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Gregg Camfield

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Title: Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost | Professor
Phone: (209) 228-4439
  • Ph.D., 1989 — University of California, Berkeley
  • A.B., 1980 — Brown University
Research Interests:

Professor Camfield has published widely on American literature and culture — from 18th century poet Joel Barlow to the television cartoon Beavis and Butt-Head. Mostly he has worked on the ethical and esthetic debates of the nineteenth-century, concentrating on the works of Mark Twain, American literary humor, literary sentimentalism and domesticity. These perspectives inform his three books:

  • Sentimental Twain: Mark Twain in the Maze of Moral Philosophy (Pennsylvania, 1994)
  • Necessary Madness: The Humor of Domesticity in Nineteenth-Century American Literature (Oxford, 1997)
  • The Oxford Companion to Mark Twain (2003)

Currently he is carrying forward the implications of the second book in a study of what new discoveries in neuroscience can tell us about how people respond to literature and other complex artistic representations.