Carrie Tirado Bramen

Associate Professor Carrie Tirado Bramen

Associate Professor
Director, UB Gender Institute
Office: 537 Clemens Hall
Phone number: (716) 645-5200
E-mail address:

Ph.D., Modern Thought & Literature, Stanford, 1994
M.A., Critical Theory, University of Sussex, 1988
B.A. (Honors), English with a minor in Latin American Studies, University of Connecticut, Storrs, 1987; Somerville College, Oxford (1984-1985).

The recipient of three teaching awards including the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, Carrie Tirado Bramen teaches courses in nineteenth-century American literature, American 1890s, US Latino/a cultural studies, travel writing and American Pluralism.

She is the author of American Niceness: A Cultural History (Harvard UP, Fall 2017), a study of the role niceness has played in configuring a democratic personality that is free from Old World snobbery. From Native American hospitality to the creation of the personable Jesus, this cultural history of the United States demonstrates the centrality of sociality for thinking about national and political cultures. Her essay, “Niceness in a Neoliberal Age,” is forthcoming in Public Culture  (2018).

Her first book, The Uses of Variety: Modern Americanism and the Quest for National Distinctiveness (Harvard UP 2000), was co-winner of the Thomas J. Wilson prize for best first book published by Harvard University Press.  

She is currently working on a book about the semiotics of the nineteenth-century sky.

She is currently Program Chair of C19: Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists, for the next conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico, March 22-25, 2018.

She has received fellowships from the Charles Warren Fellowship at Harvard, the American Antiquarian Society, and the Anne LaBastille Writer-in-Residency at the Adirondack Center for Writing.

In the News

Carrie Tirado Bramen, “Americans have always been nice. But is it just a sham?” Washington Post. (June 30, 2017)

Bramen named director of UB Gender Institute


nineteenth-century American literature, U.S. Latino/a literature, cultural history, critical race theory, transatlantic & intellectual history

Selected Publications

  •  “Niceness in a Neoliberal Age,” Public Culture (forthcoming  2018)
  • “Flirting in Yankeeland: Rethinking American Exceptionalism through Argentine Travel Writing,” The Latino Nineteenth Century, ed. Rodrigo Lazo and Jesse Alemán  (NYU Press, 2016), 230-254.
  • “The Christology of Niceness: Harriet Beecher Stowe, the Jesus Novel and Sacred Trivialities,” in Beyond Protestant Modernism: American Religious Liberalism Revisited. ed Leigh Schmidt and Sally Promey (Indiana UP, 2012), 39-75.
  •  “James, Pragmatism and the Realist Ideal,” in The Cambridge History of the American Novel, ed. Lenny Cassuto, Associate editors Benjamin Reiss and Clare Eby (Cambridge UP, 2011), 304-321.
  • “An Insolent Style--Leslie Fiedler, 1941” in A New Literary History of America, eds. Werner Sollors and Greil Marcus (Harvard University Press, 2009), 747-752.
  • “Speaking in Typeface: Characterizing Stereotypes in Gayl Jones' Mosquito," Modern Fiction Studies  49:1 (Spring 2003): 124-154. Special Issue on "Fictions of the American (Trans)Imaginary."
  • "Why the Academic Left Hates Identity Politics," Textual Practice 16:2 (Spring 2002): 1-11.
  • "The Urban Picturesque and the Spectacle of Americanization," American Quarterly 52:3 (September 2000): 444-477.
  • "Christian Maidens and Heathen Monks: Oratorical Seduction at the 1893 World's Parliament of Religions," The Puritan Origins of American Sex.  ed. Tracy Fessenden et al. (Routledge, 2000), 191-212.
  • "Translating Exile: The Metamorphosis of the Ordinary in Dominican Short Fiction," Latin American Literary Review 26 (January-June 1998): 63-78.
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