Eric Keenaghan

Eric Keenaghan

Associate Professor, Department Chair
Department of English


Humanities 343

PhD, Temple University
MA, Temple University
BA, Amherst College

Prof. Eric Keenaghan

Eric Keenaghan focuses his research on the political and ethical dimensions of modernist and cold war poetries, particularly in work by LGBTQ+-identified writers. His scholarship also addresses the teaching of poetry, canonical high modernism, queer translation studies, and 20th- and 21st-century women's experimental poetry and fiction. He is the author of Queering Cold War Poetry: Ethics of Vulnerability in Cuba and the United States (Ohio State University Press, 2009), coeditor of The Muriel Rukeyser Era: Selected Prose (Cornell University Press, 2023), and an advisory editor for the Journal of Modern Literature. His essays have appeared in many edited volumes, including The Beats: A Teaching Companion (Clemson University Press, 2021), War and American Literature (Cambridge University Press, 2021), and Thinking with the Poem: Essays on the Poetry and Poetics of Rachel Blau DuPlessis (University of New Mexico Press, 2024). His articles have appeared in PMLAModernism/modernity, Textual Practice, Journal of Narrative TheoryTranslation Studies, and other academic journals.

Currently, he is at work on in-progress essays and book projects about gay and lesbian liberation-era poetry and activism, American anarchist poetry and pacifist activism, and Muriel Rukeyser’s queer feminism and modernist antifascism.

Professor Keenaghan teaches graduate and undergraduate courses about modernist poetry, cold war and contemporary poetry, literature of the Left and new social movements, queer and gender studies, and literary and political theory.


The Muriel Rukeyser Era: Selected Prose by Muriel Rukeyser (Cornell University Press, 2023; coedited with Rowena Kennedy-Epstein)

Queering Cold War Poetry: Ethics of Vulnerability in Cuba and the United States (Ohio State University Press, 2009)

For a full list of publications, see curriculum vita (linked above) or author website (linked below).


Select courses
Graduate: Liberation’s Love Language: LGBTQ+ American Poetry and Activism; Muriel Rukeyser and Political Radicalism; Personal Politics and Impersonal Poetics; American Lyric Refigured; Modern Imagination and the Poetics of Possibility; The William Carlos Williams Era; American Modernist Poetry

Undergraduate: Introduction to LGBTQ+ American Literature (Honors College); Modernist American Poetry, 1900-1950; Cold War Poetry: The Beats and the Black Mountain School; Creating Publics [on US public intellectuals] (English Honors); How Sex Tells, How Sex Sells; Queer American Poetry and Politics; The Art of War (Honors College)


Author website: Opening the Field

Podcast and radio appearances: The Muriel Rukeyser Era: A Discussion, with Rowena Kennedy-Epstein (The Flow Chart Foundation with Jeffrey Lependorf); On The Muriel Rukeyser Era, with Rowena Kennedy-Epstein (1869, The Cornell University Press Podcast with Jonathan L. Hall); “How to Be Antifascist: Muriel Rukeyser and The Life of Poetry (Interchange with Doug Storm, WFHB); On Ralph Waldo Emerson and commonality (Against the Grain with C.S. Soong, KPFA and WBAI)

Essays: “Total Imaginative Response: Five Undergraduate Studies from ‘The Lives of Muriel Rukeyser’” (Muriel Rukeyser: A Living Archive) "Openings: Some Notes on the Political in 'Drafts'" (Jacket2)

Poems: “Primitive Biographies” (The Poetry Project); from Love Letters to My Husband (Barzakh)

Social Media

Instagram: erickeenaghan
Threads: erickeenaghan
X (f.k.a.Twitter): @eric_keenaghan