Cristanne Miller

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Cristanne Miller (born 1953) is Edward H. Butler Professor of English and Chair of the Department at the University at Buffalo in New York. She received her PhD in 1980 from the University of Chicago, and was for many years the W.M. Keck Distinguished Service Professor at Pomona College. Since 2006 she has taught at the University at Buffalo, where she is Edward H. Butler Professor of English and SUNY Distinguished Professor. She has served editor of the Emily Dickinson Journal for a decade and as President of the Emily Dickinson International Society.

Miller established her reputation as a foremost scholar of Emily Dickinson with the publication in 1987 of Emily Dickinson: A Poet's Grammar. Martha Nell Smith reviewed the book enthusiastically, calling Miller an "exciting reader" of Dickinson with "close and thoughtful interpretation" and a view of the poems as "communicative, not solipsistic acts."[1] David Porter praised Miller for showing "readers what is actually at stake in this idiosyncratic verse and maps better than anyone to date the links between the grammatical choices and literary identity." [2] Tom Paulin's review in the London Review of Books concluded that Cristanne Miller's "densely researched study" offered a "living and contemporary" reading of Dickinson's poems. "Miller works from the assumption that Dickinson sees herself 'oppositionally, defining her position in the world negatively, by distance from some social construct or law'. And Miller shows how those negations have a constructive role."[3] Other reviewers were similarly enthusiastic. She has been fellow at the Free University of Berlin, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the University of Oxford. She currently edits The Emily Dickinson Journal (2005-).

Miller has published equally extensively on Marianne Moore and modernist poetry, including essays or books on Moore, Mina Loy, Else Lasker-Schuler, Elizabeth Bishop, modernism in New York and Berlin, and gender and modernism. Emma Neale in the London Quarterly calls her 1996 Marianne Moore: Questions of Authority "An elegant tribute to a complex style...Gender, race, class and power are subjects which are used [by Miller] convincingly to unearth embedded references to several aspects of social control in the poetry itself."[4] Celeste Goodridge in American Literature remarks that "the revisionary thrust of this book is important, timely, and a major contribution to Moore studies and the history of modernism."[5] On Miller's more recent Cultures of Modernism, Janet Lyon writes in Modernism/modernity that it "offers a welcome corrective to the unreflective critical tendency . . . to make broad claims about the historical experiences and cultural conundrums of 'women,' and particularly 'women writers.' Miller offers tour-de-force comparative readings . . . threading together the world-historical with the personal, poetics with the political, and wielding the instruments of scansion as deftly as a surgeon."[6] Miller was President of the Modernist Studies Association in 2006-07.

Other topics on which Miller has published include poetry and theory, American Civil War poetry, women and language, feminism and poetry, and Walt Whitman.

Selected publications[edit]

  • Cristanne Miller, Emily Dickinson: A Poet's Grammar. Harvard University Press, 1987. [Chapter reprinted in New Century Views of Emily Dickinson, ed. Judith Farr; Prentice-Hall, 1996.]
  • Cristanne Miller, Marianne Moore: Questions of Authority. Harvard University Press, 1995.
  • Cristanne Miller, Cultures of Modernism: Marianne Moore, Mina Loy, Else Lasker-Schuler. Gender and Literary Community in New York and Berlin. University of Michigan Press, 2005.
  • Cristanne Miller, Comic Power in Emily Dickinson. Co-authored with Suzanne Juhasz and Martha Nell Smith. University of Texas Press, 1993.
  • Feminist Measures: Soundings in Poetry and Theory. Edited with Lynn Keller. University of Michigan Press, 1994.
  • Selected Letters of Marianne Moore. Edited with Bonnie Costello and Celeste Goodridge. Knopf, 1997.
  • The Emily Dickinson Handbook. Edited with Roland Hagenbuchle and Gudrun Grabher. University of Massachusetts Press, 1998; second printing 2004.
  • The Women and Language Debate: A Sourcebook. Edited with Camille Roman and Suzanne Juhasz. Rutgers University Press, 1994. Online edition with, 1999.
  • 'Words for the Hour': A New Anthology of American Civil War Poetry. Edited with Faith Barrett. University of Massachusetts Press, 2005.
  • Critics and Poets on Marianne Moore: 'A right good salvo of barks'. Edited with Linda Leavell and Robin G. Schulze. Bucknell University Press, 2005.
  • Cristanne Miller, ed. Emily Dickinson's Poems: As She Preserved Them. Harvard University Press, 2016.
  • "Gender and Sexuality in Modernist Poetry." Cambridge Companion to Modernist Poetry. Eds. Alex Davis and Lee Jenkins. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2007. 68-84.
  • "Tongues 'loosened in the melting pot': The Poets of Others and the Lower East Side." Modernism/Modernity 14.3 (Fall 2007): 455-476.
  • "Distrusting: Marianne Moore on Feeling and War in the 1940s." American Literature, 80.2 (2008): 353-379.
  • "Dickinson's Structured Rhythms," in A Companion to Emily Dickinson, ed. Martha Nell Smith and Mary Loeffelholz Blackwell Publishing, 2008, pp. 391–414.
  • "Drum-Taps—Revision and Reconciliation." Walt Whitman Quarterly 26.4 (Spring 2009): 171-96.


  1. ^ Smith, Martha Nell (Dec 1987). Women's Review of Books Vol. 5, No. 3, pp. 22-23.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ Porter, David (Sep 1988). "untitled review". Nineteenth-Century Literature, Vol. 43, No. 2, pp. 244-248. 
  3. ^ Paulin, Tom. London Review of Books.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ Emma Neale, London Quarterly.
  5. ^ Celeste Goodridge American Literature Vol. 68, No. 2 (Jun., 1996), pp. 487-488.
  6. ^ Janet Lyon, Modernism/Modernity, Volume 13, Number 3, September 2006, pp. 586-588.

External links[edit]