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Julie McCown - Southern Utah University. Cedar City, UT, US

Julie McCown Julie McCown

Assistant Professor of English | Southern Utah University


Specializing in early American natural history, post-humanism, and digital humanities theory


Dr. Julie McCown is an assistant professor of English at Southern Utah University. She teaches courses in American literature, critical theory, and composition.

Her interests are early American literature, animal and science studies, and digital humanities/media theory. McCown had published several articles about stop-motion puppets, crocodiles and animal bodies. She also discovered an unknown poem by the 18th century African American poet Jupiter Hammon.

McCown has a bachelor's degree in literary studies with a minor in music and gender studies from the University of Texas at Dallas, a master of arts degree in English from the University of Texas of the Permian Basin and she earned her Ph.D. in English from the University of Texas at Arlington.



Julie McCown Publication



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Industry Expertise (6)


Writing and Editing

Media - Online


Print Media


Areas of Expertise (16)


Race and Nature in Early American Literature

Early American Novels

U.S. Civil War Literature


Early American Natural History



Literature and Environment

Animal studies

Digital Humanities

Critical Theory

Early American Literature

Identities and Voices in American Literature

Methods of Teaching Literature in Higher Education

Media Theory

Education (3)

University of Texas at Dallas: B.A., Literary Studies

University of Texas of the Permian Basin: M.A., English

University of Texas at Arlington: Ph.D., English

Accomplishments (2)

O’Neill GTA Award for Excellence in Teaching (professional)

University of Texas at Arlington, 2015

O’Neill GTA Award for Academic Excellence (professional)

University of Texas at Arlington, 2013

Affiliations (6)

  • Modern Language Association
  • Charles Brockden Brown Society
  • Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts
  • Society for Early Americanists
  • American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies
  • Popular Culture & American Culture Association

Media Appearances (1)

Books Written or Edited by SUU Faculty in 2022

T-Bird Nation  online


Go back in time to the 1870s and experience the life of one of the West’s forgotten female figures. The story of Martha Maxwell and her life as a natural historian and taxidermist is one that no one really knows about. Written by her half-sister, Mary Darrtt, in 1879 and edited by SUU’s own Julie McCown, this book gives a unique perspective on women’s role in the old West in a never-before-seen light.

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Articles (3)

Dissolving into Visibility: Early American Natural History and the Corporeality of Interspecies Encounters

Palsgrave Macmillan

Julie McCown

Published in "Encountering Animal Bodies"

Crocodilian Transmission: Correspondence Networks in William Bartram and Thomas De Quincey


Julie McCown

This essay brings William Bartram’s 1791 Travels and Thomas De Quincey’s 1849 “The English Mail-Coach” into productive conversation with each other, focusing on crocodilians as a central point of connection. As both physical and semiotic specimens in correspondence networks, crocodilians become a medium of exchange through which Bartram and De Quincey confront the limits of personal identity and imperial expansion. By bringing together these two writers, the essay shows how crocodilians, as a medium of exchange, shift from physical, material specimens to abstract, imaginary symbols, and how natural history’s correspondence networks facilitate an abstraction and effacement of animals.

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"An Essay on Slavery": An Unpublished Poem by Jupiter Hammon


Julie McCown, Cedrick May

A previously unknown poem written by Jupiter Hammon of Long Island is one of the most important discoveries related to this eighteenth-century poet and slave in nearly a century.1 The poem, entitled “An Essay on Slavery, with Submission to Divine Providence, Knowing That God Rules over All Things,” directly addresses questions concerning slavery and is by far the most outspoken antislavery statement by this often-neglected eighteenth-century writer.

Courses (9)

ENGL 1010 Intro to Academic Writing

The first of the required GE writing courses introduces students to academic composition. Students will engage in writing as a process, pre-drafting strategies, multiple drafts, peer review, and large and small-scale revisions.

ENGL 2010 Writing about Animals

This course builds upon the skills learned in English 1010, reinforcing strategies that foster careful reasoning, argumentation, and rhetorical awareness of purpose, audience, and genre. The course emphasizes critically evaluating, effectively integrating, and properly documenting sources. The course involves several connected writing assignments that culminate in a major research project.

ENGL 2010 Writing About Disney

This course builds upon the skills learned in English 1010, reinforcing strategies that foster careful reasoning, argumentation, and rhetorical awareness of purpose, audience, and genre. The course emphasizes critically evaluating, effectively integrating, and properly documenting sources. The particular section examines and discusses all things Disney including films, parks, merchandise and fan culture.

ENGL 2130 Imaginative Literature: Aliens & First Contact

This course explores how writers imagine scenes of first contact between humans and aliens. What does first contact look like? Is it an opportunity for discovery, wonder, and understanding? Or a site of conflict and violence? What does it mean to be an alien? What parallels can be drawn between science fiction and the real world relationships between human cultures? As we consider these questions throughout the semester, we will read a variety of texts from genres including science fiction, speculative fiction, afrofuturism, and indigenous futurism.

ENGL 2600 Intro to Critical Theory

An introductory course in the reading and application of literary theory, which provides a survey of major critical and methodological approaches.

ENGL 3210 American Literature I

This course is a survey of American literature from its roots to the Civil War. We will be reading a variety of texts and literary genres that touch on many of the important themes, identities, voices, and styles that make up American literature as we know it today.

ENGL 4110 Early American Novels

This course will explore the genre of early American novels. We will read several early American novels, as well as other selected early American texts and literary criticism. This is a discussion-based and writing-intensive course in which students will help generate and facilitate discussion points and complete both short-weekly writings and a larger research paper.

ENGL 4210 Literary History: American Renaissance

This class focuses on the American Renaissance - a period of literary history that runs roughly from 1830 to 1865. We will primarily be focusing on the 1850s, a decade that saw a significant output of American literary masterpieces including Moby Dick (1851), The Scarlet Letter (1850), Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852), and Leaves of Grass (1855). In this class, we will be reading these texts and others from this prolific decade of American literature. To facilitate our examination and study of these texts, we will pay special attention to the role of bodies and corporeality: How are bodies (both human and nonhuman) created and constructed? How do those understandings of bodies affect people’s identities as well as the various social and political institutions of the time period? How can posthumanist theory, and its questioning of the limits of the human, help illuminate the role bodies played in the literature of the American Renaissance?

ENGL 4510 Early American Experiments

An experimental project based course that re-thinks how we study early American literature and culture. The class explores different ways of “doing literary studies” and how these experiments promote rigorous and meaningful ways of reading and thinking about literature.