Sioux City, IA – Matthew Pangborn, associate professor of English and writing at Briar Cliff University, has recently authored a book examining late 18th and early 19th-century narratives by Americans writing from the imagined perspective of fictive Eastern travelers.
Enlightenment Orientalism in the American Mind, 1770-1807, was published by Routledge as part of the publisher’s Perspectives on Early America series. The book contains analysis of stories written during the Enlightenment period by American writers. These fictional stories imagine the travels of made-up characters from the East, whose experiences in the country provide a unique reflection on a growing nation.
The stories analyzed in the book are “moral tales and satires of the growing consumer culture and active pursuit of self-interest by the nation’s early citizens,” says Pangborn. He says that these stories “tell us a lot about how Americans responded to the huge increase in wealth and energy resources that they experienced during that era.”
Pangborn attributes part of his accomplishment to Sister Mary Jane Koenigs, technical services and interlibrary loan librarian at Briar Cliff, who has been “absolutely essential” for his scholarship. He says that he is grateful for her work directing the inter-library loan system.
Pangborn also published articles on American literature, literary theory, film, and TV, as well as articles about literature and film’s intersections with cycling and walking.
Pangborn is Director of the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching and Fiction Co-Editor of The Briar Cliff Review. He specializes in an energy-humanities approach to the literature and culture of a long Atlantic 18th century, as well as in creative writing and film studies.