Michael Kaufmann received his B.A. and Ph.D. from Columbia University. His research interests include early American literature, the relationship between theology and aesthetics, and the history of American literary studies. His first book Institutional Individualism: Conversion, Exile and Nostalgia in Puritan New England was published by Wesleyan University Press in 1999. He is currently working on a book about the how tensions between the secular and the religious have formed the profession of literary studies. His most recent article, “Theology and the Return of Aesthetics,” appeared in Soundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal in Fall 2004.
Professor Kaufmann teaches courses on early American literature and culture (with a special interest in the seventeenth century), nineteenth century American literature (with special interests in Romanticism and Melville), as well as Introduction to English Studies and Intellectual Heritage. He has served as Acting Director of Graduate Studies and Director of Undergraduate Studies.