Brian Jansen

417 Neville Hall/240 Center Stevens Hall
University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469-5752 U.S.A.

Office Hours – by appointment


  • PhD, English Literature, University of Calgary, 2018
  • MA, English Literature and Creative Writing, University of Windsor, 2011
  • BA (Honours), English Rhetoric and Professional Writing, University of Waterloo, 2009


Brian Jansen primarily teaches courses in technical writing and professional communications. A former technical writer, copyeditor, and editorial assistant, Brian’s scholarly interests focus broadly on contemporary American literatures and cultures, with particular interest on aesthetic production at the intersection of labor and capital. His work—addressing figures such as David Foster Wallace, George Saunders, Jeffrey Eugenides, and Vladimir Nabokov, as well as topics ranging from Young Adult literature to professional wrestling—has appeared or is forthcoming in Comparative American Studies, the Canadian Review of American StudiesOrbit: A Journal of American LiteratureESC: English Studies in Canada, the Journal of Popular Culture, the European Journal of American Studies, and other venues.

Brian also serves as Humanities Specialist for the Clement and Linda McGillicuddy Humanities Center at the University of Maine and has previously acted as Communication Specialist and Marketing Coordinator for the UMaine College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.


“‘The End of a Bright and Tranquil Summer’: Joshua Ferris’s Then We Came to the End and the Refusal of 9/11 Representations.” Concentric: Literary and Cultural Studies, vol. 46, no. 1, 2020, pp. 103-27. doi:10.6240/concentric.lit.202003_46(1).0006.

“‘Oddly Shaped Emptinesses’: Capital, the Eerie, and the Place(less)ness of Detroit in Jeffrey Eugenides’s Virgin Suicides.” Comparative American Studies: An International Journal, vol. 16, no. 3-4, 2019, pp. 101-15. doi:10.1080/14775700.2019.1667695.

“‘It’s Still Real to Me’: Contemporary Professional Wrestling, Neoliberalism, and the Problems of Performed/Real Violence.” Canadian Review of American Studies, 2019, doi:10.3138/cras.2018.024.

(with Hollie Adams) “Good Work and Good Works: Work and the Postsecular in George Saunders’s CivilWarLand in Bad Decline.” European Journal of American Studies, vol. 13, no. 2, 2018, doi:10.4000/ejas.13191.

“‘Yes!’ ‘No!’ . . .  Maybe?: Reading the Real in Professional Wrestling’s Unreality.” Journal of Popular Culture, vol. 51, no. 3, 2018, pp. 635-56.

(with the University of Windsor Graduate Creative Writing Workshop) “How Do You Interview a Poet? A Conversation with Robert Kroetsch.” Robert Kroetsch: Essays on His Work. Guernica Editions, 2017, pp. 205-22.

“‘Betch you’ bootsh!’: Yiddish Literary Traditions and Jewish Humour in Abraham Cahan’s Yekl.” Journal of the Short Story in English / Les cahiers de la nouvelle, vol. 66, 2016, pp. 285-302.

“Zygmunt Bauman, Postmodern Ethics, and Utopia as Process in Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games: ‘It’s the First Gift That’s Always the Hardest to Pay Back.’” Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures, vol. 7, no. 1, 2015, pp. 18-41.

“‘On the Porousness of Certain Borders’: Attending to Objects in David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest.” ESC: English Studies in Canada, vol. 40, no. 4, 2015, pp. 55-77.

“‘Imitation of Life’: Vladimir Nabokov’s Pale Fire and Constructing Augustinian Ethos.” Literature, Rhetoric, and Values. Edited by Randy Harris, Shelley Hulan, and Murray McArthur. Cambridge Scholars, 2012, pp. 237-52.