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University Hall 5020
(205) 934-8577

Research and Teaching Interests: American literature and culture, American studies

Office Hours: By appointment


  • B.A., Amherst College, magna cum laude in English, rite in History
  • M.A., University of Texas at Austin, English
  • M.A., Johns Hopkins University, English and American Literature
  • Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, English and American Literature

Peter Bellis came to UAB as English department chair in 2007, after teaching for 23 years at the University of Miami. He teaches courses in American literature, ranging from Viking sagas through contemporary writers such as Junot Diaz and Natasha Trethewey. He has two books on 19th-centry American literature, as well as articles on Melville, Hawthorne, Whitman, Brockden Brown, and Charlotte Bronte. He’s currently working on a book about urban space, politics, and literary representation in 18th- and 19th-century America.

Recent Courses

  • English Composition I and II
  • American Literature I and II
  • Reading, Writing, and Research
  • American Literature 1620-1820
  • American Literature 1820-1870
  • American Literature 1870-1914
  • American Literature 1945-present

Select Publications



  • “Reconciliation as Sequel and Supplement: Drum-Taps and Battle-Pieces,” Leviathan 17 (No. 3, October 2015).
  • “Individual and Crowd in Stephen Crane’s New York,” Arizona Quarterly 72 (No. 3, Fall 2016).
  • “Discipline and the Lash in Melville’s White-Jacket,” Leviathan 7 (No. 2, October 2005): 25-40.

Academic Distinctions and Professional Societies

  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Phi Kappa Phi
  • Modern Language Association
  • Melville Society
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne Society
  • Stephen Crane Society
  • C19