Michigan State University
Michigan State University
Department of English
James Seaton
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In Memoriam


Critical Theory l History of Criticism l American Literature and Culture l Comparative Literature

Office: C709 Wells Hall
Phone: (517) 884-4460
Email: seaton@msu.edu

James Seaton’s recent book, Literary Criticism from Plato to Postmodernism: The Humanistic Alternative (Cambridge University Press, 2014) exemplifies his focus on challenging the dominant presuppositions of the postmodernist era while continuing and renewing the humanistic tradition of literary criticism. He is the editor of The Genteel Tradition in American Philosophy and Character and Opinion in the United States by George Santayana (Yale University Press, 2009), to which he contributed an introduction and one of the four critical essays. Seaton is also the author of Cultural Conservatism, Political Liberalism: From Criticism to Cultural Studies (University of Michigan Press, 1996) and A Reading of Vergil’s Georgics (Hakkert, 1983). He co-edited with William K. Buckley Beyond Cheering and Bashing: New Perspectives on the Closing of the American Mind (Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1992). Seaton is a recipient of the MidAmerica Award from the Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature “for distinguished contributions to the study of Midwestern Literature.” Seaton’s over one hundred essays and reviews have appeared in a wide variety of publications, including The Weekly Standard, The Wall Street Journal, The American Scholar, The Hudson Review, Yale Journal of Law & Humanities, Journal of the History of Ideas, MidAmerica, The University Bookman, Modern Age, Humanitas, The Good Society, Academic Questions, The Review of Politics, and many others.


ENG210: Foundations of Literary Study I
ENG280: Foundations of Literary Study II
ENG314: Readings in North American Literature
ENG320A: Methodologies of Literary History: Genre
ENG3320B: Methodologies of Literary History: Region, School, or Movement
ENG473B: Law and Literature
ENG480: History of Western Literary Criticism
IAH 231B Moral Issues in the Arts and Humanities: Law and Literature