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Chair, Department of English

Kevin Scott


Scott, English Department chair, teaches and researches primarily in the areas of 19th-century American literature and cultural history and in popular culture.

The inseparability of literature and popular culture was cemented early for Scott, thanks to the small used book store where he spent countless hours at an early age. He brought home Twain, Verne, Huxley, and Orwell, as well as cheap science fiction paperbacks and comic books purchased 10-for-a-dollar. Since then, Scott has published scholarship on the 19th-century work of figures such as Herman Melville, Mark Twain and the painter William Sidney Mount. With Carmen Sarracino, he co-authored ‘The Porning of America: The Rise of Porn Culture, What It Means, and Where We Go from Here” (Beacon, 2008). The book explores how the United States has been adopting the ideology of power-oriented pornography in many of its social institutions. A personal highlight for Scott is the week the book was positively discussed by Newsweek, Ms. Magazine, Focus on the Family, and XBIZ the porn industry’s business news source.

His recent publication returned to his childhood interests in comics and graphic novels . In 2015, McFarland published his edited collection “Marvel Comics Civil War and the Age of Terror: Critical Essays on the Comic Saga.” The essays investigate how Marvel’s “Civil War” comic event responded to challenges to civil liberties following 9/11.

Degrees & Institutions

Scott received a bachelor’s degree in English from Ball State University, a master’s degree in English from Iowa State University and a doctorate in American Studies from Purdue University.


19th-century American literature and culture, popular culture, comics and film


“‘It’s just us here’: Daredevil and the Trauma of BIG POWER.” Working Class Comic Book Heroes: Class Conflict and Populist Politics in Comics. Ed. Marc DiPaolo. Oxford: University of Mississippi Press. 2018. 

Marvel Comics Civil War and the Age of Terror: Critical Essays on the Comic Saga. McFarland, 2015.

“Pornography.” The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Social History.  Oxford University Press, 2012. 

The Porning of America: The Rise of Porn Culture, What It Means, and Where We Go from Here.  With Carmine Sarracino. Beacon Press, 2008. 

“The Negro Touch and the Yankee Trick: Art, Race, and Ethnicity in Antebellum New York.” Visual Resources, 2008.  

“‘Likewise Masked’: Blackface and Whitewash in Herman Melville’s ‘Benito Cereno.’” Special Double-issue Festschrift in Honor of G. R. Thompson. Poe Studies/Dark Romanticism: History, Theory, Interpretation, 2007. 

“‘There’s More Honor’: Reinterpreting Tom and the Evasion in Huckleberry Finn.” Studies in the Novel, 2005.