Professor Emeritus

R. Brandon KershnerR. Brandon Kershner received his MA from The Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars in 1966 and his PhD in English and Comparative Literature from Stanford University in 1972. He has been a member of the UF faculty since 1971.

He is the author of Dylan Thomas: The Poet and His Critics(1977); Joyce, Bakhtin, and Popular Literature (UNC Press, 1989), which won the 1990 award in literary criticism from the American Conference for Irish Studies; The Twentieth-Century Novel: An Introduction (Bedford Books, 1997); and numerous articles on Joyce, other modern writers, and topics within cultural studies. He is the editor of the critical edition of Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist from Bedford Books of St. Martin’s Press (1992), and two collections of essays on Joyce: Joyce and Popular Culture (UF Press, 1996) and Cultural Studies of Joyce (Rodopi, 2003). His poetry and translations have appeared in such journals as Poetry and APR.

Professor Kershner is serving a six-year term as a Trustee of the International James Joyce Foundation, and in 1999 was named University of Florida Alumni Professor of English.

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Professor
Marston-Milbauer Eminent Scholar
Director, Working Group for the Study of Critical Theory

Phillip Wegner

Phillip Wegner joined the UF faculty in 1994. He received his BA from California State University, Northridge, where he was named the recipient of the Wolfson Scholar Award for 1986; and his PhD from the Literature Program at Duke University in 1993, where he was a Mellon Fellow in the Humanities. He was the Coordinator of the Graduate Program from 2009 to 2012 and the Associate Graduate Coordinator from 2005-2009, and he founded the Working Group for the Study of Critical Theory at UF in 2015. He was named a University Research Foundation (UFRF) Professor in 2010 and the Marston-Milbauer Eminent Scholar in English in 2012. He was the president for The Society for Utopian Studies from 2010-2014, and received the Society’s Lyman Tower Sargent Award for Distinguished Scholarship in 2017.

Professor Wegner is the author of four books, Imaginary Communities: Utopia, the Nation, and the Spatial Histories of Modernity (2002); Life Between Two Deaths: U.S. Culture, 1989-2001 (2009); Periodizing Jameson: Dialectics, the University, and the Desire for Narrative (2014); and Shockwaves of Possibility: Essays on Science Fiction, Globalization, and Utopia (2014). He has published more than 50 essays on topics including contemporary literature and film, twentieth-century culture, genre theory, utopian fiction, literary theory, cultural studies, Marxism, spatial theory, globalization, and science fiction. He has presented major lectures at universities across the United States, as well as in Ireland, Cyprus, Germany, Sweden, and Greece. His forthcoming book is entitled, Reading Theory and Utopia in Dark Times, and he has begun work on a new book entitled, A Return to the Scene of the Postmodern; or, Why 1984 Wasn’t Like 1984. He is a multiple recipient of UF Teaching Awards, and teaches a wide range of courses, including most recently, undergraduate courses on contemporary world fiction, literary theory, and modernist British literature; and graduate seminars on the dialectical theory, structuralism and post-structuralism, and the Künstlerroman.

Professor Wegner’s CV

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Albert Brick Professor

My most recent book, Victorian Skin: Surface, Self, History, focuses on the history of the body, medicine and realism in the nineteenth century, with special attention to skin and surface. This is an extension of my long-term work on the history of the body and medicine in the period, and on the history of genre. Other areas of interest include gender, popular literature and medical humanities. Some recent article publications include “Dreadful: Aesthetic Fear in Victorian Reading” in Dreadful Passions: Fear in the Literary and Medical Imagination Medieval to Modern; “How Disgust Entered the Ghost Story,” Routledge Handbook to the Ghost Story, (Scott Brewster and Luke Thurston, eds. London: Routledge, 2018: 409-417), “The Will to Touch: David Copperfield’s Hand.” 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century (November 2014), and the coedited Encyclopedia of Victorian Literature in four volumes, Blackwell, 2015 (Coedited with Dino Felluga and Linda Hughes), which won the “Outstanding Reference Book” designation from the American Library Association, January 2016. I was a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow (2016) and Society for the Humanities Fellow at Cornell (2016-17).

