Christy L. Pottroff

Academic Title

  • Assistant Professor, English

Administrative Support

  • Early American Literature
  • History of the Book
  • Digital Humanities
  • Film

My current book project is a literary history of the U.S. Postal Service between 1790 and 1870. My research demonstrates the surprising extent to which the postal system determined the kinds of literary works that could emerge from and circulate within the United States between 1790 and 1870. Sometimes, the cost of a stamp or an exclusionary policy could have profound effects on who could be writers and readers. My interest in the history of media and technology likewise drives my work on a digital humanities mapping project that traces the expansion of the postal system in its first century.

  • Ph.D. Early American Literature Fordham University
  • M.A. Cultural Studies Kansas State University
  • B.A. English Kansas State University

“Benjamin Franklin’s Database” in Book History and Digital Humanities (University of Wisconsin Press, forthcoming)

“The Royall Coach: Sketching the Nation,” Early American Literature 53.1 (2018). Print.

“Jacob Abbott’s Political Children’s Literature,” Common-place 17.1 (2016). Web.

“Circulation,” Early American Studies 16.4 (2018).

  • Presidential Fellowship, Merrimack College Interdisciplinary Institute, 2019-2020
  • Provost Innovation Grant for Finding Anne Bradstreet Project, Merrimack College, 2018-2019
  • McNeil Fellowship, Historical Society of Philadelphia & the Library Company of Philadelphia, 2018-19.
  • Moroney Award for Scholarship on Postal History, 2018.
  • Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in Early American Literature and Material Texts, McNeil Center for Early American Studies, University of Pennsylvania, 2016-17.
  • Jay and Deborah Last Short-Term Fellowship, American Antiquarian Society, 2016-17.
  • Lillian Gary Taylor Visiting Fellowship in American Literature, Mary and David Harrison Institute, University of Virginia Library, 2016.
  • Mercantile Library Fellowship in North American Bibliography, Bibliographical Society of America, 2016.