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Leonard Tennenhouse

Professor Emeritus of English
Box 90015, Durham, NC 27708-0015
303 Allen Bldg, Box 90015, Durham, NC 27708


Len Tennenhouse teaches courses in British and American literature that look at earlier formulations of our most deeply held assumptions about who we are, how to live with other people, and what we pursue in the name of happiness. What changes, he asks, do these ideas of the purpose and possibilities of human existence undergo as they are rewritten under new material conditions and to different political effect over the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries? His courses in critical theory give students at all levels the tools for addressing this question in various modes of writing. His present research shows how the substantial body of fiction produced during the period following ratification of the U.S. Constitution waged a political argument that pitted direct democracy against the representative liberalism that early American writers attributed to their British counterparts.

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Professor Emeritus of English · 2023 - Present English, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences

Education, Training & Certifications

University of Rochester · 1970 Ph.D.
Wayne State University · 1965 B.A.