I am on the executive committee for NAVSA (the North American Victorian Studies Association), and am organizing the 2018 conference in St. Petersburg, Florida. I also serve as elected representative on the Forum LLC Victorian and Early-20th-Century English group for the MLA (Modern Language Association) and on several editorial boards. I am the series editor for the SUNY Press book series Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century. At UF, I am affiliated with the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies and am a founding member of CISMaC, the Collective for the Interdisciplinary Study of Medicine and Culture. I regularly teach courses in Victorian Literature, Literature and Medicine, and topics in Victorian Gender and Class.

Professor Gilbert’s CV

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Professor

Susan Hegeman

Susan Hegeman researches the intersections of American literature and the social sciences, especially anthropology. She is currently working on a project on indigeneity in a global context, and another on the history of the popular social sciences in mid-twentieth century US. She is the author of Patterns for America: Modernism and the Concept of Culture (Princeton, 1999) and The Cultural Return (California, 2012). She is also an associate editor of the multi-volume Blackwell Encyclopedia of the Novel (2011).

A former chapter president of United Faculty of Florida, Professor Hegeman is also interested in the history and politics of higher education. She is currently a guest blogger for Amerikaanalys.se, an academic blog that contextualizes U.S. politics for a Swedish audience.

She has recently taught courses on American Indian Literature and U.S. Literature and the Law (undergraduate) and Rationality, Irrationality, and Modernity (graduate).

Professor Hegeman’s CV

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Assistant Professor

I work on the literature and culture of the eighteenth century, with emphasis on Great Britain and a secondary focus on France. My interests are the rise and theory of the novel, the intersection between philosophy and literature, and the intellectual history of the Enlightenment. My first book, Empiricism and the Early Theory of the Novel (Palgrave, 2016), considers how eighteenth-century British novelists, from Henry Fielding to Jane Austen, defended the novel as a source of knowledge. Their theories of the novel, I argue, constituted responses to an empiricist suspicion of fiction that became culturally dominant in the late seventeenth century; and they anticipate, in content and purpose, modern arguments that vindicate the humanities against scientistic skepticism. For a sample review click here.

My new book project, provisionally entitled The Enlightenment Crisis of Values, is the first full-length study of Enlightenment relativism. The book begins by showing that a wide range of authors in both Britain and France came to associate the philosophical tendencies of the eighteenth century with a possible collapse of traditional normative boundaries — between right and wrong, true and false, beautiful and ugly, men and women, and Europeans and “barbarians”; and I proceed to suggest that the vast majority of these authors tried to counter this tendency, trying to keep relativism at bay by “upgrading” the old distinctions on new philosophical grounds. In the process, they not only salvaged values that we remain invested in (such as ethical distinctions and the notion of basic human entitlements) but also revitalized old prejudices we are still struggling to overcome. This is a long-term project that shall keep me busy for a few more years, as it has sent me after a wide variety of genres — essays, philosophical treatises, personal letters, legal documents, poetry, prose fiction, and history; the book’s goal is to recover the centrality of relativism as an eighteenth-century cultural phenomenon and in the process develop a picture of the Enlightenment’s afterlife that acknowledges both its positive and its regrettable legacies. If you are interested in these issues, or you wrote something I should know about, please get in touch!

