Dana Luciano is Associate Professor of English and a former Director of the Women's and Gender Studies Program at Georgetown University, where she teaches sexuality and gender studies, 19th century US literatures, feminist theory, and queer film. She received her PhD in English, with certificates in Women's Studies and LGBT Studies, from Cornell University.
She has taught at Georgetown since 2004.
Luciano is the author of Arranging Grief: Sacred Time and the Body in Nineteenth-Century America (NYU, 2007), which won the Modern Language Association’s First Book Prize in 2008. Her edited volumes include “Queer Inhumanisms," a special issue of GLQ: The Journal of Gay and Lesbian Studies, co-edited with Mel Y. Chen (vol. 22 no. 2-3, spring/summer 2015) and Unsettled States: Nineteenth-Century American Literary Studies (NYU Press, 2014), co-edited with Ivy G. Wilson. Recent essays have appeared in American Literature, GLQ, J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists, ESQ and elsewhere.
Luciano is currently at work on two book projects. How the Earth Feels: Geological Fantasy in the Nineteenth-Century US explores the emphasis given to sensory and affective modes of contact with the earth and its deep past in writing and photographs by 19th century US Americans. Employing a geological lens, How the Earth Feels moves beyond considerations of the organic environments often evoked in “nature writing.” It focuses on reckonings with the sensory, emotional, cognitive and agential capacities of the earth’s inorganic elements, rock and water, and on the emotional, corporeal and intellectual effect of those reckonings on its human inhabitants. Time and Again: The Affective Circuits of Spirit Photography is a work of media archaeology using the case of spirit photography—images produced between the 1860s and 1920s by members of the Anglo-American Modern Spiritualist movement, which claimed to provide visual verification of posthumous existence—to explore three affective inflections of the photographic image: the optimism which infused 19th century thinking about the possibilities animated by the new technology of photography; the melancholy which suffused twentieth-century engagements with the “embalmed” time of the photograph; and the uncertainty which accompanied the late 20th/early 21st century digital turn.
For 2014-15, Luciano is the David R. Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future Fellow at Cornell University’s Society for the Humanities. She has previously been in residence as an NEH Fellow at the Huntington Library (2012-13) and a Tanner Humanities Center Fellow at the University of Utah (2003-04). Other awards and honors include the MLA's First Book Prize, the Crompton-Noll Award for work in LGBT studies, and the Distinguished Achievement in Research Award from Georgetown University.
Luciano serves on the Executive Committee for the MLA's Division on Nineteenth-Century American Literature. She is the Humanities Review editor for GLQ and a member of the advisory board for C19: The Society for Nineteenth-Century Americanists.