American Literature, 18th Century, 19th Century, Rhetoric, Slavery, Citizenship, Gothic, Philadelphia


Katherine Henry earned her Ph.D. at Rutgers University in 1997, and taught at the Ohio State University, Newark campus, before coming to Temple in 2004. She specializes in early and antebellum American literature and rhetoric, with a particular interest in republican and liberal models of citizenship. Her work considers the contours of civic life from the early national period to the Civil War, the development of an American mythology, and the ways in which U. S. citizenship is contested at its boundaries. Her current book project is tentatively titled “Ghosts of Liberty: Civic Unrest and the Philadelphia Gothic, 1820-1855.” A recipient of the Eleanor Hofkin Award for Excellence in Teaching, Henry teaches undergraduate English and American Studies courses (including the first half of the American Literature Survey) and graduate English courses.

Selected Publications

  • Liberalism and the Culture of Security: The Nineteenth-Century Rhetoric of Reform (University of Alabama Press, 2011)
  • “Slaves to a Debt: Race, Shame, and the Anti-Obama Jeremiad” (Quarterly Journal of Speech, 2014)
  • “Slavery and Civic Recovery: Gothic Interventions in Whitman and Weld” (in The Gothic Other: Racial and Social Constructions in the Literary Imagination, 2004)
  • “Angelina Grimke’s Rhetoric of Exposure” (American Quarterly, 1997)

Courses Taught

  • The Literature of American Slavery
  • Hell
  • Puritan Gothic
  • American Public Culture (graduate seminar)
  • The Atlantic World, 1760-1860 (graduate seminar)
  • The Myth of Classical Rome (Temple Rome)
  • Literary Venice (Temple Rome)