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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,” traces a political history and genealogy of lyric practice in the period. It argues for a revised understanding of the lyric as an intermediary poetic mode which models political engagement in the guise of intimate address. By demonstrating the lyric’s capacity to turn between private introspection and social intervention, and by focusing on popular genres – retirement and retreat poems; laboring-class verse; devotional lyric; antislavery poetry – that have since been marginalized from modern canonical accounts, the project aims to demonstrate the lyric's political, community-building importance to its many practitioners and readers.

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