Gordon Sayre

Gordon Sayre profile picture
  • Title: Professor
  • Additional Title: Director of Undergraduate Studies
  • Phone: 541-346-1313
  • Office: 472 PLC
  • Office Hours: Spring term: W 1-3, TR 12-2
  • Curriculum Vitae



  • Jean-François-Benjamin Dumont de Montigny, The Memoir of Lieutenant Dumont, 1715-1747: A Sojourner in the French Atlantic (translation of Regards sur le monde atlantique, co-edited with Carla Zecher) Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture / University of North Carolina Press, 2012. Honorable Mention, Lois Roth Award for a Translation of a Literary Work, Modern Language Association, 2012.
  • The Indian Chief as Tragic Hero: Native Resistance and the Literatures of America, from Moctezuma to Tecumseh. University of North Carolina Press, 2005.
  • American Captivity Narratives: An Anthology.  Houghton-Mifflin/Riverside, 2000
  • "Les Sauvages Américains:" Representations of Native Americans in French and English Colonial Literature. University of North Carolina Press, 1997


Selected Articles:

  • “The Alexandrian Library of Life: A Flawed Metaphor for Biodiversity.” Environmental Humanities 9:2 (November 2017), 280-299.
  •  “Self-portraiture and commodification in the work of Huron/Wendat artist Zacharie Vincent, aka ‘Le dernier Huron.’” American Indian Culture and Research Journal 39:2 (2015).
  • “The Bad Guys Wear Tricornered Hats’: The Villasur Massacre of 1720 and the Segesser II Hide Painting in Spanish and French Colonial Literature” Before the West was West: Critical Essays on Pre-1800 Literature of the American Frontiers. Ed. Amy T. Hamilton and Tom J. Hillard. Lincoln: U. Nebraska Press, 2014; 191-212.
  • “’Take my scalp, please!’: Colonial Mimetism and the French Origins of the Mississippi Tall Tale” Colonial Mediascapes ed. Jeffrey Glover and Matt Cohen. Lincoln: U. Nebraska Press, 2014: 203-229.
  • “The Oxymoron of American Pastoralism.” Arizona Quarterly 69:4 (Winter 2013), 1-22.
  • “How to succeed in exploration without really discovering anything: four French travelers in  colonial Louisiana, 1714-1763” Atlantic Studies 10:1 (2013)
  • “A Newly-Discovered Manuscript Map by Antoine-Simon Le Page du Pratz” French Colonial History 11:1 (2010), 23-45.
  • “Renegades from Barbary: The Transnational turn in Captivity Studies” American Literary History 22.2/Early American Literature 45:2 A special joint issue, edited by Sandra Gustafson and Gordon Hutner, 2010.
  • “Natchez Ethnohistory Revisited: New Manuscript Sources from Le Page du Pratz and Dumont de Montigny” Louisiana History 50:4 (Fall 2009), 407-431.



I'm a specialist in colonial and Early American Literature from the sixteenth through early nineteenth centuries. I have a particular interest in French colonial history and literature, in the exploration and cartography of North America, in Native American literature and ethnohistory, and in natural history and eco-criticism. I also teach a course entitled Car Cultures for the Folklore program. Other courses I have developed and taught at the UO include:

  • ENG 645 Libraries of Life: Species and Print, Extinction and Archive
  • Honors College Colloquium 434: Revolution and Exile in the Atlantic World: France, the USA, and Haiti
  • ENG 461 American Literature to 1800
  • ENG 410 Literature, Natural History, and the Problem of America