18th Century British Literature

Our strengths in eighteenth-century studies lie in interdisciplinary and theoretical approaches to the idea of eighteenth-century literature and its cultures. While our field has a long history of interdisciplinary work, the colleagues who work in this area have developed a strong commitment to interdisciplinarity. For us, interdisciplinary work means more than an occasional excursion into neighboring domains in order to glean new frames or concepts to think about literary matters. We view literature instead in the fullness of its various relationships to different fields of inquiry in eighteenth-century British culture. Our commitments are visible in our publication record: some colleagues have published in historical journals or essay collections, others have published books that are more intellectual than literary history, and some have published purely theoretical work. Our teaching at the graduate level has featured such seminars as “Daniel Defoe and the Problem of the Modern,” “English Romanticism and the Subject in Literature,” and “What and When Was Restoration Literature?” In terms of literary history, we have specific strengths in the early part of the so-called “long” eighteenth century (1660-1750) and in the later part (1780-1832), in the novel and in poetry. In terms of fields and approaches, we are especially--and variously--dedicated to philosophy, science, law, history and politics, hermeneutics, psychoanalysis, and Marxism.

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