Associate Professor of English
Office: Moreland 320
Email: peter.betjemann at oregonstate.edu
PhD Princeton University (2004)
MA Princeton University (1998)
BA Vassar College (1995)
Peter Betjemann teaches American literature from its origins to the present, while specializing as a researcher in the period between 1840 and 1925. His work as a cabinetmaker’s assistant during his years as a student sparked his academic interest in the lexicons of the “artisanal” – today a familiar way of talking about everything from cheeses and coffee to mass-marketed decorative styles – as they developed in the nineteenth century. He is the author of Talking Shop: The Language of Craft in an Age of Consumption (University of Virginia Press, 2011), and publishes on literature and the decorative arts in such journals as Word and Image, American Literary Realism, and The Journal of Design History.
His two current projects address the Progressive era. The first focuses on the influence of the British science fiction writer and socialist H.G. Wells on such writers as Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Willa Cather; an article called "Willa Cather's Time Machine: H.G. Wells, Alexander's Bridge, and Aesthetic Temporality" is forthcoming in the collection Cather and Aestheticism. A book in progress, Betjemann's second current project, describes how writers, speakers, and activists associated with progressivism described social, political, and ideological "designs" through metaphor and iconography originally belonging to the decorative arts.