A native of Massachusetts, Professor Hutchins took a BA in English from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. After a four year stint at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he earned his MA and PhD, Hutchins returned to BYU for a three-year postdoc before making his way to Fort Collins and Colorado State, where he teaches courses in transatlantic and early American literature and culture. His eclectic interests are well-represented in his first book, Inventing Eden: Primitivism, Millennialism, and the Making of New England (Oxford 2014), which discusses public nudity, environmentalism, the founding of Harvard, Freemasonry, psalters, slavery, Quaker grammar, and many other topics not obviously related to Genesis or colonial New England. Hutchins is the editor of Community without Consent: New Perspectives on the Stamp Act (Dartmouth 2016) and founded TEAMS, a digital repository of early American manuscript sermons. He has published a number of essays in journals such as Early American Literature, ShakespeareNineteenth-Century Literature, and ELH. Most recently, he has edited two collections for the classroom. The first, prepared with Rachel Cope, is The Writings of Elizabeth Webb: A Quaker Missionary in America, 1697-1726 (Pennsylvania State 2019). The second, produced in collaboration with Cassander Smith, is The Earliest African American Literatures: A Critical Reader (University of North Carolina 2021). His second monograph, Before Equiano: A Prehistory of the North American Slave Narrative, was published in 2022. Essays by Dr. Hutchins, on sexual violence in the sonnet tradition, the structural poetics of Paradise Lost and Clarel, among many other topics, have appeared in journals such as Early American LiteratureELH, and The New England Quarterly.

When he is not working or serving as a lay minister for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Dr. Hutchins enjoys playing basketball, board games, and the piano; wrestling with his eight children; and walking the streets or trails of Fort Collins with his wife, Alana. You can learn more about his sartorial vision--alternately described as vintage Big Bird and avant garde barbershop--in this interview.



Before Equiano: A Prehistory of the North American Slave Narrative. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2022.

Inventing Eden: Primitivism, Millennialism, and the Making of New England. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014. Reviewed in Early American Literature, The New England Quarterly, Choice, Patheos, Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory, and the American Historical Review.

Edited Collections

Community without Consent: New Perspectives on the Stamp Act. Dartmouth: Dartmouth College Press, 2016. Reviewed in The William and Mary Quarterly, The New England Quarterly, Common-place, Early American Literature, ALH Online Reviews, and The Journal of American History.


With Christopher N. Phillips and Edward Whitley. A Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Volume 3 of The Collected Works of Harriet Beecher Stowe. Oxford University Press. (In preparations)

With Cassander L. Smith. The Earliest African American Literatures: A Critical Reader. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2021.

With Rachel Cope. The Writings of Elizabeth Webb: A Quaker Missionary in America, 1697-1726. State College, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2019. Reviewed in Journal of British Studies, Legacy; Early American Literature; Reading Religion; Quaker History; Catholic Books Review.

Journal Articles

“The Structural Poetics of Incompletion in Clarel’s Wilderness,” J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists. Forthcoming.

“‘Add New Glory to Her Name’: Phillis Wheatley Peters,” Early American Literature 56.3 (2021): 663-67.

“Domestic Alchemy: Huswifery and Gold in Colonial New England.” Early American Studies 19.1 (2021): 1-23.

“The ‘raping numbers’ of Bradstreet’s Admirers: Petrarchan Verse and Sexual Violence in Colonial Massachusetts.” Early American Literature. 55.3 (2020): 623-49.

“Crèvecoeur’s Miltonic Epic: Paradise Lost and the Subversive Structural Poetics of Letters from an American Farmer.” The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation. 61.1 (2020): 89-111.

“The Slave Narrative and the Stamp Act, or Letters from Two American Farmers in Pennsylvania.” Early American Literature 50.3 (2015): 645-80. Reprinted in Community without Consent, 115-47.

“Deborah’s Ghost.” Women’s Studies 43.3 (2014): 332-45. (commissioned for a special issue on Anne Bradstreet).

“Herman Melville’s Fejee Mermaid, or A Confidence Man at the Lyceum.” ESQ 60.1 (2014): 75-109.

With Amy Lofgreen. “More Greek than Jonson Thought? Euripides’ Medea in The Merchant of Venice.” Shakespeare 10.1 (2014): 1-19.

“Rejecting the Root: The Liberating, Anti-Christ Theology of Douglass’s Narrative.” Nineteenth-Century Literature 68.3 (2013): 292-322

“Miscegenetic Melville: Race and Reconstruction in Clarel.” ELH 80.4 (2013): 1173-1203.

“Travel Writing, Travel Reading, and the Boundaries of Genre: Embracing the Banal in Franklin’s 1747 Pennsylvania Gazette.” Studies in Travel Writing 17.3 (2013): 300-319 (commissioned for a special issue on travel in the Anglo-American Atlantic world, 1550-1747).

“Rattlesnakes in the Garden: The Fascinating Serpents of the Early, Edenic Republic.” Early American Studies 9.3 (2011): 677-715.

Moby-Dick as Third Testament: A Novel ‘Not Come to Destroy But to Fulfill’ the Bible.” Leviathan 13.2 (2011): 18-37.

“Building Bensalem at Massachusetts Bay: Francis Bacon and the Wisdom of Eden in Early Modern New England.” New England Quarterly 83.4 (2010): 577-606.

