Bill Hunt is assistant professor of American Literature at Barton College
in Wilson, North Carolina. He holds a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Virginia and a Ph.D. from Duke University. He has twice completed semesters of Arabic-language coursework at Yarmouk University in Irbid, Jordan, and has worked at non-profit organizations in Beirut, Lebanon; Washington, D.C.; and Richmond, Virginia. He has served as vice president and president of Duke University’s Graduate and Professional Student Council.
He specializes in 19th- and early-20th-century American literature, with interest in Gender and Women’s Studies, Middle East Studies, Postcolonial Theory, Film Studies, and literatures of the American South. His dissertation is entitled “‘Suffragettes of the Harem’: The Evolution of Sympathy and the Afterlives of Sentimentality in American Feminist Orientalism, 1865-1920.” It explores the presence of the American Suffrage Movement in the Middle and Far East. It asks how Suffrage-affiliated authors wrote and thought about spaces identified as "harem," focusing on how they understood sympathy and sentimentality as forces for the reform and cosmopolitanization of non-Western cultures. His scholarship is often impelled by the notion that the American Suffrage Movement was essentially literary in character, as much as it was social and political.Publications:
“‘The Ghost in Search of Help’: Silas Weir Mitchell’s Sentimental Quarantine, Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Sympathetic Utopia, and Sigmund Freud’s Mitleidsimitation.” Arizona Quarterly,
vol. 78, no. 3, Fall 2022, pp. 29-60.
“‘An Unwelcome Present’: Simulation and Simulacra in the Unlikely Friendship of General Lew Wallace and Sultan Abdülhamit II.” Muslim and American Worlds before 1900
, edited by John Ghazvinian and Mitchell Fraas, Bloomsbury, 2020, pp. 71-84.
“Our new arrangement of the world’: Anna Leonowens, Francis George Shaw, and Anti-colonial Fourierist Dissent in The Blithedale Romance
.” Nathaniel Hawthorne Review
, vol. 43, no. 1, 2017, pp. 35-61.
Et al. “MLA—The Year in Conferences, 2019.” ESQ, vol. 66, no. 1, 2020, pp. 133-149.
Et al. “C19—The Year in Conferences, 2016.” ESQ,
vol. 63, no. 1, 2017, pp. 144-167.
Et al. “ASA—The Year in Conferences, 2014.” ESQ,
vol. 60, no. 1, 2015, pp. 195-211.
Et al. “MLA—The Year in Conferences, 2012.” ESQ,
vol. 59, no.1, 2013, pp. 112-131.Conference Presentations:
“Manifest Matthias: Sojourner Truth’s Communal-Colonial Misadventures in the Prophet’s Kingdom.” American Communes. Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists (C19), Coral Gables, Florida, April 2022.
“’It is good we are dreaming’: A Progressive Social Butterfly Fudges Dickinsonian
Solitude in The Monarch of Dreams.” Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Apart from Emily Dickinson. Modern Language Assn. (MLA), Washington, D.C., January 2022.
“The Island Effect: Gender and Political Power in ‘The Great Revolution in Pitcairn.’” Gender, Power, Twain. Modern Language Assn. (MLA), virtual, January 2020.
“‘The Ghost in Search of Help': Dr. Silas Weir Mitchell’s Sentimental Quarantines and Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Sympathetic Utopias.” New Approaches to Charlotte Perkins Gilman. American Literature Assn. (ALA), Boston, May 2019.
“Repetition, Race, and Trauma in ‘A Tale of the Ragged Mountains,’ post- Charlottesville.” MLA, Chicago, January 2019.
“The Caliph and The General: Simulation and Simulacra in the Unlikely Friendship of Lew Wallace and Sultan Abdülhamit II.” Muslim and American Worlds, circa 1500-1900, University of Pennsylvania, April 2017.
“‘Kindling a Streak of Fire’: Gilman’s Evolutionary Sympathies,” The Sixth International Charlotte Perkins Gilman Conference, Harvard University, June 2015.
“'A kind of sub-pattern in a different shade': Androcentric Aesthetics and Ornamental Emergence in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s 'The Yellow Wall-paper,'" New Approaches to Charlotte Perkins Gilman, ALA, San Francisco, May 2012.
“The Cemetery Sublime: The Southern Monumentalities of Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom!
” workshop-panel, Futures of American Studies Summer Institute, Dartmouth College, June 2010.
“Oppenheimer-Ahab and Nuclear Moby-Dick: Guilt and the Atomic Monster in Moby-Dick
, and Predator,
” American Comparative Literature Assn. (ACLA), New Orleans, April 2010.
“’Agayns the proces of nature’: The Enclosed Gardens of 'The Franklin’s Tale,' The Travels of Marco Polo
, and The Travels of Sir John Mandeville
." North Carolina Colloquium in Medieval and Early Modern Studies, Duke University, February 2009.