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Chris Chan


BA in English and chemistry, summa cum laude, Rutgers University (2013)

MA in English, University of Pennsylvania (2015)


Chris Chan is a doctoral candidate in the Department of English at Penn. His dissertation project, titled “Lyric Communities and Communal Lyricisms in Eighteenth-Century British Poetry,” documents and redresses the gap between eighteenth-century poetic practices and modern notions of lyric. Its primary goals are to reconceptualize lyric in the 18C as a mode of direct political engagement; to revise the "pre-/proto-romantic" historiography of lyric; and to account for the sociopolitical lives of select eighteenth-century poets and their poems. To fulfill these aims, the project specifically engages genres and poets which have variously been conscripted into or marginalized from prevailing histories of the lyric. These "major" and "minor" categories include: retirement and retreat poetry (Abraham Cowley, John Pomfret, Anne Finch); laboring-class verse; devotional lyrics; and antislavery poetry (John Jamieson, James Field Stanfield).

At Penn, Chris has served as a co-coordinator (with Mayelin Perez) of the Restoration-to-Victorian Studies working group, which regularly invites scholars from the greater Philadelphia region and beyond to present their most recent work. He has professional experience in analytical chemistry, pharmaceuticals, copyediting, and writing pedagogy through various positions prior to his tenure in the department (see LinkedIn for details).

Courses Taught

fall 2017

ENGL 200.301 The English Lyric