- For the Canadian football offensive lineman, see Michael Warner
is a literary critic, social theorist, and Seymour H. Knox Professor of English Literature and American Studies at Yale University. He also writes for Art Forum, The Nation, The Advocate, and The Village Voice. He is the author of Publics and Counterpublics
; Sex, Politics, and the Ethics of Queer Life
; The English Literatures of America, 1500-1800
; Fear of a Queer Planet
; and The Letters of the Republic
. He also edited The Portable Walt Whitman
and American Sermons: The Pilgrims to Martin Luther King, Jr.
Earlier in his career, Warner taught at Rutgers University. He received his Ph.D. in English from Johns Hopkins University in 1985.
Warner, who is gay, is highly influential in the fields of Early American Literature, social theory, and queer theory. His first book, The Letters of the Republic: Publication and the Public Sphere in Eighteenth-Century America
, established him as a leading scholar in Early American literature, print culture, and public sphere theory. He later became a public figure in the gay community for his book The Trouble with Normal
, in which Warner contended that queer theory and the ethics of a queer life serve as critiques of existing social and economic structures, not just as critique of heterosexuality and heterosexual society. His most recent work, Publics and Counterpublics
is a collection essays on the politics of communication in advanced capitalistic societies, or Habermasian public sphere theory.
Warner is currently working on the history of secularism in early America, from the early eighteenth century to the Civil War, culminating with the work of Walt Whitman, a writer on whom many of his interests converge.
Warner is, along with Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick and Judith Butler, considered one of the founders of queer theory.
He lives in New York City; New Haven, Connecticut; and Barton, Vermont.