“The Wisdom of Anne Bradstreet: Eschewing Eve and Emulating Elizabeth.” Modern Language Studies 40.1 (2010): 38-59.

“Edwards and Eve: Finding Feminist Strains in the Great Awakening’s Patriarch.” Early American Literature 43.3 (2008): 671-86.

Book Chapters

“‘The Family Order of Heaven’: Belinda Marden Pratt’s Apology for Polygamy.” A Step Closer to Heaven: Nineteenth-Century American Women Writers and Theologies of the Afterlife. Ed. Emily Hamilton-Honey and Jennifer McFarlane Harris. (New York: Routledge, 2021). 172-88.

“‘I Lead the Way, like Columbus’: Joseph Smith, Genocide, and Revelatory Ambiguity.” The Book of Mormon: Americanist Approaches. Ed. Jared Hickman and Elizabeth Fenton. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2019), 391-419. (commissioned contribution)

“Whittier and the Mormons: From Folk Magic to Freedom and Back Again.” Above the American Renaissance: David S. Reynolds and the Spiritual Imagination in American Literary Studies. Ed. Harold K. Bush and Brian Yothers. (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2018), 69-86. (commissioned contribution)

“Sins of the Rising Generation: Religion and the American Renaissance.” The Cambridge Companion to the American Renaissance. Ed. Christopher N. Phillips. (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2018), 83-96. (commissioned contribution)

“Melville and the Mormons.” Visionary of the Word: Melville and Religion. Ed. Brian Yothers and Jonathan Cook. (Evanston, Ill: Northwestern University Press, 2017). 159-84.


  • E630-D: Witchcraft

    This course will examine gendered stereotypes undergirding the theorization and historical persecution of witches as well as the rich archive of artistic responses to these stereotypes, in works that perpetuated, complicated and, eventually, subverted conventions of the tradition. The figure of the witch is grounded in theological history, scientific discourse, and sexual politics, so students will approach the wide range of texts, images, and films we study from various disciplinary perspectives, including women’s studies, history, psychology, sociology, queer studies, literature, and religious studies. This diversity of approaches and the class’s sweeping chronological scope will require students to consider the synergies and discordances of works from radically different contexts in order to formulate persuasive arguments that explain how the idea of witchcraft has shaped and continues to influence Western understandings of gender and sexuality.

  • E370: American Love Letters

    In a world where audiovisual forms of interpersonal communication (telephone and videoconferencing) are in the ascendancy and where dominant textual modes privilege brevity (email, Facebook posts, texts, and tweets), the letter—and particularly the handwritten letter—is increasingly an historical artifact rather than an object of current concern. This course will ask students to rediscover the value and unique power of epistolary writing by examining the letters that, quite literally, shaped our nation. During the formative period of United States history, no genre had a greater effect on the course of public affairs. Letters to the editor entertained and mobilized the masses; private letters between powerful men and women swung votes and swayed policy; while epistolary novels advocated for social or political interests beneath a veneer of fiction. In stark contrast to this public sphere of letters, private epistles articulated the concerns and domestic struggles of citizens learning to cope with the new-found freedoms of the republic. We will read the love letters of John and Abigail Adams alongside novels of seduction by Sukey Vickery and Hannah Webster Foster; we will read letters written for love of the United States (Peter Markoe and William Hill Brown) alongside letters written for love of a colonial North America lost during the Revolution (John Dickinson and J. Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur). By the end of this course students will be able to articulate the role that public and private letters played in shaping American history; describe the development of epistolary culture and the genre’s distinguishing characteristics; and compose thoughtful, moving letters of their own.

  • E465: The Story of Poverty in America

    This course will ask students to trace the social origins and impacts of poverty in colonial North America and the United States across four centuries. As students read literary representations of both historical and contemporary experiences of poverty, they will also engage in service learning, working with community initiatives to provide aid to impoverished individuals here in Fort Collins. Students will be asked to reflect on both the literature they read and the service experiences they engage in, drawing connections between their studies and opportunities for social activism available locally.

  • E475: Singing Revolution

    The American War of Independence was spurred on by popular songs and poems celebrating ideals such as freedom, patriotism, and courage. This course will examine the verse that motivated citizens to become soldiers, as well as poems written in anticipation or (later) celebration of the Revolutionary War. Students will read the work of Phillis Wheatley, Mercy Otis Warren, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, then conclude the semester with a reading/listening of Lin Manuel Miranda’s smash Broadway hit Hamilton. Learn about the most important event in American history in the same way that colonists-turned-citizens did: through broadsides and ballads.

  • E232: Introduction to the Humanities

    This course will consider shifts in epistemology (how we come to know things) and ideology (dominant belief systems) over the course of more than two millennia, through an examination of the humanities (a catchall term that refers to cultural and artistic products of various types), with a particular attention paid to text-based works of art. From Greek and Norse gods to ceramics and needlework, students will come to see how our sense of identity, culture, and morality have been shaped by the stories we tell and the material works of art that reflect upon those stories. Divided into three sections, the course begins with “fathers”: narrative histories and sacred texts reflecting the patriarchal viewpoints of men who have shaped history, from Jesus to Benjamin Franklin. The second section of the class is an investigation of “mothers”: narratives and works of art that restore women and women’s contributions to historical and cultural records from which they were frequently excluded. The third and final section of the course considers how we impart value systems and knowledge to children through the fairy tale and related cultural phenomena.

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