Research Interests: 19th and 20th century American literature, African American literature, authorship studies, canonization, editorial theory, history of the book, slave narratives, U.S. Cold War culture
Matthew Blackwell holds a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Iowa and a Graduate Certificate in Book Studies from the UI Center for the Book. In his current role as Visiting Assistant Professor of Multiethnic American Literatures at Iowa, he teaches courses in African American and immigrant literatures. He was also a guest lecturer at the Institute for American Studies at Technical University of Dortmund, Germany, from 2016-2018, where he taught courses on Frederick Douglass, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau, publishing history, and digital editions.
In his research, he explores the power dynamics between black authors and white publishers in American publishing history from the nineteenth century to present. His current book project is a history of American scholarly editing during the Cold War that investigates the ways in which race was elided in the production of postwar definitive editions.