United States Air Force Academy

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Dr. Daniel Couch

Assistant Professor of English

Department of English and Fine Arts

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Daniel Couch is Assistant Professor of English at the U.S. Air Force Academy. From 2016-17 he was a postdoctoral visiting scholar at the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and from 2015-16 he was a dissertation fellow at the McNeil Center for Early American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.

He is currently at work on his book manuscript, American Fragments: The Political Aesthetic of Literary Ruins in the Early Republic. This manuscript examines the history of literary fragments in colonial and early national United States from the 1750s to the 1820s. The project assembles an archive of unstudied literary fragments, and presents a case for their significance in political and aesthetic traditions. In the late eighteenth century authors used the material form of a “fragment” of paper to represent marginalized individuals as varied as slaves, prostitutes, and beggars. At the same time, the prevalence of the fragment form reveals an underlying American interest in partial works, an aesthetics that contests the primacy of closed genres like the novel. Portions of this project have appeared in Early American Literature and The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation. He has also started drafting a second book manuscript that examines the history of erasure and deletion in American literature, portions of which have been published in Early American Studies and Arizona Quarterly: A Journal of American Literature, Culture, and Theory.


Ph.D., UCLA (2016)

Bachelor of Arts, UCLA (2007)

Professional Experience

Professor Couch has taught American literature in the English departments at UCLA and the U.S. Air Force Academy. His teaching focuses on early and nineteenth-century American literature. 

Honors & Awards

Reese Fellowship, American Antiquarian Society (2020)

Robert L. Middlekauff Fellowship, The Huntington Library (2019)

Lillian Gary Taylor Visiting Fellowship in American Literature, University of Virginia (2018)

Dean of Faculty Humanities Research Grant, U.S. Air Force Academy (2018)

Barra Foundation/Edward C. Carter II Fellowship, American Philosophical Society (2016)

Andrew W. Mellon Dissertation Fellowship in Early American Literature and Material Texts, McNeil Center for Early American Studies (2015-2016)

Mellon Advisory Committee in Pedagogy Fellowship, UCLA English (2015-2016, declined)

George Chavez Endowed Graduate Dissertation Fellowship, UCLA English (2014-2015)

Mellon Foundation Pre-Dissertation Fellowship, UCLA Graduate Division (2014)

Mellon Advisory Committee in Pedagogy Fellowship, UCLA English (2013-2014)

English Department Conference Travel Grant, UCLA English (2011, 2013-16)

Graduate Summer Research Mentorship, UCLA Graduate Division (2010 & 2011)

Eugene V. Cota Robles Fellowship, UCLA Graduate Division (2009-13)

Research and Scholarly Interests

Eighteenth- and nineteenth-century America, the history of the book, the history of aesthetics, theories of form and formalism, political philosophy in the early republic, transatlantic studies


“Poe, Sympathetic Ink, and Chemical Landscapes in Nineteenth-Century America” Arizona Quarterly: A Journal of American Literature, Culture, and Theory (Fall 2019) 
“Printing Emma Corbett: Revolutionary Violence and the Prosthetics of Typography” The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation (Winter 2018) 
“Erasure” Early American Studies (Fall 2018) 
“A Syntax of Silence: The Punctuated Spaces in ‘Bartleby the Scrivener. A Story of Wall-Street’” Studies in American Fiction (Fall 2015) 
“Eliza Wharton’s Scraps of Writing: Dissipation and Fragmentation in The Coquette” Early American Literature (Fall 2014)