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I am interested in the development of fiction from the late seventeenth century into the middle of the nineteenth-century and my most recent book applies classic sociological theory to fiction. I have taught a lot of Jane Austen courses of late but have also taught a Dickens first year seminar and am developing another FYS course on comic film. And I spend at least half of my time in Steele building working on General Education matters.


1973 B.A., Brandeis University (English)
1975 M.A., Johns Hopkins University (English)
1978 Ph.D., University of Florida (English)


  • Jane Austen and Modernization: Sociological Readings. Palgrave Macmillan, 2015
  • Jane Austen and Co.: Remaking the Past in Contemporary Culture. Edited. Suzanne Pucci and James Thompson. SUNY Albany Press, 2003.
  • Models of Value: Eighteenth-Century Political Economy and the Novel, Duke University Press, 1996.
  • Between Self and World: the Novels of Jane Austen, Pennsylvania State University Press, 988.
  • Language in Wycherley’s Plays: Seventeenth-Century Language Theory and the Drama, University of Alabama Press, 1984.


  • 2003 – Johnston Award for Excellence in Teaching
  • Andrew W. Mellon Foundation $230,000 grant for Dissertation seminars, 2005-2006 (with John McGowan)