Professor Sorensen specializes in twentieth and twenty-first century multi-ethnic American literatures. Before coming to Colorado State University, he taught in a contingent capacity at Middlebury College, Idaho State University, and the University of Georgia. He received his Ph.D. with distinction from New York University and also has an M.A. in literature from San Francisco State University and a B.A. in English from U.C. Berkeley. He teaches a range of courses in ethnic American literatures, popular genres, and transnational writing. His first book, Ethnic Modernism and the Making of US Literary Multiculturalism was published by Palgrave in 2016. It analyzes the works of Younghill Kang, Zora Neale Hurston, Américo Paredes, and D'Arcy McNickle both as interventions into the contested space of modernist aesthetics in the US and as untimely ancestors for the emergence of US literary multiculturalism in the second half of the century. His recent articles include discussions of: Colson Whitehead's zombie novel Zone One in Contemporary Literature, Richard Hell's punk self-fashioning in Postmodern Culture, an analysis of the serial from of the letters to the editor pages in modernist magazines co-authored with Carey Snyder of Ohio University, and a discussion of Non-human apocalyptic fiction in the apocaplypse special issue of ASAP/Journal. He is currently working on a book project titled Worldbreaking: The Racial Politics of Speculative World Making.
Leif Sorensen, 2016, Ethnic Modernism and the Making of US Literary Multiculturalism, (London: Palgrave Macmillan)
Leif Sorensen, “Minor Characters, Modernity, and the Indigenous Modernist Novel: John Joseph Mathews, D’Arcy McNickle, and John Milton Oskison,” Routledge Handbook to North American Indigenous Modernisms, eds. Kirby Brown, Alana Sayers, and Stephen Ross (London: Routledge) (Forthcoming)
Leif Sorensen and Carey Snyder, “Letters to the Editor as a Serial Form” Journal of Modern Periodical Studies 9.1 (2018): 123-146
Leif Sorensen, 2018, “The Apocalypse Is a Nonhuman Story,” ASAP/Journal 3.3 (September 2018): 523-546
Leif Sorensen, 2016, “D’Arcy McNickle’s Reservation Modernism,” Modernism/Modernity Print Plus 1.2 (July 2016) np
Leif Sorensen, 2016, “Region and Ethnicity on the Air: Reconstructing Américo Paredes's Radio Career,” MELUS 41.2 (Summer 2016): 7-26
Leif Sorensen, 2015, “Richard Hell’s D.I.Y. Subjects, or the Gamble of Getting a Face,” Postmodern Culture 24.2 (January 2015): np
Leif Sorensen, 2014, “Against the Post-Apocalyptic: Narrative Closure in Zone One,” Contemporary Literature 55.3 (Fall 2014): 559-92
Leif Sorensen, “Dubwise into the Future: Versioning Modernity in Nalo Hopkinson,” African American Review 47.2-3 (Summer/Fall 2014): 267-283
Leif Sorensen, 2010, "A Weird Modernist Archive: Pulp Fiction, Pseudobiblia, H. P. Lovecraft," Modernism/Modernity 17.3 (September 2010): 501-22
Leif Sorensen, 2008, “The Anti-corrido of George Washington Gómez: A Narrative of Emergent Subject Formation,” American Literature 80.1, 111-40
Leif Sorensen, 2006, “Re-Scripting the Korean-American Subject: Constructions of Authorship in New Il Han and Younghill Kang,” special issue on Asian American Subgenres 1853-1945 Part 1, ed. Hsuan Hsu, Genre 39.3, 141-55
Leif Sorensen, 2005, “Modernity on a Global Stage: Hurston’s Alternative Modernism,” MELUS 30.4, 3-24
Imagining Futures: Climate Fiction and Environmental Sociology in the AnthropoceneSyllabus
I am co-teaching this class with a colleague in Sociology. We are studying three works of climate fiction and putting them in dialogue with readings from environmental sociology. The class culminates with an attempt to imagine livable futures by connecting our scholarly discussions with Fort Collins’s recently adopted Our Climate Future plan.
E 421: Asian American LiteratureSyllabus
This survey of Asian American literature covers a range of texts from Sui Sin Far’s collection of stories Mrs. Spring Fragrance to recent works like Cathy Park Hong’s award winning 2020 work of nonfiction, Minor Feelings. Along the way we discuss critical developments in the field as well as situating the texts in their historical and cultural contexts.
E/ETST 438: Native American LiteratureSyllabus
This course is arranged into three thematic units. Unit 1, Storytelling and Tradition, is designed to help us think about how Indigenous creators draw from a range of storytelling traditions in their works while also creating innovative modes suited to their moment. Unit 2, Land and Environment, centers on the way that Indigenous creators engage with place to anchor both political aesthetic projects that resist settler colonialism and ecological art that imagines forms of mutualistic interdependent relationships with a range of nonhuman relations. Unit 3, Kinship and Intimacy, explores how different artists model desire, belonging, and community in their works.