B.A., Wellesley College; J.D., Harvard Law School; Ph.D., Boston University
Barbara Morris Caspersen Associate Professor in the Humanities; Associate Professor of English
Research and teaching focuses on the 19th-and 20th-century British novel.
In my scholarly work, I have focused on the Victorian novel. My book, The Crime in Mind: Criminal Responsibility and the Victorian Novel, attends to the interdisciplinary study of law and literature. Currently, I am working on a manuscript entitled "Novel Judgments: Critical Terms of the 19th- and 20th- Century Novel Review," that explores the vocabulary of reviewing. I received a Guggenheim Fellowship in support of this project, one chapter of which has recently been published in Victorian Literature and Culture. In addition, I am editing The Oxford Handbook of the Victorian Novel as well as Sir James Fitzjames Stephen's The Story of Nuncomar and the Impeachment of Sir Elijah Impey. The latter work is a late Victorian legal history describing the 18th-century trial (and execution) of Nandakumar and the subsequent impeachment proceedings for judicial murder brought against Elijah Impey. I have also edited an anthology of Decadent poetry for Penguin.
I teach courses at all levels of the curriculum. At the 100-level, I teach the writing-intensive course that introduces students to the critical interpretation of poetry. At the 200-level, I teach courses on the Victorian novel and the modern novel (my two main areas of interest). I have taught advanced seminars on various topics related to the 19th- and 20th-century novel (for instance, one on George Eliot and her readers and one on Charlotte Bronte and Virginia Woolf ). In Fall 2007, I introduced a seminar entitled "The Victorian Novel: Inside and Out," which responded to a need for a course that prepared students for thesis work and also provided an opportunity for students not pursuing theses to do independent work. I look forward to teaching this course again. I would also like to create a course on literary editing.
I am a member of the Northeast Victorian Studies Association (the NVSA's 2009 conference—The Victorian Everyday—was held at Wellesley) and a trustee of the Dickens Society.