Kristen Doyle Highland

Early American Literature, Book History, Spatial Humanities


I am Assistant Professor of English at the American University of Sharjah (UAE), where I teach courses in literature, American literary history, and academic writing. My research focuses on 19th-century American literary culture, examining diverse material and social aspects of the literary — including the book as object, book spaces, and institutions — and their relationship to local cultural formation and practices of reading. My current book project explores the history and social life of the bookstore in the physical and cultural landscape of nineteenth-century New York City. I also work in the field of digital humanities, exploring the use of GIS and mapping technologies in literary study.


Book Project on the social life of bookstores and local literary cultures in 19th century New York

GIS & Mapping; NewYorkScapes



Columbia Book History Colloquium

On Tuesday, March 25, 2014, I presented a talk entitled “Mapping the Bookstore in Nineteenth-Century New York City” at Columbia University’s wonderful Book History Colloquium. See the announcement and upcoming talks here. Here is a brief opening excerpt, followed by my presentation slides (view on SlideShare here): I’m here to talk about the nineteenth-century New York City bookstore, […]

unCOMMON Salon talk at NYU

What follows is the announcement for my talk on nineteenth-century NYC bookstores at NYU’s Bobst Library’s unCOMMON Salon Series at the Research Commons. The series hosts excellent interdisciplinary talks from scholars at NYU–see announcements here! Announcement and RSVP here.                                                                                                                Map Credit: K. Highland The Bookstore in Nineteenth-Century New York City A talk by […]

Networks and the Commons at C19

Ed Whitley (Lehigh U) and Ryan Cordell (Northeastern U) organized a roundtable on “Networks and the Commons: A Roundtable on Digital, Archival, and Theoretical Approaches to Nineteenth-Century Literary Culture” as part of the C19 conference in Chapel Hill in March 2014, and invited me to speak on the bookstores project. The abstract and an excerpt of my remarks appear below. Participants: Ryan […]

Cultural Geography and Graduate Scholarship in the Humanities

NewYorkScapes, a research and working group on NYC spaces and cultural productions, hosted an event, “Urban Humanities: A Symposium on research development, digital archives, and documentary practices” on April 11th, 2014 at NYU’s Humanities Initiative. Colleague Blevin Shelnutt and I organized a graduate student roundtable on cultural geography and digital methods. The roundtable brought together graduate students […]

Geospatial Literary Studies, MLA 2014

I had the pleasure of presenting on David Wrisley’s (American U of Beirut) “Geospatial Literary Studies” panel (#782) at MLA this past January. Along with co-presenters Anupam Basu (Washington U, St. Louis), Anne Stachura (U of Texas, Pan-American), and Rachael Scarborough King (UC, Santa Barbara), we traveled through the streets and pages of 18th century […]

Mapping the Bookstore

For the SHARP conference in July 2013, I partnered with Jim Green and Paul Erickson on a panel exploring the physical and social spaces of 18th and 19th century American bookstores. Michael Winship chaired the panel, which was also sponsored by the Bibliographical Society of America. The panel description and an abstract of my presentation […]