Daniel Hack’s work explores the situatedness and mobility of literary texts and tropes, from the significance of a text’s original publication format, to the poetics and politics of cross-racial repurposing, to the application of fiction's meaning-making logic to lived experience. He is the author of two books: The Material Interests of the Victorian Novel (University of Virginia Press, 2005), which shows how Victorian novelists sought to turn their work’s potentially troubling implication in the material world into a source of literary value and cultural authority; and Reaping Something New: African American Transformations of Victorian Literature (Princeton University Press, 2017), which reveals the scope and importance of African American writers’ and editors’ engagements with contemporary British literature in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. His current project analyzes the rise of meaningfulness as a central aesthetic, ethical, and affective value in modern life, focusing in particular on the role of the novel in both promoting and critiquing this rise. He is also editor of the journal Victorian Literature and Culture.
Topics of recent graduate and undergraduate courses include Fiction and Reality, Reading for the Plot, Fiction and the Meaning of Life, Reading to Escape?, Race and Transatlantic Print Culture, and the Victorian Novel.
Selected fellowships and awards
Guggenheim Fellowship, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, 2022
Phoenix Award for Significant Editorial Achievement, Council of Editors of Learned Journals, 2021, for Victorian Literature and Culture
Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award, University of Michigan English Department, 2021
Honorable Mention, Best Book of the Year, North American Victorian Studies Association, 2018, for Reaping Something New
Honorable Mention, Best Special Issue, Council of Editors of Learned Journals, for “Keywords” issue of Victorian Literature and Culture (46.3/4), 2018
Donald Gray Prize for best essay published in Victorian studies, North American Victorian Studies Association, 2012, for “Wild Charges: The Afro-Haitian ‘Charge of the Light Brigade,’” Victorian Studies 54:2
Institute for the Humanities Faculty Fellowship, University of Michigan, 2011–12
Honorable Mention, Donald Gray Prize for best essay published in Victorian studies, 2008, for “Close Reading at a Distance: The African-Americanization of Bleak House,” Critical Inquiry 34:4