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Thomas Heise

Associate Professor
Thomas Heise
On leave 2013-14
Email Address: 
thomas [dot] heise [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Mailing Address: 

McGill University Department of English
853 Sherbrooke Street West
Arts Building
Montreal, QC H3A 0G5 CANADA

Degrees and Academic Title(s): 

B.A., summa cum laude (Florida State University); M.A. (University of California, Davis); Ph.D. (New York University); Associate Professor

General Research Areas: 
Twentieth Century
Teaching and Research Areas: 

Post-World War II American fiction and poetry; critical spatial theory; urbanism; creative writing; crime and detective fiction.

Taught previously at: 

New York University; University of California, Davis.

Awards and Fellowships: 
  • FQRSC Programme d'établissement de nouveaux professeurs-chercheurs grant, 2010-2013
  • Pushcart Prize Nomination, 2009-10
  • Academy of American Poets’ Noted Book of the Week, 2007
  • Robert Frost Fellowship for Poetry, Middlebury College, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, 2006
  • Gulf Coast Prize in Poetry, 2004
  • New York University Dean's Fellowship, 2003-04
  • Writer-in-Residence, Millay Colony for the Arts, 2003
Selected Publications : 


Moth; or how I came to be with you again. Louisville: Sarabande Books, 2013. 1-192. Look at the book online.

Urban Underworlds: A Geography of Twentieth-Century American Literature and Culture, Rutgers University Press, 2010. 1 - 292. Look at the book online.

Horror Vacui: Poems. Louisville: Sarabande Books, 2006. 1-84. Look at the book online 

Journal Articles and Book Chapters

“Richard Price’s Lower East Side: Cops, Culture, and Gentrification.” Journal of Urban Cultural Studies. 1.2 (forthcoming, 2014). 10,500 words.

“Don DeLillo,” The Cambridge Companion to American Novelists, ed. Timothy Parrish. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013. 290-300.

“The Crimes of Punishment: The Tortured Logic of Mickey Spillane’s Kiss Me, Deadly.” The Journal of Popular Culture. Vol. 45.1, 2012. 56-78.

American Psycho: Neoliberal Fantasies and the Death of Downtown.” Arizona Quarterly. 67.1, 2011. 136-160.

“Degenerate Sex and the City: Djuna Barnes’s Urban Underworld.” Twentieth-Century Literature. 55.3, 2009. 287-321.

“Harlem is Burning: Urban Rioting and the ‘Black Underclass’ in Chester Himes’s Blind Man with a Pistol.” African American Review. 41.3, 2007. 487-506.

“‘Going Blood-Simple Like the Natives’: Contagious Urban Spaces and Modern Power in Dashiell Hammett’s Red Harvest.” Modern Fiction Studies. 51.3, 2005. 485-512.

“‘A Rough and Lurid Vision’: Henry James’s Adventure in the Ethnic Underworld of New York City.” The Image of the City in Literature, Media, and Society. Eds. Will Wright and Stephen Kaplan. Boulder: Colorado State University, 2003. 141-148.

“Race, Writing, and Morality: Cultural Conversations in the Works of Ralph Ellison.” BioCritiques: Ralph Ellison. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Press, 2003. 51-76.

“The ‘Purposeless Splendor’ of the Ideal in the Fiction of F. Scott Fitzgerald.” BioCritiques: F. Scott Fitzgerald. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Press, 2002. 47-66. 


The Americas Anthology of New Writings: From Patagonia to Nunavut. “Berlin, Winter 2009,” “Oslo, Winter 2011,” and “Copenhagen, Fall 2010.” Ed. Peter Grandbois. Lubbock, TX: Texas Tech UP, 2014. 12 pages. 

Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century. “Zombie,” “Corrections,” and “My Pietà.” Ed. Michael Dumanis and Cate Marvin. Louisville, KY: Sarabande Books, 2006. 163-166.

Other Publications

“From Slumdogs to Millionaires: How Poverty Tourism is Changing What It Means to Be Poor.” Berfrois: Intellectual Jousting in the Republic of Letters. August 2013. 2844 words.

“Lies Are Stranger Than Fiction: Five Literary Hoaxes.” The Huffington Post. July 1, 2013. 1120 words.

“Fitzgerald’s Depression,” Berfrois: Intellectual Jousting in the Republic of Letters. September, 2012. Read online.

Review of Circulation and the City: Essays on Urban Culture, eds. W. Straw & A. Boutros, English Studies in Canada. 36.2-3, 2010. 227-231.

Creative Publications

from Moth; or how I came to be with you again, Gulf Coast. 25.1 (forthcoming, Fall 2012).

from Moth; or how I came to be with you again, The Missouri Review. Vol. 34, No. 4 (Winter 2011). 171-179.

from Moth, or how I came to be with you again, Animal Farm, Issue 3, 2011.

“003.03.0000.” Columbia Poetry Review. No. 22, 2009. 46-50.

“Preface” and “004.22.0000.” Another Chicago Magazine. No. 48.2, 2009. 53-56.

“Observations,” “003.64.0000,” and “006.30.0000.” The Modern Review. Vol. 3.1, 2007. 27-35.

“Examination.” The Laurel Review. Vol. 41.2, 2007. 50-51.

“000.01.0000” and “004.19.0000.” Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art. Issue 44, 2007. 33-40.

“006.33.0000.” The Canary. No. 6, 2007. 42-47.

“Zombie,” “Corrections,” and “My Pietà.” Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century. Eds. Michael Dumanis and Cate Marvin. Louisville, KY: Sarabande Books, 2006. 163-166.

“These New Days [‘Last Night’]” and “These New Days [‘After the Massacre of Lost Objects’].” Conduit. No. 17, Fall 2006. 16-17.

“Corrections.” Verse. Vol. 22.1, 2005. 121.

“Horror Vacui.” Gulf Coast. Vol. 17.1, 2005. 12-15.

“Examination [2]” and “Rosary.” Slope. No. 21, Winter 2004-05.

“Exeat” and “Red Giant, White Dwarf.” Gulf Coast. Vol. 16.2, 2004. 237-241.

“Noctuary” and “The End of the Imaginary.” Forklift, Ohio. No. 13, 2004.

“Obituary [translated]” and “Epitaph X.” Skein. 2004.

“My Pieta” and “Terra Incognita.” The Journal. Spring 2003. 166-169.

“Plan B.” Ploughshares. Vol. 28.4, 2002-03. 70.

“Wreckage,” “The Sewer,” and “The American Museum of Natural History.” The Cream City Review. Vol. 26.2, 2002.

“Ghazal for the Body” and “Imaginary Sanitarium.” Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review. Spring/Summer 2002. 47-50.

“The Remainder.” Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art. Issue 34, Winter 2001. 25.

“Obituary [first draft],” “Obituary [revised],” “First Order of Appearances,” and “Second Order of Appearances.” Indiana Review. No. 23.1, Spring 2001. 84-90.

“The End of Travel.” Southern Humanities Review. Vol. 34, Fall 2000. 328-329.

“The Orchard of Orange Trees” and “The Affair.” Washington Square. Issue 5, Summer 1999. 15-20.

“Ghazal: Inertia” and “El Dia de los Muertos.” Hayden’s Ferry Review. Issue 20, Spring / Summer 1997. 8-10.

Current Research: 

A book chapter, “Detecting Ethnicity: New York’s Chinatown in the Work of Henry Chang.”