Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Toni Bowers

Professor of English

Curriculum Vitae
Fisher-Bennett Hall 239

Office Hours

fall 2015

Fall 2015 office hours by appointment


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 both public and private distributions of power during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. She publishes and teaches on seventeenth- and eighteenth-century British writing by and about women, ideologically driven and partisan political writing of that time and place, the discursive construction of "Great Britain" between 1600 and 1800, and early prose fiction from England and Scotland.

In addition to dozens of 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 new book that reaches back to the early seventeenth century, on imaginative structures used to debate the Union of England and Scotland between 1603 and the middle of the eighteenth century. With Prof. Albert Rivero of Marquette University, she is also currently editing the first complete edition in nearly a century of Richardson's Pamela (v. 1-4), scheduled to appear in 2016 from Broadview Press.  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 at Penn and at other institutions around the world, 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. She has been the recipient of a number of fellowships and awards, including fellowships from the NEH, the British Academy, the Newberry Library, the Huntington Library, the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, and the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin.

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 serves as editorial consultant for a number of academic journals and publishing houses, has served as a Delegate and a member of the Executive Committee of the Delegates for the American Council for Learned Societies, and has served as a Delegate for the Modern Language Association and on its Executive Committee for Restoration and Early Eighteenth-Century Studies.  She received her Ph.D. from Stanford.


Courses Taught

fall 2015

ENGL 047.001 Scottish Literature

spring 2015

spring 2014

ENGL 341.301 Pamela Craze

spring 2012

fall 2011

ENGL 390.401 Sexuality and Power

spring 2011

fall 2010

ENGL 730.401 Epistolary Fiction

spring 2010

ENGL 045.401 18th-Century Novel
ENGL 341.401 The Pamela Craze

fall 2009

spring 2009

ENGL 245.401 Epistolary Fiction

fall 2008

spring 2008

fall 2007

spring 2006

fall 2005

ENGL 045.001 18th Century Novel

spring 2005

ENGL 345.401 The Pamela Controversy

spring 2002

fall 2001

ENGL 544.401 Richardson

spring 2001

ENGL 045.001 18th Century Novel

fall 2000

ENGL 800.301 Teaching of Literature

spring 1999

fall 1998

fall 1997

ENGL 203.001 Major British Novel
ENGL 299.314 Independent Study

spring 1997

fall 1996

ENGL 045.001 18th Century Novel
ENGL 090.401 Women and Literature

spring 1995

fall 1994

ENGL 045.001 The 18th-Century Novel