- 18th and 19th Century Literature
- Literary Criticism
- European Romanticism
M. H. (Meyer Howard) Abrams, Class of 1916 Professor Emeritus, is an authority on 18th- and 19th-century literature, literary criticism, and European Romanticism. Professor Abrams (Ph.D. Harvard University, 1940) came to Cornell in 1945 as an assistant professor; in 1960 he became the first Frederic J. Whiton Professor of English Literature, and in 1973 succeeded to the Class of 1916 Professorship.
He is the author of The Mirror and the Lamp: Romantic Theory and the Critical Tradition (1953) and Natural Supernaturalism: Tradition and Revolution in Romantic Literature (1971). In 1999 The Mirror and the Lamp was ranked twenty-fifth in a list of "the 100 Best Nonfiction Books Written in English during the 20th Century." He is also the author of A Glossary of Literary Terms (1957, 9th edition 2008), The Correspondent Breeze: Essays in English Romanticism (1984), and Doing Things with Texts: Essays in Criticism and Critical Theory (1989). He was a founding editor of The Norton Anthology of English Literature and served as its general editor through the seventh edition (2000) ; he also edited Wordsworth: A Collection of Critical Essays(1972), and, with Jonathan Wordsworth and Stephen Gill, Wordsworth's Prelude, 1799-1850 (1979).