Caleb Smith is professor of English and American Studies at Yale University, where he teaches courses in American literature, cultural history, and critical theory. His books include The Prison and the American Imagination (Yale University Press, 2009); The Oracle and the Curse (Harvard University Press, 2013); and the first published edition Austin Reed’s 1858 prison memoir, The Life and the Adventures of a Haunted Convict (Random House, 2016). His latest, Thoreau’s Axe: Distraction and Discipline in American Culture, appeared from Princeton University Press in 2023.
Smith’s research has been featured and reviewed by the New York Times, National Public Radio, the New Yorker, the Atlantic, Harper’s, The Guardian (UK), the Wall Street Journal, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Washington Post, and many other outlets. He has published articles in Critical Inquiry, American Literature, and J19; and he has written about culture and politics for n+1, BOMB, Paper Monument, Avidly, Public Books, The Chronicle Review, and Los Angeles Review of Books, where is a contributing editor.
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