John Hay

John Hay, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Director of Graduate Studies

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John Hay has been teaching at UNLV since 2013, when he received his Ph.D. in English from Columbia University. Hay specializes in American literature, especially in authors and texts of the nineteenth century. Much of his scholarship has focused on the theme of apocalypse. His first book, Postapocalyptic Fantasies in Antebellum American Literature, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2017. He also edited the collection Apocalypse in American Literature and Culture (Cambridge UP, 2020). In addition to this work, Hay has written scholarship about figures including Charles Darwin, Henry David Thoreau, Harriet Jacobs, and Bob Dylan, and he is preparing a scholarly edition of Jack London's 1904 novel The Sea-Wolf (to be published by Oxford University Press). His essays have appeared in academic journals such as the New England Quarterly, Early American Literature, ESQ, and Philosophy and Literature. He has also written for the Los Angeles Review of Books, Public Books, and Desert Companion. Hay has received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Huntington Library. He is currently writing a book about the development of the American novel in the 19th century.

Select Publications


Articles and Chapters


  • "Winding Down," Review of Desert Notebooks: A Road Map for the End of Time, by Ben Ehrenreich, Desert Companion (August 2020), pp. 19–20
  • "Slow Apocalypse," Review of Notes from an Apocalypse: A Personal Journey to the End of the World and Back, by Mark O’Connell, Los Angeles Review of Books (May 20, 2020)
  • "Darwin’s Early Adopters," Review of The Book that Changed America: How Darwin’s Theory of Evolution Ignited a Nation, by Randall Fuller, Public Books (April 5, 2017)



  • Apocalypse in American Literature
  • The Early American Novel
  • Nineteenth-Century American Nonfiction Prose
  • American Literary Realism


  • The American Transcendentalists
  • Moby-Dick and Friends
  • The American Enlightenment
  • Nineteenth-Century Frontier Travel Narratives
  • The Darwinian Revolution
  • Survey of American Literature, Beginnings–1865
  • Introduction to Literary Theory and Criticism
  • Writing about Literature
  • World Literature I