Dr. Robert Battistini

Dean of the School of Education and Humanities, and Professor of English

Phone: ext. 2283
Email: Robert.Battistini@centenaryuniversity.edu

Academic Accomplishments

  • Ph.D., American Literature, Columbia University, 2002
  • M.Phil., English, Columbia University, 1998.
  • B.S., Psychology-Neuroscience, Indiana University, 1993


Dr. Battistini is the department specialist in American literature and Children’s Literature, as well as the Dean of Education and Humanities, and Full Professor of English. Before coming to Centenary, he taught at Franklin & Marshall College and Florida State University. Dr. Battistini lives in New York City, where his daughter Alice frequently outruns him in sprints to the end of the block. He is honored to serve on the Parents’ Association Board of Alice’s school.


Dr. Battistini’s research areas include the early American novel, early American periodical culture, and the work of Charles Brockden Brown. In particular, Dr. Battistini is working on two projects.  One reads American Women’s Fiction before 1825 as meditations on contrasting notions of liberty—and thus human value, which are themselves rooted in the theological and political complexities of early 19c America.   The other explores how fiction of the post-Revolutionary generation negotiated the political possibilities of a post-revolutionary, post-colonial, and slave-holding America. The evidence of this project suggests that no definitive choices are made before the Jackson presidency: Americans’ understanding of political identity and possibility remained remarkably capacious and fluid a half-century after independence. The meaning of the American Revolution remained a mystery.

Published Works

Co-Editor (with Michael Cody and Karen Weyler), Vol. III, _Charles Brockden Brown Scholarly Edition, “The Literary Magazine.” (Bucknell University Press, 2017).

“Brown’s Quaker Milieu” for _The Oxford Handbook of Charles Brockden Brown_, eds. Philip Barnard and Stephen Shapiro (2017).

“’Not to Forsake…but to Restore’: Usable Pasts and Generic Play in Brown’s Historical Sketches.”  Literature of the Early American Republic,  Spring 2011.

“Glimpses of the Other before Orientalism: Images of the Muslim World in Early American Periodicals, 1785-1800.” Early American Studies, April 2010.

“Reluctant Innovation on the Pennsylvania Frontier: Hugh Henry Brackenridge’s Modern Chivalry.”  Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, April 2009.

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