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Photo of Inger Brody, taken by Sarah Boyd

Professor of English and Comparative Literature / Adjunct Professor, Asian and Global Studies / Inaugural Faculty School of Civic Life and Leadership

1993, PhD Committee on Social Thought, University of Chicago

1991, MA Committee on Comparative Studies in Literature, University of Chicago

1990, MA with distinction, Committee on Social Thought, University of Chicago

1987, BA summa cum laude and Honors in Liberal Arts and Sciences, The Colorado College


I’m a professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literature and member of the inaugural faculty of the School of Civic Life and Leadership. I also serve as Adjunct Professor in Global Studies, and Affiliate Faculty in Asian Studies. At UNC I’ve had many leadership positions, including Director of the Comparative Literature Program, Founding Director of Global Cinema, and Director of the Office of Distinguished Scholarships. I’m internationally known as a Jane Austen scholar, but my studies are much broader, including the history of the novel in England, Europe, and Japan, and intersections of literature and political theory.

My first book, Ruined by Design: Shaping Novels and Gardens in the Culture of Sensibility (Routledge, 2008; paperback 2012) draws on fictional narratives, landscape architecture, discussions of ‘natural’ language, guides to rhetoric, philosophical writings, and other aspects of the culture of sensibility in England, France, and Germany, to offer a new synthesis of its literary and material culture. Ruined by Design reveals a widespread discomfort with authorship and authority in general, which led to innovative new structures in the fledging novel, as well as in landscape gardens and their architecture. Ruined by Design won the 2009 SAMLA Studies Book Award

Jane Austen and the Price of Happiness (Johns Hopkins, 2024) is the first book to focus on the art of Austen’s endings. General readers and scholars alike have long noticed that there is something odd about the way Austen rushes her endings, and this book is the first to explain how Austen’s relationship with the marriage plot and happy endings shapes her endings. The book also explores how these endings have been interpreted in film and fiction. You can read a Publisher’s Weekly review of it here, or see more reviews here. 

I am active in the public humanities and digital humanities, most recently as the Principal Investigator in an NEH grant to build “Jane Austen’s Desk.” The project imaginatively recreates Austen’s environment during her most productive years, including information about what she was reading, where her family was traveling, and what was going on in the world around her. The site will be coming soon at I’m co-founder and for the past decade have directed the Jane Austen Summer Program at UNC-Chapel Hill (2012-2025), a seminar for town and gown. I’m Co-Founder, Co-Director, and Co-Host of the Jane Austen & Co. web series:, where we have reached tens of thousands of viewers through live and recorded interviews. With graduate and undergraduate students, I’ve created “The Feast in Visual Arts and Cinema,” an interactive virtual gallery of essays on feasting and culture. The site includes 40 student authors, several galleries, and a new annotated filmography of food films: Below is another example of my activity in public media: “Where perfection comes at a price,” The Conversation (March 27, 2020). https:// austens- emma-134279 (This essay was reprinted in and many other news sources).

To read more, visit my website


  • “Austen’s Paradoxical Place in Indian Cinema” in Austen in Asia. Eds. Kimiyo Ogawa and Tristanne Connolly. Palgrave McMillan UK, forthcoming in 2022.
  • “Jane Austen, Art, and Artifice,” in The Edinburgh Companion to Jane Austen and the Arts. Eds. Joe Bray and Hannah Moss. Edinburgh University Press, forthcoming in 2021.
  • “Jane Austen in the Public Humanities: The Jane Austen Summer Program” (with Sarah Schaefer Walton and Anne Fertig) in Companion to Jane Austen. Eds. Maria Frawley and Cheryl Wilson. Routledge, forthcoming in 2020.
  • “Where perfection comes at a price,” The Conversation (March 27, 2020).
  • “Tyrants, Lovers, and Comedy in the Green Worlds of Mansfield Park and A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in Shakespeare and Austen. Eds. Marina Cano and Rosa Maria Garcia Periago. Palgrave Macmillan, 2019.
  • Beth Lau, ed., Jane Austen and Sciences of the Mind. London and New York: Routledge, 2018. The BARS Review, No. 51 (Spring 2018): 17-19.
  • Ruined by Design: Shaping Novels and Gardens in the Culture of Sensibility. (New York: Routledge, 2008).
  • Rediscovering Natsume Sôseki (with the first English translation of Travels through Manchuria and Korea). Co-edited and Co-translated with Sammy Tsunematsu. (Folkestone, UK: Global Oriental, 2001).
  • “Power of Memory and Memory of Power: War and Graves in Westerns and Jidaigeki” in The Philosophy of War Films.  Ed. David LaRocca. University Press of Kentucky, 2014. 287-310. (Forthcoming in paperback in 2018.)
  • “Avenues, Parks, Wilderness, and Ha-has: The Use and Abuse of Landscape in Mansfield Park” in Approaches to Teaching Mansfield Park.  Eds. Marcia McClintock Folsom and John Wiltshire.  New York: Modern Language Association, 2014. 175-189.

Teaching Awards

2019, Johnston Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching

2016, Graduate Mentor Award for UNC Department of English and Comparative Literature

2011, Chapman Family Award for Excellence in Teaching

2006, Tanner Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching


2024, Townsend Fellow, Institute for the Arts and Humanities

2023-24, National Traveling Lecturer, Jane Austen Society of North America

2019-20, BRIDGES Women’s Academic Leadership Training Cohort XXVII

2018, North Carolina Humanities Council Harlan Joel Gradin Award for Excellence in the Public Humanities

2012-2017, Bank of America distinguished term professorship

2015, Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters awarded at Opening Convocation for Colorado College

Courses Taught:

CMPL 130 or 130H Great Books II

CMPL 220 or 220H Global Jane Austen

ASIA/CMPL 225H Feast in Philosophy, Film, and Fiction

CMPL 250 or 250H Approaches to CMPL

ENGL 235 Studies in Jane Austen

ASIA/CMPL 379 or 379H Cowboys, Samurai, Rebels

Curriculum Vitae / Resume