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Thomas F. Haddox

Thomas F. Haddox

Thomas F. Haddox


1117 McClung Tower


Dr. Haddox’s research focuses primarily on twentieth-century American literature (especially the novel), with strong emphases in the relationship between religion and literature and in Southern literature. He also works in the field of literary theory and have particular interests in the disciplinary overlaps among literary study, history, and aesthetics. His books include Hard Sayings: The Rhetoric of Christian Orthodoxy in Late Modern Fiction (Ohio State UP, 2013), The Limits of Literary Historicism (co-edited with Allen Dunn, U of Tennessee P, 2011), and Fears and Fascinations: Representing Catholicism in the American South (Fordham UP, 2005). He is currently at work on a book project with the working title Toward a Narrative Theory of Grace.”

Recent courses that he has taught include ENGL 341 (Religion and Spirituality in American Literature); ENGL 441 (Southern Literature); ENGL 690 (Special Topics: What We Talk about When We Talk about Historicism); ENGL 436 (Modern American Novel); and several sections of ENGL 482, the department’s Major Authors course (Flannery O’Connor and Muriel Spark, William Faulkner, and Eudora Welty and Richard Wright).


  • B.A., Tulane University
  • M.A., University of Kent (England)- British Marshall Scholar
  • M.A., Ph.D. Vanderbilt University



  • Hard Sayings: The Rhetoric of Christian Orthodoxy in Late Modern Fiction.  The Ohio State University Press, 2013.
  • The Limits of Literary Historicism (co-edited with Allen Dunn).  University of Tennessee Press, 2011.
  • Editor, “The South and the Sublime,” a special issue of The Southern Quarterly, 48 (Spring 2011).
  • Fears and Fascinations: Representing Catholicism in the American South.  Fordham University Press, 2005.

Representative articles

  • “Diachronicity, Episodicity, and the Aesthetic of Historicist Criticism.” Forthcoming in Philosophy and Literature.
  • “‘Lingering’ and ‘Incurable’: Flannery O’Connor’s Humor and the Game of Status in ‘Good Country People.’” Women’s Studies 51.4 (2022): 457-69.
  • “‘At the Present Time’: Christian Literary Scholars in the Last Days of Liberalism.” Christianity and Literature 70 (September 2021): 293-302.
  • “Legitimation and Limits in English Studies: The Pedagogies of Stanley Fish and Jacques Rancière.” South Atlantic Review 85 (Fall 2020): 37-52.
  • “Unmaking Generations: On Gayl Jones’s Corregidora and the Pastness of the Past.” Twentieth-Century Literature 64 (September 2018): 275-94.
  • “Between History and Aesthetics: Dirt and Desire in Dialogue with Affect Theory and Paul Ricoeur.” south: a scholarly journal 2 (Spring 2016): 192-211.
  • Myth as Therapy in Lee Smith’s Oral History.”  Mississippi Quarterly 68 (Winter-Spring 2015): 257-75.
  • “Lillian Smith, Cold War Intellectual.”  Southern Literary Journal 44 (Spring 2012): 51-68.

Book reviews

  • Review of Farrell O’Gorman, Catholicism and American Borders in the Gothic Literary ImaginationThe Flannery O’Connor Review. 17 (2019): 196-98.
  • Review of Critical Insights: Short Fiction of Flannery O’Connor, ed. Robert C. Evans. The Flannery O’Connor Review 15 (2017): 122-24
  • Review of Cosmic Defiance: Updike’s Kierkegaard and the Maples Stories by David Crowe. Religion and Literature 48 (Autumn 2016): 169-72.
  • Review of A Lillian Smith Reader, eds. Margaret Rose Gladney and Lisa Hodgens. American Literary History Online Review, Series X (2017).
  • Review of Bryan Giemza, Irish Catholic Writers and the Invention of the American South.  The Flannery O’Connor Review 12 (2014): 133-35.
  • Review of Peggy Whitman Prenshaw, Composing Selves: Southern Women and Autobiography. Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature 32.1 (Spring 2013): 239-41.

Professional Service

  • Editorial Advisory Board, The Flannery O’Connor Review
  • Advisory Board, Religion and Literature
  • Executive Council, Society for the Study of Southern Literature, 2015-2017

Awards, Honors & Grants

  • Best Faculty Mentor Inside the Classroom, Graduate Students in English, 2021
  • Andrew J. Kappel Prize in Literary Criticism, 2018, for “Unmaking Generations: On Gayl Jones’s Corregidora and the Pastness of the Past.”
  • Lindsay Young Professor, 2017-2021