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Biography

After completing my Ph.D at The University of Nottingham with a thesis on the 19th Century US Short Story and Theatre, I held a Leverhulme postdoc there to work on the relationship between class politics and anthropology in 19th -and 20th - century US literature and culture. I then took a post as Lecturer in American Literature at the University of Kent, before coming to King’s in Sept. 2018. Most recently, I have been working on a cultural history of intelligence testing in the U.S. “Progressive Era” as part of an AHRC Early Career project entitled, “Literary Culture, Meritocracy and the Assessment of Intelligence, 1880- 1920”.

Research Interests and PhD Supervision

  • American Intellectual History, American Studies, specifically Anthropology and Sociology
  • Ethnicity and Class in U.S. Literature and Culture
  • American Realism and Modernism
  • The American Short Story

Dr. Collins’s interests cluster around theories of ritual and performance as they relate to the development of U.S. literary movements and the “American Culture Concept”, with specific focus on the ideas of Franz Boas. He also maintains a deep interest in the history of the American short story, and the representation of class and race in fiction, life writing, and journalism from the antebellum period through to late modernism.

Michael welcomes applications for PhD topics in any of these areas. For more details, please see his full research profile.

Samples of his work are available “open access”.