Alex Trimble Young is a scholar of transnational settler colonialism and the literature and culture of the United States. He is a Copeland Visiting Fellow at Amherst College, where he is taking part in the annual Copeland Colloquium, “The Social Life of Guns.” During the 2015-2016 academic year, he held a Dornsife Preceptor Postdoctoral Teaching Fellowship at the University of Southern California.
His research focuses on how U.S. culture has been shaped by the ongoing history of settler colonialism and Indigenous resistance. His dissertation, “‘Let Us Fake Out a Frontier’: Dissent and The Settler Colonial Imaginary in US literature after 1945,” examines how settler colonial understandings of liberation and sovereignty have inflected the articulation of dissent in U.S. literature after World War II.
He has published widely on topics including comparative colonialism; the literature of the American West; critical theory; and contemporary film and television. In 2012 he organized, with colleague Erik Altenbernd, a symposium at the Huntington Library entitled “The Significance of The Frontier in an Age of Transnational History” that brought together more than two hundred humanities scholars from around the world to discuss how the concept of the frontier functions in contemporary scholarly discussions of settler history and culture. He currently serves on the editorial collective of the interdisciplinary journal Settler Colonial Studies.
His research has garnered multiple national awards, including the American Studies Association’s Comparative Ethnic Studies Prize in 2013, and the Western Literature Association’s J. Golden Taylor Prize in 2010.
His classroom experience began as a high school English teacher at the American School of Tangier in Morocco. At the university level, he has taught introductory literature and writing courses in the USC honors and general education programs, as well as advanced English and interdisciplinary humanities courses. His courses have focused on topics ranging from comparative settler colonial studies to the culture of the War on Terror to irony in contemporary fiction.