Department of English

University of Toronto

Morgenstern, Naomi

Naomi Morgenstern
Associate Chair; Director of Undergraduate Studies; Associate Professor of English and American Literature; Graduate Faculty; Morgenstern
Undergraduate Instructor, University of Toronto St. George
Office Phone for JHB 608: 416-978-5921
Office Phone for JHB 625: 416-946-3454
Office Location: Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street, Room 608 and 625.
Office Hours and/or Leave Status: Wednesdays 1:00pm-3:00pm (JHB 608) 

Teaching and Research Interests: American Literature; Aspects of Theory

BA (Haverford)  PhD (Cornell)

Naomi Morgenstern is Associate Professor of English and American Literature in the Department of English at the University of Toronto. She specializes in psychoanalytic and post-structuralist critical theory and gender studies and teaches courses in nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first century American literature. She is the author of Wild Child: Intensive Parenting and Posthumanist Ethics  (University of Minnesota Press, 2018) as well as essays on a range of American writers (Herman Melville, Toni Morrison, David Mamet, among others) and on the short stories of Alice Munro. She is currently working on reproductive ethics and maternal sovereignty in contemporary literary and cinematic narratives.


"Maternal Sovereignty: Destruction and Survival in Jesmyn Ward's Salvage the Bones," in Reading Contemporary Black British and African American Women Writers: Race, Ethics, Narrative Form, eds. Jean Wyatt and Sheldon George (New York: Routledge, 2020).

Wild Child: Intensive Parenting and Posthumanist Ethics (University of Minnesota Press, 2018).

“’Life After Life’: Survival in the (Late) Fiction of Alice Munro,” forthcoming in Exquisite Shame: Ethics and Affects in Alice Munro, eds. Amelia De Falco and Lorraine York (Basingstoke: PalgraveMacmillan, 2017).

"Post-Apocalyptic Responsibility: Patriarchy at the End of the World in Cormac McCarthy's The Road." differences: a Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies 25.2 (Summer 2014): 33-61. 

"Maternal Love/Maternal Violence: Inventing Ethics in Toni Morrison's A Mercy." MELUS: Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States 39.1 (Spring 2014): 7-29.

"The University in Crisis: Teaching, Tenure, and Transference in David Mamet's Oleanna" Cultural Critique (Fall 2012): 1-33.

“Seduction and Subjectivity: Psychoanalysis and the Fiction of Alice Munro” in Charles May, ed., Critical Insights: Alice Munro (Ipswich, Mass.: Salem Press, 2012).

“The Remains of Friendship and the Ethics of Misreading: Emerson, Thoreau, Melville" ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance 57.3 (2011): 241-73.

"Literature Reads Theory: Remarks on Teaching with Toni Morrison," University of Toronto Quarterly 74.3 (Summer 2005): 816-28.

"The Afterlife of Coverture: Contract and Gift in The Ballad of the Sad Café," differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies 16:1 (2005): 103-25. Reprinted in Harold Bloom ed., Carson McCullers. (New York: Chelsea House, 2009): 127-48.

"Marriage and Contract in the Early United States: Charles Brockden Brown's Alcuin and Ormond," in Shirley Samuels, ed., A Companion to American Fiction, 1780-1865. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2004. 108-18.

"The Oedipus Complex Made Simple," University of Toronto Quarterly, 72.4 (October 2003): 777-88.

"The Baby or the Violin? Ethics and Femininity in the Fiction of Alice Munro," Literature, Interpretation, Theory 14.2 (2003): 69-97. Reprinted in Julie Rivkin and Michael Ryan eds. Literary Theory: An Anthology 3rd edition (Wiley-Blackwell, 2017): 422-42.

"The Primal Scene in the Public Domain: E.L. Doctorow's The Book of Daniel" (Studies in the Novel 35.1 [Spring 2003]: 68-88)

"'There is nothing else like this': Sex and Citation in Pornogothic Feminism" (Genders 25 [1997]: 39-67)

"'Love is home-sickness': Nostalgia and Lesbian Desire in Sapphira and the Slave Girl" (Novel 29.2 [Winter 1996]: 184-205)

"Mother's Milk and Sister's Blood: Trauma and the Neoslave Narrative" (differences 8.2 [Summer 1996]: 101-126)


Site Information:

Site Tools:

Click below for directions to the University of Toronto!

University of Toronto, St. George Campus
Map of St. George Campus
Map of Mississauga Campus
Map of Scarborough Campus