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Prentiss Clark

Assistant Professor


Dakota Hall 206

Phone: (605) 677-5229



Prentiss Clark is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English at USD. She is currently at work on two book projects, "Ralph Waldo Emerson: A Literary Companion" for McFarland Publishers and a monograph titled "Measures of Intimacy: Emerson to Du Bois to Baldwin."

Teaching Interests:

U.S. literature and culture (especially nineteenth century); literature and philosophy; literature and civic living; the craft of writing. Recent graduate courses include "Transformative Texts: Writing the American Renaissance from the 19th Century to Now," "Investigating the Ethical Life in Literature," and "Emerson & Du Bois." Recent undergraduate courses include "American Literature I" and "Introduction to Criticism."

Research Interests:

U.S. literature (especially the prose, poetry, and scholarly history of the long nineteenth century); literature and philosophy; literature and civic life; aesthetics; genre; Ralph Waldo Emerson, W.E.B. Du Bois, James Baldwin, Henry and William James, the poetries of Whitman, Dickinson, and Wallace Stevens, and the craft of writing.


  • Ph D, English, State University of New York at Buffalo, 2014
  • BA, English, Haverford College, 2005


Citations listed below are presented in a standardized, modified format for display purposes only. They do not necessarily reflect the preferred style and conventions of the faculty member or discipline.

  • Clark, Prentiss. Ordinary Intimacies in Emerson, Du Bois, and Baldwin, 23-47. Vol. 5, Iss. 1. James Baldwin Review, 2019.
  • Clark, Prentiss. Book Review -- Mr. Emerson's Revolution, edited by Jean McClure Mudge, Open Book Publishers, 2015., pp. 202-207. Vol. 44, Iss. 1. Nineteenth Century Prose, 2017.
  • Clark, Prentiss. Book Review -- The Portable Emerson, edited by Jeffrey S. Cramer, Penguin Classics, 2014.. Vol. 27, Iss. 2. The Emerson Society Papers, 2016.
  • Clark, Prentiss. Book Review -- Bird Relics: Grief and Vitalism in Thoreau. By Branca Arsi?. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2016. Pp. 1, 455. $49.95.). In The New England Quarterly, vol. 89, no. 3, September 2016, pp. 520-523., 520-523. Vol. LXXXIX, Iss. 3. New England Quarterly, 2016.
  • Clark, Prentiss. "Pulse for Pulse in Harmony with the Universal Whole": Hearing 'Self-Reliance' Anew", 319-341. Vol. 69, Iss. 3. Nineteenth-Century Literature, 2014.
  • Clark, Prentiss. "After Acknowledgement: Theodore Parker as Representative Man." Arizona Quarterly 66.3 (Fall 2010): 1-22...

Awards and Honors:

  • Belbas-Larson Award for Excellence in Teaching, University of South Dakota, 2019
  • College of Arts & Sciences Research Travel Award, University of South Dakota, 2018
  • Monsignor James Doyle Humanities Teaching Award, USD College of Arts & Sciences, 2018
  • College of Arts & Sciences Research Travel Award, University of South Dakota, 2017


  • Clark, Prentiss. "'More day to dawn': Aesthetic Experience and the Possibility of Ethics in Thoreau and William James". Presented at the Transcendentalist Intersections , Heidelberg Institute for American Studies. (July 27, 2018)
  • Clark, Prentiss. The "perpetual achievement of the impossible": Emerson, Du Bois, and Baldwin Writing Toward "a larger, juster, and fuller future". Presented at the American Literature Association Annual Conference, Boston. (May 26, 2017)
  • Clark, Prentiss. "When 'things most listened for' Remain Unsaid: Making Something Matter in the Poetry of Walt Whitman". Presented at the Northeast Modern Language Association, Annual Conference, Toronto. (May 1, 2015)
  • Clark, Prentiss. "Rediscovering the Intimacies in which We Exist: Emerson and Ethical Life". Presented at the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy, Annual Conference, Grand Rapids, Michigan. (March 5, 2015)