Robert T. Tally Jr. teaches American and world literature at Texas State University. Tally received his bachelor’s degree in philosophy at Duke University, where he later received a J.D. at Duke Law School, and he holds an M.A. in literature and a Ph.D. in cultural and critical studies from the University of Pittsburgh. Tally’s intellectual formation lies in theory and history of the novel, Continental philosophy and theory, and transnational literary studies, and he has published numerous articles in each of these broad areas.
Uniting these seemingly disparate interests is Tally’s persistent attention to the question of representation of real-and-imagined spaces. Tally’s research all relates to what he terms literary cartography, as he focuses on the ways in which writers use narrative to figure forth and map social spaces, which might at times involve conventions of fantasy or utopian literature, as well as more traditional narrative techniques found in realism and naturalism. Recently, Tally has focused on elaborating geocriticism as an approach best suited to analyzing the relations among space, place, and mapping in literature.
Tally is the author of Melville, Mapping and Globalization: Literary Cartography in the American Baroque Writer (2009), Kurt Vonnegut and the American Novel: A Postmodern Iconography (2011) and the forthcoming Spatiality (in Routledge’s “New Critical Idiom” series). Tally is also the translator of Bertrand Westphal’s Geocriticism: Real and Fictional Spaces (2011) and the editor of Geocritical Explorations: Space, Place, and Mapping in Literary and Cultural Studies (2011). Tally is currently at work on several book projects, including Edgar Allan Poe’s Subterranean Noises: Satire, Fantasy, Critique (in press), Utopia in the Age of Globalization: Space, Representation, and the World-System, Places Where the Stars Are Strange: Fantasy, Utopia, and Spatiality in Tolkien’s World, and Fredric Jameson: Dialectical Criticism and the Utopian Impulse.