Dr. Luke Bresky

Dr. Luke Bresky

Associate Professor, English

Phone: (403) 254-3712

Email: Luke.Bresky@stmu.ca

Office: A211

PhD English, University of California, Los Angeles
MA English, University of California, Davis
BA English, University of Calgary

Specialization/research interests: American literature, critical theory and African-American literature

Born and raised in Calgary, I went to the United States to do my graduate studies soon after finishing my B.A. at U of C., where my father had taught French literature. I did an M.A at the University of California, Davis, and worked as a journeyman conversation and composition teacher in Germany before undertaking my PhD at UCLA. As a specialist in U.S. literature and culture, I wrote my dissertation on the deliberate, often anxious efforts of the first internationally recognized American authors to produce a distinctive national literature—and to become national heroes in the process. My original interest in the pre-Civil War period, sometimes called the “American Renaissance,” sprang from the recognition that the early stages of U.S. Literature had much in common with the much more recent “project phase” of Canada’s national literature. At a time of growing academic interest in nationalism and national identity, I found grants to conduct research abroad: In Paris, I spent a year studying early 20th century theories of tribal and national solidarity; and in Mainz, Germany (as a new PhD), I was a Fulbright lecturer in American Studies. I came home the following year, and found St. Mary’s to be the most exciting new feature of Calgary’s landscape. I taught my first course here in 2004, when the English B.A. became our first accredited four-year degree. Since then, my research has concerned the cross-fertilizing relation between the American Literary Renaissance and the phenomenal social reform movement that coincided with it.

The Blithedale Romance by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Michael Colacurcio and M. Luke Bresky, eds. New York, Toronto: Broadview Press, 2015.
“Editor’s Introduction: Alternative/Mainstream.” Canadian Review of American Studies 52.2 (August 2022).

Editor, “Special Issue: Alternative/Mainstream.” Canadian Review of American Studies 52.2 (August 2022).

“‘A Day-Dream, and Yet a Fact’: Universal Emancipation in The Blithedale Romance.” Stories of Nation: Fictions, Politics, and the American Experience.  Martin Griffin, Christopher Hebert, eds. U of Tennessee P, 2017

“Observing Manners in Hawthorne’s Blithedale.” Nathaniel Hawthorne Review 43.1 (Spring 2017).

“Brook Farm and Utopian Literature.”  American History Through Literature (1820-1870) 3rd edition. Laura Liebman, ed. Gale Research, 2016.

Tomorrow’s Parties: Sex and the Untimely in Nineteenth-Century America, by Peter Coviello” (Review). Nathaniel Hawthorne Review 42.2 (Fall 2016).

“Pro-Americans, Proto-Americans, and Un-Americans in Melville’s Israel Potter.” A Passion for Getting it Right: Essays Celebrating Michael J. Colacurcio’s 50 Years of Teaching. Peter Lang, 2015.

Review: The Entanglements of Nathaniel Hawthorne: Haunted Minds and Ambiguous Approaches, by Samuel Chase Coale. Studies in the Novel. (Forthcoming 2013)

“Impounders of Stray Women: Feminine Fugitives at Blithedale.”American Political Fictions. Martin Griffin, ed. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press. (Forthcoming 2013.)

“The Recuperative Trend in Hawthorne Studies: New or Improved?”Canadian Review of American Studies Vol. 41.2 (August 2011).

“Latitudes and Longitudes of Our Condition: The Nationality of Emerson’s Representatives.” ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance Vol. 48.4 (October 2002).

“Kindred.” Literature and Its Times. Vol V. Joyce Moss, ed. Detroit: Gale Research, 2003.

“Invisible Man.” Literature and Its Times. Vol IV, 1999.

“Marcel Mauss’s National Internationalism: An Approach to The Gift.” In Paroles Gelées 15.2 (1997).

“Babbitt.” In Literature and Its Times. Vol III, 1997.

“Visitors, Visiting, and the ‘Nutshell of Civility’ in Walden.” Pacific Ancient and Modern Languages Association Conference, Los Angeles, November 2022.              

“Between Survival and Survivance: The Ironies of Charles Eastman/Ohiyesa.”   Reanimations (Canadian Association for American Studies), OCAD, Toronto, October 2022.

“John Guare’s ‘Non-Controversial Mapplethorpe’: Six Degrees of Six Degrees.” Canadian Association for American Studies Online Symposium, Mount Allison University, Sackville, NB, October 2020.

