Christy Pottroff, Ph.D.
Dr. Pottroff specializes in Early and Nineteenth-Century American Literature, Film Studies, and Digital Humanities. Her courses frequently explore the multi-media contexts in which literature and film emerge.
- Literature and Film
- Poe, Hawthorne, and the American Short Story
- Introduction to College Writing
Dr. Pottroff’s current book project, Citizen Technologies: The U.S. Post Office and the Transformation of Early American Literature, examines the surprising extent to which the U.S. Post Office Department shaped early American literature. Not only did the postal system employ the newest technologies to carry texts from writers to readers, but it also influenced the form and content of texts across a range of genres. She has forthcoming articles on this topic in Early American Literature and Early American Studies. Her research has been generously supported by fellowships from the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, the Bibliographical Society of America, the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, the American Antiquarian Society, and others.
Dr. Pottroff’s interest in technology also drives her work on two digital humanities projects. The first, The U.S. Goes Postal: Mapping Union and War in the Antebellum United States, visualizes the expansion of the U.S. Postal System, post office by post office. Her datasets detail how post offices and routes crept into territory outside of the United States, making it easier for states like Maine, Florida, and Missouri to be integrated into the national body. She is also part of the cross-institutional team creating the National Burial Database of Enslaved Americans (NBDEA), which documents the gravesites of enslaved people in the United States between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries.