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Chris Chan

Fisher-Bennett Hall 307

Office Hours

fall 2017

T and Th 1-2 pm


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,” argues that lyric poetry of the period is best understood not according to the predominant modern paradigm (i.e., as the expression of a fictive, interior, and universalizing consciousness), but rather as an intermediary poetic mode which models communal engagement in the guise of intimate address. By demonstrating the lyric’s capacity to turn between private introspection and social intervention, and by grouping together several communities – Methodists, laborers, abolitionists and freed slaves – that have largely featured at the margins of lyric analysis, the project aims to reread the eighteenth-century lyric as an egalitarian poetic practice central to the making of the British public sphere, and more generally to read poetry as a socially engaged mode of expression even in its most 'private' or interior moments.

At Penn, Chris has also served as a co-coordinator (with Mayelin Perez) of the Restoration to Victorian Studies working group (or "Res-Vic" for short), which invites scholars in the period 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.

Courses Taught

fall 2017

ENGL 200.301 The English Lyric