T. Gregory Garvey

T. Gregory Garvey, Ph.D

(585) 395-5487
Office: Liberal Arts 252

Areas of Specialty

  • Nineteenth Century American Literature
  • Critical Theory
  • Cultural Studies

Courses Taught

  • Nationalism, Globalization, and Cosmopolitanism
  • American Literature: Labor and the ideal of Equality
  • American Literature and the representation of Human Rights

Research Interests

Garvey’s scholarship investigates connections between literature and politics. This interest has led him to study how rhetoric functions in social reform movements and how major American authors have integrated their writing into political debates. His work focuses on the period leading up to the American Civil War and addresses persistent questions about how once marginal ideas like universal equality or human rights took hold and changed societies.

Major Current Project

Emerson and the Politics of Equality

Ralph Waldo Emerson has always been recognized as a major advocate of individual liberty. In this book Garvey argues that he should also be recognized as a major advocate for equality—Emerson, reacting to the rise of industrial exploitation, human chattel slavery, and the early women’s rights movement, argued that liberty becomes a mockery unless it is supported by high standards of economic and political equality, and by universal standards of respect and opportunity.