J. Laurence Cohen

Current Position

Marion L. Brittain Postdoctoral Fellow, Georgia Institute of Technology


PhD in English, Emory University 2019

Dissertation: “Echoes of Exodus: Biblical Typology and Racial Solidarity in African American Literature, 1829-1962”

B.A. Summa cum laude in English and Biblical/Theological Studies, Wheaton College 2010

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

“Exodus and Typological Plasticity in Delany, Melville, and Stowe.” ESQ: A Journal of Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture. Vol. 64. Issue 4. 2018. 604-643.

“Shining Inward: The Blind Seer, Fanny Crosby, and Education for the Blind” Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies 11.1 2017. 53-68.

Teaching Experience

Georgia Institute of Technology

English 1102, “Race and Religion from Abolition to the Civil Rights Movement” Spring 2020

English 1101, “Serious Satire” Fall 2019

Morehouse College

English 102, “The Art of Commentary” Spring 2019

English 102, “Black Critics, Black Culture” Fall 2018

Emory University

English 213W Fictions of Human Desire, “Art and Immortality” Spring 2018

English 181 Writing about Literature, “Time Travel” Spring 2016

English 101 Expository Writing, “Writing through Parody” Fall 2015

Teaching Assistant, English 363W “Discourse Analysis, Document Design” Spring 2015

Teaching Assistant, English 250 “American Literature: Beginnings to 1865” Fall 2014

Conference Presentations

“‘No religion but that which brings us liberty’: Mosaic Authority in Martin Delany’s Blake” Rhetoric and Religion in the 21st Century October 2018

“That ‘tremendous indictment of slavery’: W.E.B. Du Bois’s Reading of David Walker’s Appeal” Modern Language Association January 2018

“Race and Masculinity in Arrested Development” South Atlantic Modern Language Association     November 2017

“Sacred Poetry and Aesthetic Uplift in James Weldon Johnson’s God’s Trombones” Midwest Modern Language Association, November 2016

“‘Vegetable monsters’: (Un)Natural Militancy in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Dred” South Atlantic Modern Language Association, November 2016

“‘The divine allied to beasts’: Asceticism and Animality in Walden” Association for Core Texts and Courses, April 2016

“‘An echo of the weird orgy’: Nervous Sensitivity, Sexuality, and Religious Conversion in Nella Larsen’s Quicksand” Critical Juncture, April 2016

“‘Holy Women Dancing in Hot Sweet Rain’: Patriarchal Violence, Africana Religions, and Embodied Spirituality in Toni Morrison’s Paradise” LeMoyne College Religion and Literature Forum: “Sacred Literature, Secular Religion,” October 2015

“The ‘angel is not’ing more dan de shark well goberned’: Dialect and Dialogism in Fleece’s Sermon to the Sharks in Moby-Dick” American Literature Association Symposium “God and the American Writer,” February 2015

“‘Chanting Measures’: Dialect, (In)Coherence, and Rev. Shegog’s Easter Sermon in The Sound and the Fury” Auburn University at Montgomery Liberal Arts Conference, February 2015

“I ain’t no crazy, killin’ fool’: De-mythologizing the Western in Unforgiven and Gran Torino” Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture, Faith and Film, October 2014

“Shining Inward: The Blind Seer, Fanny Crosby, and Education for the Blind” Society for Disability Studies, June 2014

Research Assistantships

Emory University

Graduate assistant at the James Weldon Johnson Institute for the Study of Race and Human Difference Fall 2016 to Spring 2017

Assisted Dr. Michael Elliott in preparing the bibliography for Volume C of the Ninth Edition of the Norton Anthology of American Literature Summer 2015

Assisted Dr. Michael Elliott in preparing a proposed table of contents for Volume C of the Ninth Edition of the Norton Anthology of American Literature Summer 2014

Wheaton College

Assisted Dr. Leroy Huizenga in preparing the manuscripts of Reading the Bible Intertextually and The New Isaac: Tradition and Intertextuality in the Gospel of Matthew for publication 2008

Fellowships and Awards

Mellon Graduate Teaching Fellowship 2018-2019

James Richardson Prize, Emory English Department 2018

Graduate Student Essay Prize, Emory English Department 2018, 2019

Laney Graduate School Fellowship 2013-2018

Lilly Graduate Fellows Program 2013-2016

Department Service

Georgia Institute of Technology

WOVENText Committee Member 2019-2020

Hiring Committee Member 2019-2020

Emory University

Graduate English Advisory Committee Member 2016-2017

Portfolio Scorer, First Year Writing Program Assessment 2016-2018

Emory English Department Social Chair 2014-2015

Emory English Department Recruitment Program Co-coordinator 2013-2014