Kenneth Salzer (he/him/his) received his doctorate from the University of Rochester in 2002. His dissertation, “Cross Purposes: Transvestic Figures in Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture,” examines real and fictional examples of cross-dressers who superficially and strategically altered not only their gender but often their race and/or class as well. Chapters are devoted to women who fought as male soldiers in the American Revolution; female slaves who escaped by “passing” as white men; homeless girls who survived life on the streets by wearing boys’ clothes; and white criminals who used blackface and women’s clothing to avoid detection and shift blame. Dr. Salzer’s current research interests include “passing” narratives and representations of the female suicide in American literature. He began teaching English at the University of Pittsburgh in 2010 and currently holds the position of Lecturer II.
Research and Publications
“An Exclusive Engagement: The Personal and Professional Negotiations of Vivia.” In E. D. E. N. Southworth: Recovering the Career of a Nineteenth-Century Popular Novelist (University of Tennessee Press)
This essay contends that E. D. E. N. Southworth (one of the best-selling authors of the nineteenth century) used the female characters in her serialized novel Vivia (1857) to work through her own professional problems with male publishers.
“Great Exhibitions: Ellen Craft on the British Abolitionist Stage.” In Transatlantic Women: Essays on Nineteenth-Century American Women Writers in Great Britain, Ireland, and Europe (University Press of New England)
The essay examines how fugitive slave Ellen Craft, who fled from Georgia with her husband William in 1848, forged a public persona over twenty years in the British abolitionist spotlight.
“Call Her Ishmael: E. D. E. N. Southworth, Robert Bonner, and the ‘Experiment’ of Self-Made.” In Popular Nineteenth-Century American Women Writers and the Literary Marketplace (Cambridge Scholars Press)
This essay, which also focuses on Southworth, analyzes her close relationship with her editor Robert Bonner, who served as the inspiring model for the male protagonist of her serialized novel Self-Made (1863-4).
Sexuality & Representation
Science Fiction Women & Literature Introduction to Critical Reading Detective Fiction History of Literary Criticism The Gothic Imagination Emergence of Modern America Imagining Social Justice Senior Seminar (Edgar Allan Poe)
Awards and Distinctions
Writing in the Disciplines Faculty Seminar Fellowship
College of General Studies, Student Choice Award for Teaching
Service and Other Duties
English Literature Sub-committee on Awards
Faculty Advisor for Sigma Tau Delta (International English Honor Society)
Senate Library Committee