Matthew F. Wickman

Professor, Founding Director of the Humanities Center, English

4103 JFSB


Curriculum Vitae

Research Areas: , , ,

Teaching Experience

I teach courses in literary theory, literary and intellectual history, Scottish literature, and literature and spirituality. I am especially interested in the transformative effects of literature and ideas – their potential to change how we see the world, those around us, and ourselves.


My current work explores spirituality and spiritual experience, attending especially to ways that literature registers the force and and nuance of spiritual things. Other scholarly interests include interdisciplinary literary and cultural studies, literary theory, Scottish literary and intellectual history (of the eighteenth century and after), religion and literature, and postsecular theory and criticism.

Selected Publications

  • Literature after Euclid: The Geometric Imagination in the Long Scottish Enlightenment (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016)
  • The Ruins of Experience: Scotland’s “Romantick” Highlands and the Birth of the Modern Witness (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007)
  • Scott and 250: Looking Forward. Co-edited volume (with Caroline McCracken-Flesher). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, forthcoming 2021.
  • Life to the Whole Being: The Spiritual Memoir of a Literature Professor (Provo: Maxwell Institute), forthcoming 2022.
  • “The New Immaterialism? On Spirituality in Modern Thought.” Poetics Today 41.3 (2020): 327-46
  • “Spiritual Exercises in Three Humanistic Contexts.” Spiritus: Journal of the Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality 19.2 (2019): 324-44
  • “Theology Still?” Publications of the Modern Language Association (PMLA) 132.3 (2017): 674-80
  • “‘In Contrast to Those Whom We Have Called Materialists, Mr. [Scott] is Spiritual’: On Scott and Woolf, Romance and ‘Fullness of Life.” The Yearbook of English Studies 47 (2017): 93-109
  • “Robert Burns and Big Data, or, Pests of Quantity and Visualization.” Modern Language Quarterly (MLQ) 75.1 (2014): 1-28
  • “John Galt’s Logics of Worlds.” Global Romanticism: Origins, Orientations, and Engagements, 1760-1820, ed. Evan Gottlieb (Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell University Press, 2014), 151-67, 266-68
  • “Tartan Noir, or, Hard-Boiled Heidegger.” Scottish Literary Review 5.1 (2013): 87-109
  • “The Emergence of Scottish Studies.” The Cambridge Companion to Scottish Literature, ed. Gerard Carruthers and Liam McIlvanney (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), 248-60
  • “The Allure of the Improbable: Fingal, Evidence, and the Testimony of the ‘Echoing Heath.’” Publications of the Modern Language Association (PMLA) 115.2 (2000): 181-94


I believe in being of service at BYU as well as in professional organizations. My most substantial assignment at BYU is to serve as Founding Director of the BYU Humanities Center. Outside BYU I regularly referee manuscripts for university presses and scholarly journals and I have served on a number of boards (including the executive committee of the MLA Scottish Literature Discussion Group). I presently serve on the Board of the Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality.

Citizenship assignments

  • Founding Director and Senior Fellow of the BYU Humanities Center, 2012-present
  • At-large Director and Board Member, Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality, 2020-23
  • Advisory Board, International Association for the Study of Scottish Literatures, 2014-17
  • MLA Scottish Literature Discussion Group Executive Committee, 2010-2014 (Chair, 2013)
  • International Correspondent, Association for Scottish Literary Studies, 2007-16
  • Faculty Director of BYU English Department’s Future Scholars Program (the PhD preparation course for undergraduates), 2007-17
  • Brigham Young University Graduate Council, 2007-09
  • Brigham Young University Academic Unit Review Council, 2007-09
  • Hiring Committee, BYU English Department, 2005-08
  • Faculty Development Committee—Scholarship, BYU English Department, 2001-05