Kenneth Salzer

  • Teaching Associate Professor

Kenneth Salzer (he/him/his) began teaching English at the University of Pittsburgh in 2010 and currently holds the position of Teaching Associate Professor. He received his doctorate from the University of Rochester in 2002. His dissertation, “Cross Purposes: Transvestic Figures in Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture,” examines real and fictional examples of cross-dressers who superficially and strategically altered not only their gender but often their race and/or class as well.

Courses Taught

American Literature

Queer/Transgender Literature

Sexuality & Representation


Science Fiction

Women & Literature

Introduction to Critical Reading

Detective Fiction

History of Literary Criticism

The Gothic Imagination

Emergence of Modern America

Imagining Social Justice

Senior Seminar (Edgar Allan Poe)

Representative Publications

“An Exclusive Engagement: The Personal and Professional Negotiations of Vivia.” In E. D. E. N. Southworth: Recovering the Career of a Nineteenth-Century Popular Novelist (University of Tennessee Press)

This essay argues that E. D. E. N. Southworth (one of the best-selling authors of the nineteenth century) used the female characters in her serialized novel Vivia (1857) to work through her own professional problems with male publishers.

“Great Exhibitions: Ellen Craft on the British Abolitionist Stage.” In Transatlantic Women: Essays on Nineteenth-Century American Women Writers in Great Britain, Ireland, and Europe (University Press of New England)

The essay examines how fugitive slave Ellen Craft, who fled from Georgia with her husband William in 1848, forged a public persona over twenty years in the British abolitionist spotlight.

“Call Her Ishmael: E. D. E. N. Southworth, Robert Bonner, and the ‘Experiment’ of Self-Made.” In Popular Nineteenth-Century American Women Writers and the Literary Marketplace (Cambridge Scholars Press)

This essay, which also focuses on Southworth, analyzes her close relationship with her editor Robert Bonner, who served as the inspiring model for the male protagonist of her serialized novel Self-Made (1863-4).

Research Interests

“Passing” narratives and representations of the female suicide in American literature