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Adam Komisaruk

Professor; M.A./Ph.D. Program Supervisor

Curriculum Vitae

I work on British literature and culture of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, with a focus on sexual discourses in poetry and in nonfiction prose. I have published two long-form projects. The first is a two-volume critical edition of Erasmus Darwin’s epic poem about natural history, The Botanic Garden (with Allison Dushane; Routledge, 2017). The second is a monograph, Sexual Privatism in British Romantic Writing: A Public of One (Routledge, 2019); here I suggest that the “public” eroticism typically ascribed to the Romantic movement was often predicated on an exclusion of otherness. I include readings of imaginative literature (by Beckford, Blake, Hays, Percy Shelley, Wollstonecraft), works of political economy (Cobbett, Godwin, Hazlitt, Malthus), legal treatises (on rape, sodomy, adultery), satirical scandal-sheets, and popular journalism. In a new project, I am exploring how attitudes toward Jewishness have helped to shape literary theory, particularly where Romantic texts are at issue, since the late 20th century. My most recent article is titled “Žižek’s Jews.” 

I teach undergraduate courses in post-1780 British literature and in literary theory with regularity. At the graduate level, some of my recent offerings include “Queer Romanticisms,” “Romanticism in and out of Print,” “William Blake,” “Romantic Law and Literature,” and “Studies in the Sublime.” I was Director of Graduate Study in the Department of English from 2013 to 2019 and am currently serving in this role again.