Gerard Cohen-Vrignaud

Assistant Professor


My research currently focuses on Romantic-era literature and the complex ways it engaged with contemporary political movements and events (revolution, industrialization, mass activism). My book manuscript, “Radical Orientalism and the Rights of Man,” reconsiders the Orientalism of Byron, Shelley, and others in light of various reform and rights discourses that saturated the post-Revolutionary period.

Teaching-wise, I offer courses in Romantic poetry and novels, on representations of the Middle East, on the intersection of politics and literature, and on theories of sexuality, gender, and affect. I have also begun thinking about how to incorporate digital scholarship into my classes, both graduate and undergraduate (suggestions for this kind of work are welcome). In the spring of 2012, for instance, the graduate students in my “Radical Romanticism” course selected and composed the themes and texts for a website on the subject of “Romantic Politics.”

I also participate actively in the 19th-Century British Research Seminar with my departmental colleagues Nancy HenryAmy Billone, and Misty Anderson. You can see the events we’ve recently organized on the seminar’s blog.


M.A., Ph.D., University of Chicago
B.A., University of Michigan


  • “Rhyme’s Crimes,” forthcoming in ELH
  • “Byron and Oriental Love,” Nineteenth-Century Literature 68.1 (June 2013) 1-32.
  • “On Octopussies, or the Anatomy of Female Power,” differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies 23:1 (Spring 2012) 32-61.
  • “Becoming Corsairs: Byron, British Property Rights and Orientalist Economics,” Studies in Romanticism 50:4 (Winter 2011) 685-714