Misty Anderson

Professor of English & Adjunct Professor of Theatre


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 Allen C. Carroll Chair of Teaching in the English department. 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 an adjunct member to the Theatre Department.


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


  • Curator, Sacred Satire: Lampooning Religious Belief in Eighteenth-Century Britain. Lewis Walpole Library Gallery show, Yale University, 2011-2012

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.

Book reviews

  • Review of Toni Bowers’ The Politics of Motherhood: British Writing and Culture, 1680-1760, Prose Studies (1998)
  • Review of Terry Castle’s The Female Thermometer: Eighteenth-Century Culture and the Invention of the Uncanny, Journal of English and Germanic Philology (1997).


Invited Lectures

  •  “The Wonder and the Miracle of Britishness,” The Huntington Early Modern Studies Institute, The Huntington Library, May 2, 2013.  All-day seminar.
  • “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.
  • “Theater of the Real: Methodism and Theatricality in the 1760s.”  18th-Century Studies Workshop, Yale University, February 11, 2009. Invited 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.


Awards, Honors & Grants

  • 2013    Allen C. Carroll Chair of Teaching (2013-2015)
  • 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
  • 2008    Hodges Better English Fund Research Leave (Fall)
  • 2006    Hodges Better English Summer Research Grant
  • 2002    Hodges Better English Fund Research Leave (Fall)
  • 2002    Faculty Appreciation Award, Graduate Students in English
  • 2001    Hodges Summer Fellowship
  • 2000    ICE course development grant, with Professor Mark Hulsether, Religious Studies
  • 2000    College of Arts and Sciences Junior Faculty Teaching Award
  • 1998    UTK Professional Development Award
  • 1997    Hodges Award for Excellence in Teaching, UTK Department of English

Associations & Organizations

  • MLA
  • Frances Burney Society
  • AAUP

Professional Service

  •  MLA Executive Committee, Later 18thC Representative, 2009-2013 (Chair 2012-13)
  • Editor, Restoration: Studies in English Literary Culture, 1660-1700, July 2003-present
  • Associate Editor, Restoration: Studies in English Literary Culture, 1660-1700, 2002-2003
  • SEASECS Secretary, 2008-2013
  • ASECS Women’s Caucus, 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.
  • Chair, SAMLA Division on Restoration and 18th-Century Literature, 2002-2003
  • ASECS Women’s Caucus, fundraising committee, 2000-2002
  • Co-Organizer, 1999 SEASECS at UTK
  • Chair, SAMLA Literary Criticism Round Table, 1999
  • External Reviewer, Ohio University Department of English, January 2007
  • 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:

  • Arts and Sciences Curriculum Review Commission, 2009-2011
  • 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
  • Faculty Senate Executive Committee, 2002-2003
  • College of Arts and Sciences Junior Teaching Award Committee, 2001
  • College of Arts and Sciences Cunningham Award Committee, 2001
  • Association of Women Faculty, board member, 1998-2002


Selected Departmental Service:

  • 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
  • Romantic/ Late-Eighteenth-Century Search Committee, member 2000-2001
  • Hodges Award Committee for the Best Graduate Essay, 1999
  • Ph.D. Admissions Committee, 1999-2000; 2002-2007
  • M.A. Admissions Committee, 2002-2007
  • Hodges Teaching Award, Committee Member, 1998-2002
  • M.A./Ph.D. Qualifying Exam Committee, 1996-1998, 2002-2007, 2008-2009
  • Renaissance Search Committee, member, 1997
  • Eighteenth-Century Reading Group, organizer, 1999-present
  • Critical Theory Colloquy, 1996-2007
  • Feminist Theory Colloquy, organizer, Spring 1998-2002