Bio


Gavin Jones is department Chair. He is the author of Strange Talk: The Politics of Dialect Literature in Gilded Age America (University of California Press, 1999), American Hungers: The Problem of Poverty in U.S. Literature, 1840-1945 (Princeton University Press, 2007), and Failure and the American Writer: A Literary History (Cambridge University Press, 2014). He has published articles on George W. Cable, Theodore Dreiser, W.E.B. DuBois, Sylvester Judd, Paule Marshall, Mark Twain, and Herman Melville, in journals such as American Literary History, New England Quarterly, and African American Review. Jones recently edited a new version of a neglected classic of American literature, Sylvester Judd's "transcendental novel," Margaret: A Tale of the Real and Ideal, Blight and Bloom. He is currently planning a new project about John Steinbeck.

Academic Appointments


  • Professor, English

Administrative Appointments


  • Chair, Department of English, Stanford University (2011 - 2015)
  • Professor of English, Stanford University (2008 - Present)
  • Associate Professor of English, Stanford University (2004 - 2008)
  • Assistant Professor of English, Stanford University (1999 - 2004)
  • Junior Fellow, Society of Fellows, Harvard University (1996 - 1999)
  • Lecturer in American Literature, University of Sheffield (1996 - 1996)

Honors & Awards


  • Violet Andrews Whittier Fellow, Stanford Humanities Center (2010-2011)
  • Stanford Fellow, Stanford University (2006-2008)
  • Gordon and Dailey Pattee Faculty Fellowship at the Stanford Humanities Center, Stanford University (2005-2006)
  • Undergraduate Teaching Award of Phi Beta Kappa, Beta of California at Stanford University (2004)
  • Research Fellow, Stanford Humanities Center (2001-2002)
  • Outstanding Academic Title Award, for Strange Talk, Choice Magazine (2000)
  • Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Graduate Prize Fellowship, Princeton University Center for Human Values (1994-1995)
  • Degree Prize, Keble College, Oxford University (1990)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations


  • Pre-Major Advisor, Stanford University (2011 - Present)
  • CAPER, Stanford University (2011 - 2012)
  • Member, Stanford Humanities Center Executive Committee, Stanford University (2009 - 2013)
  • Faculty member, Board of Judicial Affairs, Stanford University (2009 - 2010)
  • Editorial board member, American Literature (2008 - 2011)
  • Vice Chair, English Department, Stanford University (2008 - 2010)
  • Co-chair Stanford Fellows, Stanford University (2007 - 2008)
  • Chair of the selection committee, American Studies Association’s Constance Rourke Prize (2005 - 2005)
  • Resident Fellow, Junipero House, Wilbur Hall, Stanford University (2003 - 2008)
  • Faculty Coordinator, “American Cultures” Mellon Graduate Student Research Workshop (2001 - 2005)

Program Affiliations


  • Modern Thought and Literature

Professional Education


  • B.A, Oxford University, English Language and Literature (1990)
  • M.A., Princeton University, English (1993)
  • Ph.D., Princeton University, English (1996)

2019-20 Courses


Stanford Advisees


  • Doctoral Dissertation Reader (AC)
    Matthew Redmond, Vanessa Seals
  • Orals Chair
    Callie Ward
  • Doctoral Dissertation Advisor (AC)
    Erik Fredner, Charlotte Lindemann, Mai Wang
  • Doctoral Dissertation Co-Advisor (AC)
    Nathan Wainstein

All Publications


  • Lost in the City Carleton Watkins: The Stanford Albums Jones, G., Richardson, J. Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for the Visual Arts. 2014
  • Failure and the American Writer: A Literary History Jones, G. Cambridge University Press. 2014
  • Poor Poe: On the Literature of Revulsion AMERICAN LITERARY HISTORY Jones, G. 2011; 23 (1): 1-18

    View details for DOI 10.1093/alh/ajq067

    View details for Web of Science ID 000287168900001

  • Excluded Middles: Social Inequality in American Literature The Blackwell Companion to American Literary Studies Jones, G. edited by Levine, R. S., Levander, C. Oxford: Blackwell. 2011
  • The Embarrassment of Naturalism: Feeling Structure in Frank Norris’s McTeague Amerikastudien/American Studies Jones, G. 2010; 55 (1): 45-61
  • Introduction Margaret: A Tale of the Real and the Ideal, Blight and Bloom Jones, G. University of Massachusetts Press. 2009
  • American Hungers: The Problem of Poverty in U.S. Literature, 1840-1945 Jones, G. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 2008
  • American Dialects The Blackwell Companion to the History of the English Language Jones, G. edited by Momma, H., Matto, M. Oxford: Blackwell. 2008
  • Before cultures: The ethnographic imagination in American literature, 1865-1920 (Book Review) MODERN PHILOLOGY Book Review Authored by: Jones, G. 2007; 105 (2): 402-405
  • Dialect American History through Literature, 1820-1870 Jones, G. edited by Gabler-Hover, J., Sattlemeyer, R. Detroit: Charles Scribner’s Sons. 2006: 336–340
  • Twain, Language, and the Southern Humorists A Companion to Mark Twain Jones, G. edited by Budd, L. J., Messent, P. Oxford: Blackwell. 2005: 125–140
  • Poverty and the limits of literary criticism AMERICAN LITERARY HISTORY Jones, G. 2003; 15 (4): 765-792
  • Poverty, Gender, and Literary Criticism: Reassessing Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth. Comparative American Studies Jones, G. 2003; 1 (2): 153-177
  • The multilingual anthology of American literature: A reader of original texts with English translations (Book Review) AMERICAN LITERARY HISTORY Book Review Authored by: Jones, G. 2001; 13 (4): 776-788
  • New World Babel: Languages and nations in Early America (Book Review) AMERICAN LITERARY HISTORY Book Review Authored by: Jones, G. 2001; 13 (4): 776-788
  • Those Gossamer Threads of Thought’: The Supernatural Naturalism of Theodore Dreiser’s Sister Carrie Essays in Arts and Sciences Jones, G. 1999; 28: 69-90
  • Strange Talk: The Politics of Dialect Literature in Gilded Age America Jones, G. Berkeley: University of California Press. 1999
  • The paradise of aesthetics: Sylvester Judd's 'Margaret' and antebellum American literature NEW ENGLAND QUARTERLY-A HISTORICAL REVIEW OF NEW ENGLAND LIFE AND LETTERS Jones, G. 1998; 71 (3): 449-472
  • "The sea ain' got no back door": The problems of Black consciousness in Paule Marshall's 'Brown Girl, Brownstones' AFRICAN AMERICAN REVIEW Jones, G. 1998; 32 (4): 597-606
  • Signifying songs: The double meaning of black dialect in the work of George Washington Cable AMERICAN LITERARY HISTORY Jones, G. 1997; 9 (2): 244-267
  • 'Whose Line is It Anyway?’ W.E.B. DuBois and the Language of the Color-line. Race Consciousness: African-American Studies for the New Century Jones, G. edited by Fossett, J. J., Tucker, J. A. New York: NYU Press. 1997: 19–34
  • DUSKY COMMENTS OF SILENCE, LANGUAGE, RACE, AND MELVILLE,HERMAN 'BENITO CERENO' STUDIES IN SHORT FICTION Jones, G. 1995; 32 (1): 39-50