“Antebellum Post-Civility: Angry Quietists and Polite Radicals.” Canadian Association for American Studies Symposium, Concordia University, Montreal, October 2019.

“Civil Impertinence: The Domestic Manners of Henry David Thoreau.” Alternative/Mainstream (Canadian Association for American Studies), St. Mary’s University, Calgary, October 2018.

“Universal Emancipation in The Blithedale Romance, Revisited.” Stories of Nation Symposium, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, September 2018.

“Visiting With Margaret Fuller.” Uncertain Futures (Canadian Association for American Studies), OCAD, Toronto, October 2017.

“American Realisms and the Pursuit of Unhappiness.” (Panel Organizer). Misery (American Studies Association Annual Conference), Toronto, October 2015.

“Pro-Americans, Proto-Americans, and Un-Americans in Melville’s Israel Potter.” American Circuits, American Secrets (Canadian Association for American Studies), Banff, September 2014

“Tracing fugitives at Blithedale.” Representing and Remembering Slavery in the Americas, York, UK, May 2014.

“Confidence Artistry and Paranoid Patronage: Guare’s Six Degrees.” Total Money Makeover: Culture and the Economization of Everything (Canadian Association of American Studies), Waterloo, October 2013.

“Radical Relations and Conventional Visitations in The Blithedale Romance.” Geographies of Promise and Betrayal (Canadian Association of American Studies Conference) Toronto, October 25-28, 2012.

“Reflections on ‘Reading the Landscape: Exploring a Southern Albertan Sense of Place Through Literature, Ecology, and History.” Presented jointly with Drs. Mary Ann McLean and Gayle Thrift. Under Western Skies 2: Environment, Community and Culture in North America. Mount Royal University, Calgary, October 10-13, 2012.

“Japhy Ryder’s Footprint: Kerouac’s Rucksack Revolution in Consumer Culture.” The Aesthetics of Renewal (Canadian Association of American Studies Conference) Ottawa, November 3-6, 2011.

“Total Social Services and the American Patient in Melville’s Typee.” Health/Care/Nation: An Interdisciplinary Conference in American Studies, University of Windsor, November 2010.

“Ecocriticism, Nature Writing and Our Sense of Place.” Interdisciplinary Course proposal/presentation: “Reading Wilderness.” St. Mary’s Colloquium Series, February 2010.

“Octavia Butler’s Kindred: Synchronic Crisis and Diachronic Calm.” Canadian Association of American Studies Annual Conference, University of Western Ontario, November 2009.

“Reading Wilderness in the Landscape of South Alberta.” Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences, Ottawa, May 2009.

“The Spirit of Burke’s Sublime: Learning How to Fall.” St. Mary’s Arts and Spirituality Speakers Series, November 2008.

“On the ‘Edge’ of American Irony: Hawthorne/James, Provincial/Cosmopolitan.” Canadian Association of American Studies Annual Conference, Montreal, November 2007.

“Contexts for The Blithedale Romance: the Abolitionist Schism in Universal Reform.” St. Mary’s Colloquium Series, Fall 2005.

“Imperfectionism in Hawthorne’s ‘The Birthmark.’” Invited Paper, Mount Allison University, May 2004.

“Impounders of Stray Women: Feminist Abolitionism in The Blithedale Romance.” University of Manitoba, English Department Colloquium, March 2004.

“Transatlantic Travel as Time-Travel.” Fulbright Lecture Series in American Studies, University of Rostock, May 2003.

“Europhilia and Cosmopolitanism in James Weldon Johnson’sAutobiography of an Ex-Colored Man.” Invited Lecture (Vorlesungsvertrag), University of Würzburg, January 2003.

“Diversity/Religious Diversity.” (Panel chair and discussant) Inter-Cultural America—International Conference in American Studies, University of Mainz, November, 2002.

“Imperialism and Self-Possession: Frederick Douglass’s Diplomacy in Haiti.” American Studies Association Annual Conference, Washington, D.C., November, 2001.

“The ‘Foreign Greatness’ of Emerson’s Representative Men—Is There Any Other Kind?” UCLA Center for Modern and Contemporary Studies International Conference, Los Angeles, March 2000.

“Melville’s Israel Potter: Everyman Meets Representative Man.” UCLA Melville Seminar, January 1998.

“Mauss and Durkheim on Nationalism.” States of Identity: UCLA French Department Interdisciplinary Conference, Los Angeles, April 1997.