J. Laurence Cohen, PhD

Current Position

Marion L. Brittain Postdoctoral Fellow, Georgia Institute of Technology


PhD in English, Emory University 2019

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


Excavating Exodus: Biblical Typology and Racial Solidarity in African American Literature Clemson University Press, 2021

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.

Other Publications

A Fully WOVEN Artifact: Promo Video” in WOVENText 2021. 220-221.

Contributor to “The Year in Conferences—2019.” ESQ: A Journal of Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture. 66.1 2020. 133-213.

Teaching Experience

Georgia Institute of Technology

English 1102, “Compelling Comics” Spring 2022

English 1102, “Science Fact and Fiction” Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021

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

“Excavating Exodus,” British Association of Nineteenth Century Americanist, May 2022

“New Black Gods in HBO’s Watchmen,” Conference on Christianity and Literature Midwest Regional Meeting, June 2021

Maternal Bonds and Mosaic Subjectivity in Frances Ellen Watkins Harper’s “Moses: A Story of the Nile” Northeast Modern Language Association March 2020

“‘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

Fellowships and Awards

Marion L. Brittain Postdoctoral Fellowship 2019-2022

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

Programmatic Awards—Writing and Communications Program, Georgia Tech

Conference on College Composition and Communication Writing Program Certificate of Excellence 2021

University of Georgia Regents’ Teaching Excellence Award 2021

Georgia Institute of Technology Unit Diversity Champion Award 2020

Department Service

Georgia Institute of Technology

WOVENText Committee Member 2019-2021

Hiring Committee Member 2019-2021

Innovative Pedagogy Committee Member 2019-2021

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