Lang-Ralahine Utopian Studies Series, 2007. 131-58.
  • "Shutting Themselves In." The New York Times Magazine 29 Jan. 2006: 10.
  • "‘A Touching Man’ Brings Aacqu Close." Studies in American Indian Literatures Ser.2, 16.4 (2004): 68-79.
  • "The Kiowa-Matsue Connection: Teaching Japanese Identity with Native American Literature." Crossing Oceans: Reconfiguring American Literary Studies in the Pacific Rim. Ed. Noelle Brada-Williams and Karen Chow. Hong Kong: Hong Kong UP, 2004: 79-89.
  • "Eyewitness to Utopia: How Illustrations Reconstruct Nowhere." Millennial Perspectives: Lifeworlds and Utopias. Ed. Brigitte Georgi-Findlay and Ulrich Mohr. Heidelberg: U of C. Winter Verlag, 2003: 55-98.
  • The Cambridge Companion to Native American Literature (co-edited). Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2005.
  • Utopian Audiences: How Readers Locate Nowhere. Amherst: U of Massachusetts P, 2003.
  • Michibata de Deatta Nippon [A Sidewalker’s Japan].  Tokyo: Sairyusha, 2002.

Recent Department and University Committees

  • Department
  • Tenure and Promotion and Advisory Committees
  • Several Search Committees
  • REP / FDL Committee (Chair)
  • College
  • Search Committees for Communications
  • University
  • Chair, Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate Committee
  • Interdisciplinary Searches
  • Faculty Advisor for the Native American Studies Association (NASA)

Recent Grants and Awards

  • 2011 Piper Professor Award (state)
  • 2011 Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award (UT System)
  • 2010 University Nominee Minnie S. Piper Teaching (state award)
  • 2010 Society for Utopian Studies Teaching Award Named in My Honor
  • 2010 College Interdisciplinary Seed Grant
  • 2009 University Award President’s Sustainability Committee
  • 2008 Society for Utopian Studies Lyman Tower Sargent Disting. Scholarship
  • 2008 Wordcraft Circle Award Writer of the Year (Reference Category)
  • 2007 Alicia Wilkerson Smotherman Faculty Award (inaugural)
  • 2005 Academy of Distinguished Scholars Award
  • 2004 Distinguished Record of Research Award
  • 2003 Outstanding Student Organization Award

Selected Past and Present Consulting

  • Advisory and Editorial Boards: PMLA, Studies in American Indian Literatures, Utopian Studies, American Literary Realism
  • Manuscript Reviewing: e.g., Cambridge UP, PMLA
  • Grant Reviews: e.g., Guggenheim
  • External Reviews and Recommendations for faculty and authors: e,g., UCLA, Berkeley, Nobel Prize in Literature

Professional Memberships

  • Society for Utopian Studies (President, 2002-2006)
  • MLA  (past chair of American Indian Literatures Division; Late-19th – Early 20th Century Division; wrote successful proposal for SF-Utopias Discussion Group; Delegate Assembly)
  • Association for the Study of American Indian Literatures (Vice President, Founding Member)
  • American Studies Assn., Melville Society

Media Appearances

Professor Roemer has been interviewed about Native American Literature on national radio for the MLA What's the Word series (NPR) and in interviews for three national radio programs: the MLA’s What’s the Word series (NPR); Wisconsin’s Public Radio’s Conversations with Ben Meren (twice); and the “Open Space” NPR program, with Christopher Lydon.


In 2007, Professor Roemer was interviewed for utopia related articles in the L.A. Times and GQ Magazine.