Born and raised in Brazil, I hold an M.A. in English Literary Studies from the University of São Paulo (2006) and a PhD in English from Johns Hopkins University (2015). (My surname, should you decide to use it, is pronounced My-OH-ly, but I am very comfortable with first names. Plain “Roger” is always welcome.) I have articles and book reviews either published or forthcoming in Eighteenth-Century FictionSEL– Studies in English Literature 1500–1900The ShandeanThe Scriblerian, and Digital Defoe. In addition, I have an extensive output as an English–Portuguese translator, having prepared among many others the first Brazilian edition of Henry Fielding’s Joseph Andrews. I teach undergraduate and graduate courses on topics including secularism, the rise of the British novel, literature and ethics, the Enlightenment, the philosophical tale, and the self in literature. Other than Jane Austen and the eighteenth-century usual suspects, I am a fan of Elizabeth Gaskell, Machado de Assis, William Somerset Maugham, Jorge Luis Borges, and Donald Duck.

Professor Maioli’s CV

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Associate Professor

Leah Rosenberg

She received her PhD in Comparative Literature from Cornell University in 2000 and teaches Caribbean and Postcolonial studies. Her current book project: Tourist Empires, Migrating Nations narrates the intersecting histories of tourism from the global north to the Caribbean and of large-scale migration from the Caribbean to Latin America and the global north. It argues that both large-scale movements developed in concert and shaped modern Caribbean literature from the 1890s to the present. In 2017, she presented work from this project at the American Comparative Literature Association, the Caribbean Studies Association Conference, and the West Indian Literature conference. Her previous research focuses on literary historiography. Her book, Nationalism and the Formation of Caribbean Literature (Palgrave 2007) tells the story of how intellectuals in the English-speaking Caribbean first created a distinctly Caribbean and national literature in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. With J. Dillon Brown, she co-edited Beyond Windrush: Rethinking Postwar West Indian Literature (U Mississippi Press, 2015), an essay collection that significantly expands our understanding of West Indian literature of the 1950s by examining a broad spectrum of overlooked writers, genres, and topics. “Refashioning Caribbean Literary Pedagogy in the Digital Age,” (Caribbean Quarterly 62:3-4 (2017), pp. 422-444) describes her work in digital humanities and pedagogy.

She serves as co-chair of the advisory board of the Digital Library of the Caribbean, an open-access, international partnership dedicated to preserving and making accessible Caribbean library and archival materials. Since 2008, she has worked to expand its holdings in Anglophone Caribbean literature and history with the goal of building the library’s capacity as a commons for collaborative research and teaching. She reviews articles and publishes in the Jamaica Journal, Caribbean Quarterly, and Small Axe. She also serves on the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences’ Humanities PhD taskforce to expand professional training and placement for graduate students in the humanities. Her courses include, “Research and Writing in English and the Humanities,” critical surveys of Caribbean literature, and courses in Caribbean studies and digital humanities, designed and taught in collaboration with classes at the University of the West Indies (Barbados), Amherst College, and the University of Miami.

Professor Rosenberg’s CV

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Professor Emeritus
Chris Snodgrass received his BA from Wabash College, and his MA and PhD from SUNY-Buffalo. Most of his scholarly research has focused on late Victorian literature and art, particularly the 1890s, touching on intellectual history and cultural studies. He has published numerous articles on figures such as Carlyle, Swinburne, Wilde, Dowson, Symons, and Beardsley, among others. He is the author of Aubrey Beardsley, Dandy of the Grotesque (Oxford UP, 1995), which was named by the CHOICE library service as one of the “outstanding academic books of 1995.”

Professor Snodgrass is currently writing a second book on Beardsley (and fin-de-sièclesexuality), provisionally titled Elegant Monsters: Aubrey Beardsley and Late-Victorian Narratives of Sexuality.

Among his recent graduate seminars have been “Movements in Victorian Literature and Art: Aestheticism and the Decadence,” “Sexual Identity and Representation in Late Victorian Literature and Art,” “Issues in Victorian Culture: The Woman Question in the Fin de Siècle,” and “Theorizing Decadence: Images of Men, Women, and Other Monsters in Late-Victorian Mythologies.” He served for eight years as the chief negotiator for collective bargaining contracts on behalf of Florida’s state university faculty.

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