University of Minnesota
Department of English

Department of English

Edward M. Griffin

Edward M Griffin PhD

Department Affiliations


Although I am now a thorough-going Minnesotan, having lived here since 1966 with my wife (an R. N.) and having raised my three daughters in the Twin Cities, I hail originally from the steel-mill town of Homestead, Pennsylvania, where I lived until I was eleven. Then my family moved to San Francisco, where I attended Riordan High School and the University of San Francisco before entering the Army and serving in Germany as a lieutenant of field artillery. Upon my discharge, I earned a Ph. D. in English and American literature as a Danforth Fellow at Stanford University. Following graduate study, I came to the University of Minnesota as an assistant professor, eventually advancing to professor. Specializing in the literature of British North America during the colonial period and American literature in the early national period, I have also taught quite a range of other courses in British and American literature and American Studies. Throughout most of the 1980s, I chaired American Studies, and during my years on the Minnesota faculty I have also held positions as a visiting professor at Stanford, the University of San Francisco, the University of Salzburg (as a Fulbright Fellow) and the University of Amsterdam. I have received the College of Liberal Arts Distinguished Teacher Award, the University of Minnesota Morse-Alumni Award for outstanding graduate teaching, the English Department Ruth Christie Award for outstanding undergraduate teaching, and the MidAmerica American Studies Kolmer Award for teaching and mentoring in American Studies.


  • American literature
  • colonial literature
  • American studies
  • use of early American history and literature by modern American writers
  • American religion

Educational Background

  • Ph.D. : English and American Literature, Stanford University, 1966.
  • B.S.: English, University of San Francisco, San Francisco, California, 1959.


  • Jim's Secrets: What Mark Twain Knew but Huck Finn Didn't: Griffin, Edward, University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, JOIE: Journal of Opinion, Ideas&Essays , 1 13.3, 2013. Link
  • A Loyalist Guarded, Re-guarded, and Disregarded The Two Trials of Mather Byles the Elder: Griffin, Edward, American Antiquarian Society, Common-place, 13.3 n.p., 2013. Link
  • "Stubborn Loyalists: Calling on the Daughters of Dr. Byles": Griffin, Edward, American Antiquarian Society, Common-Place, 7.4 1 ff., July 2007. Link
  • "Hoops & Hurdles: The Unlikely Story of How I Learned How I Learn.". Griffin, Edward, University of Minnesota Center for Teaching and Learning, Author, 2006. Link
  • "Dancing Around the Maypole, Ripping Up the Flag: The Merry Mount Caper and Issues in American History and Art.": Griffin, Edward, The Joseph M. Schwartz Memorial Essay, LVII.3, 2005. Link
  • The American Puritan Elegy: A Literary and Cultural Study: Griffin, Edward, Early American Literature, 36.2 303-307, 2001. Link
  • Providence Tales and the Birth of American Literature: Griffin, Edward, American Studies, 41.1 , 2000.
  • The Melting Pot, Vegetable Soup, and the Martini Cocktail: Competing Explanations of U.S. Cultural Pluralism. Griffin, Edward, Author, 1998.
  • "Cincinnatus and the 'Shaw Memorial': Monument as Emblem in Saint Gaudens, Dunbar, and Lowell." : Griffin, Edward, Bagley, Ayers; McLean, Austin, New York: AMS Press, The Telling Image: AMS Studies in the Emblem, 12 171-206, 1996.
  • The Telling Image: Explorations in the Emblem.. Griffin, Edward, New York: AMS Press, Co-Editor, 1996.
  • Old Brick: Charles Chauncy of Boston, 1705-1787. Griffin, Edward, University of Minnesota Press, 1980.
  • A Singular Man: Cotton Mather Reappraised. Griffin, Edward, U. of North Carolina Press, Author, 2015.
  • Griffin, Edward M. "Review: The First Great Awakening in Colonial American Newspapers." American Periodicals 25.1 (2015): 94-97.

Professional Activities

  • Visiting Professor, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands: 1997


  • University of Minnesota, Ruth Christie Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching of English, 2002
  • All-University Award for Outstanding Graduate and Professional Teaching; Designation as Distinguished Graduate Professor, 2001
  • Academy of Distinguished Teachers, University of Minnesota, 2001
  • Graduate/Professional Teaching Award, University of Minnesota, 2001
  • MidAmerica American Studies Association: Elizabeth Kolmer Award for Outstanding Teaching and Mentoring in American Studies, 1999
  • College of Liberal Arts Distinguished Teachier Award, University of Minnesota, 1988

Courses Taught

  • Osher Lifelong Learning Institute: Reading Emily Dickinson; Pocahontas; Reading the Short Fiction of Flannery OI'Connor
  • American Literature, History, and Culture
  • The American Jeremiad
  • The First American Novels
  • EngL 8200 - Seminar in American Literature
  • Survey of American Poetry
  • The American Novel
  • Flannery O'Connor
  • Survey of American Literature to 1850
  • EngL 3007 - Shakespeare
  • Introduction to American Literature
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