Austin Bailey is a Ph.D. candidate in English at the Graduate Center (of the City University of New York). His dissertation, Radical Empiricism Before William James, argues that four major nineteenth century American authors—Ralph Waldo Emerson, Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman—do not fully abandon traditional empiricism but radically reconstruct it. In doing so, they manifest a unique mode of American empiricism which finds its peak expression in the philosophy and psychology of William James. Austin’s research adds to conversations about pragmatism, American philosophy and American Literature begun by critics like Perry Miller, Richard Poirier, and Stanley Cavell. At the same, Radical seeks to push the traditional boundaries of this field by considering how pragmatist conceptions of experience and experiential inquiry are vital for otherized and marginalized subjectivities. Chapters from Radical have been published as articles in ESQ: A Journal of Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture and The Pluralist (the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy’s official journal).
Austin has presented his work at a variety of conferences, including MLA, NeMLA, SAAP, and The Thoreau Society Annual Gathering. Austin regularly teaches courses in American Literature at Hunter College (CUNY) as well as composition and environmental studies at New Jersey City University. He has also taught courses in English at the College of Staten Island (CUNY) and Marymount Manhattan College. He is currently serving as a Writing Across the Curriculum Fellow at Bronx Community College (CUNY).
Austin’s teaching practice seeks to decenter and deprivilege knowledge accumulation as the priority of college-level learning by centering instead process, interactive learning, role-playing, affect, metacognition, and student self-evaluation.
On this website you will find information about Austin’s research and teaching, sample syllabi, publications, student work, and links to other websites and resources.