About our Researchers

 Nicholas Spengler

Nick has a BA in English Literature from Middlebury College in the United States and an MSc and PhD in English from the University of Edinburgh. His doctoral dissertation examined Herman Melville’s representation of Spanish America. Nick taught at Edinburgh and at University College London before arriving at UAB in autumn 2021.

Nick’s research focuses on transnational approaches to US American literature and culture, including its networks of engagement and influence across the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Ocean worlds. His methodological approach is informed by oceanic studies, critical race studies, gender and queer studies, and ecocriticism.  

Nick’s first monograph, Melville’s Americas: Hemispheric Sympathies, Transatlantic Contagion, is forthcoming from Edinburgh University Press in winter 2022/23, in the series Interventions in Nineteenth-Century American Literature.

His next projects include: a study of the intersections of race and climate in antebellum US maritime literature; a study of the Crusoe/Selkirk motif of solitude and survival in writing of and about the Americas; and a reading of Amitav Ghosh’s Ibis trilogy alongside Melville’s Moby-Dick.


“Sketches of Spain: The Traveling Fictions of Frances Calderón de la Barca’s The Attaché in Madrid” (book chapter), Spain, the United States, and Transatlantic Literary Culture throughout the Nineteenth Century, ed. John C. Havard and Ricardo Miguel Alfonso, Routledge, 2022

“Of Squalls and Mutinies: Emergency Politics and Black Democracy in Moby-Dick and ‘The Heroic Slave’” (article), Textual Practice, 35.11, 2021

“The Poetics of Allegory and Enchantment in Melville’s Americas” (article), Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies, 23.3 (October 2021)

“Tracking Melville’s ‘Dog-King’: Creole Sympathies and Canine Warfare in the Americas” (article), Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies, 21.3 (October 2019)