Carnegie Mellon University

Gregory Laski

Gregory Laski

Visiting Assistant Teaching Professor of English

  • BH 245 L
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


I teach and write about democracy and race in American literature and culture, with a particular emphasis on the nineteenth century. My book, Untimely Democracy: The Politics of Progress after Slavery(Oxford University Press), explores how postbellum American writers, both black and white, defined the path from bondage to freedom. Blending a historically attuned approach to close reading with conceptual insights from political philosophy, the study recovers the literature of one of the bleakest periods in American racial history—what might seem the death of democracy’s promise—as a vibrant site for doing political theory. Beyond this book, I have published articles and essays on citizenship, teaching and learning, American and African American literature, and film in such journals as Callaloo, African American ReviewJ19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists, and Pedagogy. My public writing has appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education and Black Perspectives, the blog of the African American Intellectual History Society. I am now at the early stages of a new book project: a cultural history of race and revenge after the Civil War; a section of this study is forthcoming in the late nineteenth-century volume of Cambridge University Press’s African American Literature in Transition. My scholarly and pedagogical interests were formed through my work as a teacher for and later director of Summerbridge Pittsburgh, a nonprofit program dedicated to achieving equality in education.


  •  Ph.D in English, Northwestern University
  •  BA in English and Spanish, University of Notre Dame.