English Department

The College of Arts & Sciences

18th- and 19th-Century Literature, British and American

The professorial faculty members of this specialty includes editors, literary historians, theorists, poets, and rhetoricians, making it a diverse group with wide-ranging, interdisciplinary interests. Library resources include Early English Books Online, Eighteenth-Century Collections Online, Early American Imprints Series I and II, and many other electronic databases. The library’s print holdings in regular and special collections is also very strong. Hoskins Library, which houses the University’s Special Collections, has especially strong holdings in Restoration and eighteenth-century theatre history, all areas of pre-1900 American literature and culture, and select manuscripts, including the James Agee papers. You can look at current digital exhibitions on the Special Collections site, or link to bibliographies on select authors and areas.

Graduate coursework in British literature from 1660 to 1900 includes an array of specialized seminars and broad-based readings courses, illustrated by our recent offerings: “Eighteenth Century Rhetorics in Britain between 1660–1800,” “The British Empire in the Long Eighteenth Century,” “William Blake: Visual and Verbal Arts in an Age of Revolution,” “Belief in the Age of Reason,” and “Gender, Revolution, and Romanticism, 1789–1832.” Faculty research interests include colonial literature, religious satire, women writers, drama, theatrical history, eighteenth-century rhetoric, textual studies, Victorian poetry, children’s literature, the novel, and gender studies. Recent guest speakers in this area include Srinivas Aravamudan, Margaret Doody, Paula Backscheider, and Ulrich Knoepflmacher. The journal Restoration: Studies in English Literary Culture, 1660–1700 (eds. Anderson and Zomchick) is published at UT and provides internship opportunities for interested students.

Graduate students enjoy a similar balance of depth and breadth in the study of pre-1900 American literature, with courses including “Race, Gender, and Power: Intertextuality and the Origins of American Autobiography,” “Literature and Culture of Antebellum America,” “Southern Renaissances, 1880–1980,” and “Consumer Culture in Late 19th and Early 20th-Century American Fiction.” Faculty research interests in this area include cultural and religious history, women writers, naturalism, the novel, life writing, frontier and exploration literature, travel writing, folklore, African-American literature, and Southern literature.



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