Spencer Tricker
Asst Prof- English

Email trickers@longwood.edu
Phone (434) 395-2167
Department English and Modern Languages
Office Grainger G08


Ph.D., University of Miami, 2018

M.A., University of Central Florida, 2012

B.A., New York University, 2009

Areas of Research and Teaching

  • American Literature (nineteenth century to present)
  • Asian American Studies
  • Transpacific Studies
  • Race and Ethnic Studies
  • Postcolonial Studies
  • Literary Criticism and Theory
  • African American Literature
  • Multiethnic Literatures of the United States


ENGL 461: Introduction to Theory / Senior Seminar

ENGL 440: Transpacific Crossings in American Literature and Film

Emphasizing migration and other forms of travel, this course focuses on literature and films by Asian American and Pacific Islander writers from the late nineteenth century to the present. We read or watch in several genres including the novel, modern drama, the graphic novel, as well as documentary and dramatic film. Authors include Winnifred Eaton (Onoto Watanna), Edith Maude Eaton (Sui Sin Far), Lili'uokalani, Carlos Bulosan, David Henry Hwang, Miné Okubo, Epeli Hau'ofa, Haunani-Kay Trask, and G.B. Tran.

ENGL 366: Perspectives: Community and Consumer Culture in American Literature and Music

This course examines the tension between community and consumer culture in several genres of literature and music, with an emphasis on the twentieth century. Featured authors and artists include W. E. B. Du Bois, William Faulkner, August Wilson, Sandra Cisneros, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Gil-Scott Heron, Dolly Parton, and John Prine.

ENGL 336: American Literature: Realism to Contemporary

A survey of American literature from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. Authors typically include Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, Mark Twain, Wong Chin Foo, Zora Neale Hurston, Allen Ginsberg, Bienvenido Santos, James Baldwin, Ursula K. Le Guin, Sandra Cisneros, and Ed Park.

HONS 295: Introduction to Race and Ethnic Studies

ENGL 210: Roots (and Offshoots) of the African American Gothic Tale

This course explores African American gothic narratives and their twin sources: the nineteenth-century slave narrative and the nineteenth-century gothic tale. We read examples of each, but also look at variations on gothic narrative by contemporary Black writers and filmmakers. Authors/filmmakers include Harriet Jacobs, Pauline Hopkins, Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, and Mat Johnson.

ENGL 209: Introduction to Literary Analysis

ENGL 165: Writing About Immigration Across the Disciplines

In this course, students adopt numerous disciplinary perspectives (in the humanities, social sciences, and applied fields) to explore immigration as an unresolved civic issue. Objects of study include literature like Valeria Luiselli's Tell Me How It Ends (2017); documentary films, such as Rebecca Cammisa's Which Way Home (2009); U.S. census data and policy briefs regarding immigration and U.S. population change; and peer-reviewed academic studies that students are challenged to independently gather and analyze to create a final literature review.

ENGL 165: Writing and Rhetoric: Writing About Public Health and Social Justice Across the Disciplines



Dr. Spencer Tricker completed his Ph.D. in English at the University of Miami in 2018. Before coming to Longwood, he taught courses in literature, popular culture, and composition at the University of Miami, Clemson University, the University of Central Florida, and Seminole State College.

As a scholar of nineteenth- and twentieth-century American literature, transpacific studies, and Asian American studies, Dr. Tricker's research explores issues of race, U.S. imperialism, and immigration. His book manuscript, Imminent Communities: Liberal Cosmopolitanism and Empire in Transpacific Literature (1851-1924), examines these issues in relation to geopolitics, periodical culture, and literary aesthetics. An article drawn from this project, “‘Five Dusky Phantoms’: Gothic Form and Cosmopolitan Shipwreck in Melville's Moby-Dick” won the Melville Society’s annual Hennig Cohen prize (2017) for the “best article, book chapter, or essay in a book" about Herman Melville.

Since 2019, Dr. Tricker has been involved in the creation of a new minor in Race and Ethnic Studies at Longwood University. He and several colleagues were interviewed about the program for a recent story in Inside Higher Ed. In Spring 2021, he taught a pilot to the Introduction to Race and Ethnic Studies course with Professor Shayla Betts (Department of Social Work). He and Professor Betts will serve as inaugural co-directors of the Race and Ethnic Studies minor, starting in Fall 2021. 

Selected Publications:

Radio Interviews / Podcast Episodes: