Biography

Dr Thomas Ruys Smith is Head of the Department of American Studies.

Dr Thomas Ruys Smith’s primary field of research and teaching expertise is nineteenth century literature and culture. Broadly speaking, his research is focused around the life and culture of the Mississippi River. His first book, River of Dreams: Imagining the Mississippi Before Mark Twain (Louisiana State University Press, 2007) was an interdisciplinary examination of the different roles played by the Mississippi in antebellum American culture. His second book, Southern Queen: New Orleans in the Nineteenth Century (Continuum, 2011), was an exploration of the life and culture of one of America's most fascinating cities during a crucible period in its history. He is also the editor of Blacklegs, Card Sharps and Confidence Men: Nineteenth-Century Mississippi River Gambling Stories (Louisiana State University Press, 2010), and, with Prof. Sarah Churchwell, Must Read: Rediscovering American Bestsellers, from Charlotte Temple to The Kite Runner (Continuum, 2012).

At present, he is at work on a study of the life-long relationship between Mark Twain and the Mississippi River. More generally, he has a wide range of interests in American culture – to name a few: the south and early west, crime and punishment, outlaws (particularly John A. Murrell and Joseph Thompson Hare), bestsellers and popular literature, travel and transportation, the history of American music, the nineteenth century stage, the Civil War, and popular religious movements. Dr Smith welcomes research students who are interested in any of these aspects of America literature and culture, particularly those with an interdisciplinary focus.

Website: http://thomasruyssmith.com/

Twitter: @thomasruyssmith

He also blogs about nineteenth century literature and culture at American Scrapbook.

All Publications

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Smith, T. R.

(2016)

Dead Presidents: "Charles Guiteau", "White House Blues", and the Histories of Smithville,

in Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music : America changed through music.

Routledge

ISBN 9781472479204

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Hair, R. (ed.), Smith, T. R. (ed.)

(2016)

Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music: America changed through music,

Routledge

ISBN 9781472479204

(Anthology)

(Published)


Hair, R., Smith, T. R.

(2016)

Introduction: America Changed Through Music,

in Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music : America changed through music.

Routledge

ISBN 9781472479204

(Chapter (peer-reviewed))

(Published)


Smith, T.

(2016)

The Dying Confession of Joseph Hare (1818): Transatlantic Highwaymen and Southern Outlaws in the Antebellum South,

in Oxford Handbook to the Literature of the US South.

Oxford University Press

ISBN 9780199767472

(Chapter (peer-reviewed))

(Published)


Smith, T. R.

(2016)

Missing Ralph Keeler: Bohemians, Brahmins and Literary Friendships in the Gilded Age,

in Comparative American Studies

14

(2)

pp. 139-161

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Smith, T.

(2015)

Knowing the Mississippi,

in Open Rivers

1

(1)

UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Smith, T. R.

(2015)

“The Mississippi was a virgin field”: Reconstructing the River Before Mark Twain, 1865-1875,

in Mark Twain Journal

53

(2)

UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Smith, T.

(2015)

Roustabouts, Steamboats, and the Old Way to Dixie: The Mississippi River and the Southern Imaginary in the Early Twentieth Century,

in Southern Quarterly

52

(3)

pp. 10-29

UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Smith, T.

(2013)

Looking for the New Jerusalem: Antebellum New Religious Movements and the Mississippi River,

in Gods of the Mississippi.

Indiana University Press

ISBN 978-0-253-00806-0

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Churchwell, S., Ruys Smith, T.

(2012)

Introduction,

in Must Read: Rediscovering American Bestsellers From Charlotte Temple to The Da Vinci Code.

Continuum

ISBN 9781441162168

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Smith, T., Churchwell, S.

(2012)

Must Read: Rediscovering American Bestsellers From Charlotte Temple to the Kite Runner,

Continuum

ISBN 978-1441162168

(Anthology)

(Published)


Smith, T.

(2011)

New Orleans: The big uneasy,

in History Today

61

(8)

UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Ruys Smith, T.

(2011)

Southern Queen: New Orleans in the Nineteenth Century,

Continuum

ISBN 978-1-8472-5193-0

UEA Repository

(Book)

(Published)


Smith, T.

(2011)

'Bring Our Country Back': Country Music, Conservatives, and the Counter-Culture in 1968,

in Studies in American Culture

34

(1)

pp. 103-129

UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Ruys Smith, T.

(2010)

Blacklegs, Card Sharps and Confidence Men: Nineteenth Century Gambling Stories from the Mississippi River,

Louisiana State University Press

ISBN 978-0807136362

UEA Repository

(Book)

(Published)


Ruys Smith, T.

(2009)

Dead men tell no tales’: Outlaw John A. Murrell on the Antebellum Stage,

in European Journal of American Culture

28 (3)

pp. 263-76

UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Ruys Smith, T.

(2009)

Before the Deluge: Reading, Writing and Rebuilding New Orleans,

in Material Culture

41 (2)

pp. 57-68

UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Ruys Smith, T.

(2009)

The Mississippi River as Site and Symbol,

in The Cambridge Companion to American Travel Writing.

CUP

pp. 62-77

ISBN 9780521678315

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Ruys Smith, T.

(2007)

River of Dreams: Imagining the Mississippi Before Mark Twain,

Louisiana State University Press

ISBN 9780807132333

UEA Repository

(Book)

(Published)


Ruys Smith, T.

(2005)

Independence Day, 1835: The John A. Murrell Conspiracy and the Lynching of the Vicksburg Gamblers in Literature,

in Mississippi Quarterly

59 (1/2)

pp. 129-160

UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


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