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Misty Anderson

Misty Anderson

Professor of English & Adjunct Professor of Theatre and Religious Studies


Misty Anderson works in Restoration and eighteenth-century studies, with a particular interest in theater history, performances studies, gender studies, queer theory, and the history of religion.   She took her B.A. at Yale University, where she majored in English and minored in a cappella singing, and she took her graduate degrees at Vanderbilt University.  She currently holds the Lindsay Young Chair of Excellence in the Humanities. She edits the journal Restoration: Studies in English Literary History, 1660-1700, a Project MUSE journal, and she is an active member of both the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies and the Southeastern American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies.  Her most recent book, Imagining Methodism, has been called by reviewers an “invaluable, field-changing insight into queer, feminist, materialist, and performance-oriented work on early modern Britain and its place in the history of ‘the modern.’” Her current project is a performance studies approach to representations of religious events on the early modern stage, tentatively entitled God on Stage. She has been at the University of Tennessee since 1996, is married to John Tirro, and has two sons.  She is also holds courtesy appointments as a Professor of Theatre and of Religious Studies.


B.A., Yale University, 1989
M.A., Ph.D., Vanderbilt University, 1991

Professional Service

  •  MLA Executive Committee, Religion and Literature, 2015-2020
  • ASECS Executive Board, 2016-2020
  • Editor, Restoration: Studies in English Literary Culture, 1660-1700, July 2003-present
  • SEASECS Secretary, 2008-2013
  • ASECS Women’s Caucus, Chair, 2015-16, Masquerade Ball 2014, Anniversary Committee, 2009-2010
  • ADE Graduate Directors Workshop Coordinator, 2006 and 2007
  • MLA Delegate Assembly, Restoration and Early 18th-Century Studies, 2005-2008
  • ASECS Travel Prizes Committee, Chair 2005-2006 and 2012-2013; member 2011-2013 and 2004-2006.
  • Manuscript reader:  Studies in Eighteenth-Century CultureJournal for Early Modern Cultural Studies, Broadview Press, Baylor University Press, Canadian Arts Council, Restoration, Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library

Selected University Service:

  • Transatlantic Studies Working Group chair, 2015-present
  • Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (relaunch of the Women’s Studies IDP), Curriculum Review Chair, 2016.
  • Search committee, Dramaturgy (Theatre), 2015-16
  • Women’s Leadership Class, 2011-2012
  • Internal Reviewer, Department of Religious Studies, 2010-11
  • AAUP President, local chapter, 2002-2003
  • AAUP board member, local chapter, 2000-2002
  • Faculty Senator, English, 2002-2005

Selected Departmental Service:

  • Website Committee, Recruitment and Outreach Committee, Taylor Prize Committee, Undergraduate Committee
  • Associate Department Head, English, Dec. 2010-July 2013
  • Romanticism Search Committee, 2009-2010
  • Administrative Committee elected representative, 2009-2010
  • Director of Graduate Studies, Fall 2003-Summer 2007
  • PhD Program Review Committee Chair, 2004-2005
  • Contemporary/Post-Modern Search Committee, member 2001-2002

Awards, Honors & Grants


  • 2015   Lindsay Young Chair of Excellence in the Humanities
  • 2014    Tennessee Humanities Center Fellow
  • 2013    D. Allen Carroll Chair of Teaching
  • 2013    Professional Development Award, University of Tennessee
  • 2011    Elected as a member of The Johnsonians
  • 2010   Professional Development Award, University of Tennessee
  • 2009    Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Visiting Fellow, Yale University
  • 2008    Lewis Walpole Library Visiting Fellow, Yale University
  • 2002    Faculty Appreciation Award, Graduate Students in English
  • 2000    College of Arts and Sciences Junior Faculty Teaching Award

Associations & Organizations

  • MLA
  • Frances Burney Society
  • AAUP

Invited Lectures

  • Restoration, Sovereignty, and the Long Restoration.” University of Maryland, College Park, April 28, 2016. Plenary address at conference marking the move of Restoration to Maryland.

  • “Rocks and Belief.”  University of Notre Dame Symposium on Religion and Literature, South Bend, Indiana, March 27-28, 2015. Plenary address and all-day seminar.

  • “Frances Burney, Dramatist.” The Frances Burney Society Annual Meeting, Montreal, Canada, October 9, 2014. Plenary address.

  • “God on Stage.” McGill University, October 8, 2014. Invited talk.

  • The Wonder: A Woman Keeps a Secret: Centlivre and the Religious Politics of Britishness.”  Columbia University Seminar on 18th and 19th-Century Studies, New York, NY, December 12, 2013.  Invited talk.

