Martin Brückner is Professor in the English Department and currently serves as the Director of the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture. His teaching and research interests concentrate on American literature and history (C17 to C19); material culture studies; history of cartography; literary geography of the Atlantic World; print culture and the visual arts; and intellectual history. He earned his Ph.D. from Brandeis University and his M.A. from Johannes-Gutenberg-Universität Mainz in his native Germany. He has served as Co-Director of both UD’s Center for Material Culture Studies and the Delaware Public Humanities Institute.
Professor Brückner is the author of two award-winning books, The Social Life of Maps in America, 1750-1860 (2017; Fred B. Kniffen Book Award) and The Geographic Revolution in Early America: Maps, Literacy, and National Identity (2006; Louis Gottschalk Book Prize). He is the editor of Early American Cartographies (2011) and co-editor of Modelwork: The Material Culture of Making and Knowing (2021; with Sandy Isenstadt and Sarah Wasserman); Elusive Archives: Material Culture Studies in Formation (2021; with Sandy Isenstadt); and American Literary Geographies: Spatial Practice and Cultural Production, 1500-1900 (2007; with Hsuan L. Hsu). His essays appear in American Quarterly, American Art, American Literary History, English Literary History, Winterthur Portfolio, Open Cultural Studies, and XVII-XVIII: Revue de la Societe d’Etudes Anglo-Americaines, and in various scholarly collections. He prepared the exhibition Common Destinations: Maps in the American Experience and contributed to exhibitions at the Library of Virginia and the Newberry Library. He has led workshops or seminars at Skidmore College, Lehigh University, the University of Kentucky, Universität Mainz, and together with Patricia Crain, at the American Antiquarian Society’s Summer Seminar in the History of the Book in American Culture.
His research has been supported by numerous grants and post-doctoral fellowships, including the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Program in Early American Economy and Society at the Library Company of Philadelphia, the American Antiquarian Society, and the Obama Institute for Transnational American Studies. An elected member of the American Antiquarian Society, his work has been further recognized by the Society of Early Americanists Essay Prize (2007), the University of Delaware’s Francis Alison Young Scholar Award (2002) and its College of Arts and Science Excellence in Scholarship Award (2018). He currently serves as co-editor of the book series, Material Culture Perspectives, published by the University of Delaware Press, and he is the Principal Investigator of the digital humanities project, ThingStor: A Material Culture Database for Finding Objects in Literature and Visual Art (thingstor.org).