Toni Bowers (Professor) specializes in British literature and culture from Charles II’s restoration in 1660 to the French Revolution. Professor Bowers’ research and writing focus particularly on how representations of intimate relations shaped and reinforced distributions of power during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. She publishes and teaches on writing by and about women, ideologically driven and partisan political writing (which, she maintains, are not the same thing), the discursive construction of "Great Britain," and early prose fiction in England and Scotland.
In addition to her many essays in scholarly journals and collections, she is the author of Force or Fraud: British Seduction Stories and the Problem of Resistance, 1660-1760, (Oxford University Press, 2011), and The Politics of Motherhood: British Writing and Culture, 1660-1760 (Cambridge University Press, 1996). With John Richetti (Penn, Emeritus), she has co-edited an abridgement of Richardson's Clarissa (Broadview Press, 2010), and with Professor Tita Chico of the University of Maryland she has co-edited a volume of scholarly essays titled Atlantic Worlds in the Long Eighteenth Century: Seduction and Sentiment (Palgrave: 2012). She is currently writing a book that reaches back to the early seventeenth century, on the metaphorical language used to debate the Union of England and Scotland between 1603 and 1715. With Prof. Albert Rivero of Marquette University, she is also currently editing the first complete edition in nearly a century of Richardson's Pamela, scheduled to appear in 2015. For more of Dr. Bowers's publications, see here.
Toni Bowers regularly presents her scholarship across the United States and has lectured by invitation in Canada, England, Finland, France, the Netherlands, and Scotland. In addition to her undergraduate teaching, she leads graduate seminars, directs and advises doctoral dissertations, supervises both undergraduate and graduate-level independent studies, and serves on committees for the English Department, the School of Arts and Sciences, and the University. Dr. Bowers co-founded Penn’s Atlantic Studies Seminar in 2001, was Visiting Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh 1999-2000, and was for many years Faculty-in-Residence at Kings Court-English House College House, where she founded the undergraduate humanities society Perspectives in Humanities and inaugurated the Penn Authors' Forum.
Bowers is a core faculty member in Penn's Gender Studies program, and a member of the Advisory Board to the McNeil Center for Early American Studies. She currently serves on Penn's Personnel Committee, directly advising the Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences on faculty hiring and promotion. She serves as editorial consultant for a number of academic journals and publishing houses. She received her Ph.D. from Stanford.