  • “Centlivre and the Religious Politics of Britishness.”  The Huntington Library, San Marino, CA, May 3, 2013.  All-day seminar.

  • “God on Stage.”  Yale Divinity School, April 20, 2013.  Plenary address.

  • “The Scottish Play:  Centlivre and the Wonder of Britishness.”  University of Georgia, January 30, 2013.  Invited talk.

  • Masterclass, “Sacred Satire: Representing Religious Belief in Eighteenth Century Britain.” The Lewis Walpole Library, September 30, 2011.  All-day seminar.

  • “Actors and Ghosts.”  Yale Divinity School, September 29, 2011.  Invited talk.
  • “Johnson Among the Methodists.”  Johnson Society of the Central Region, University of Michigan, April 8, 2011.  Invited talk.
  • “Methodistical Sisters and the New Man.”  Newberry Library, Chicago, Illinois.  April 17, 2010.  All-day seminar.
  • “Methodism and the Theater of the Real.”  Robert Penn Warren Humanities Center, Vanderbilt University.  November 4, 2009.  Invited talk.
  • “Refreshing Conceptions of the Other,” British Women Writer’s Conference, Plenary Panel. Iowa City.  April 2, 2009.  Plenary talk.
  • “Queer as Folk: Methodism and other Technologies of Gender in Henry Fielding.” University of Michigan.  March 12, 2008.  Invited talk.
  • “Methodism, Desire, and Henry Fielding.” Nolte-Behrens Lecture, University of Arkansas, Conway, April 5, 2007.  Invited talk.


  • Curator, Sacred Satire: Lampooning Religious Belief in Eighteenth-Century Britain. Lewis Walpole Library Gallery show, Yale University, 2011-2012
  • Co-Editor, The Routledge Anthology and Sourcebook of Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Theatre. (with Kristina Straub and Daniel O’Quinn.)  Forthcoming, New York and London: Routledge, 2017.

Representative articles

  • “The Genealogy of Georgian Comedy.”  Ed. David Francis Taylor.  The Oxford Handbook to Georgian Theatre.  Oxford: Oxford UP, 2013 (forthcoming)
  • “The Scottish Play: Centlivre and The Wonder of British Nationalism.”  Ed. Daniel O’Quinn.  Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2013 (forthcoming)
  • “Sacred Satire: Representing Religious Belief in Eighteenth Century Britain.”  Curated gallery show with book, Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University.  September 22, 2011-March 1, 2012.
  • “Embodying Centlivre’s Comic Vision: A Bold Stroke for a Wife and The Wonder; a Woman Keeps a Secret in the Classroom. The MLA Guide to Teaching British Women Playwrights of the Restoration and Eighteenth Century. Ed. Bonnie Nelson and Catherine Burroughs. New York: MLA, 2010.
  • “Women Playwrights.” Cambridge Companion to British Theatre, 1730-1830. Ed. Jane Moody and Daniel O’Quinn. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2007: 145-158.
  • Baby Talk; or, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Exit.’ ADE Bulletin, 138-139, Fall 2005-Spring 2006
  • “Our Purpose is the Same’: Whitefield, Foote, and the Crisis of Methodist Theatricality” Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture, Vol. 34, 2005
  • “Living in a Material World: Margaret Cavendish’s The Covent of Pleasure,” in Senses of Touch: Discourse of Tactility, ed. Elizabeth Harvey and H.L. Meakin, introduction and afterward by Lynn Enterline, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002
  • “Mr. Barvile’s Enthusiasm: Habit, Discipline, and Methodism in the Eighteenth-Century British Imagination,” in Launching Fanny Hill: Critical Essays, ed. Patricia Fowler, AMS Press, 2002
  • “Tactile Places: Materializing Desire in Margaret Cavendish and Jane Barker,” Textual Practice, Vol.13 (2), (1999), 329-352
  • “Frances Burney,” Reader’s Guide to Literature in English, ed. Mark Hawkins-Dady (London: Fitzroy Dearborn, 1996)
  • “Justify My Desire: Madonna and the Representation of Visual Pleasure,” Gender in Popular Culture: Images of Men and Women in Literature, Visual Media, and Material Culture, ed. Susan Rollins (Cleveland: Ridgemont Press, 1995), 7-24
  • “‘The Different Sorts of Friendship’: Desire in Mansfield Park,” Jane Austen and Discourses of Feminism, ed. Devoney Looser (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1995)
  • “Rehearsing the Eighteenth Century: The (Re) Production of Professional Knowledge,” The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation, 35 (1994): 86-95.
Misty Anderson

Contact Information

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