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Alyssa Connell

2015 Ph.D. Graduate
Dissertation Advisor(s): Toni Bowers, Michael Gamer
" Paper Kingdom: Travel Literature, Chorography, and the Writing of Britain, 1660-1770"

Chief of Staff, Field Museum

BA and MA (English), Boston College

My research and teaching interests within the long eighteenth century include travel and travel writing, popular print culture, book history, cartography, and epistolary fiction. My dissertation, "Paper Kingdom: Travel Literature, Chorography, and the Writing of Britain, 1660-1770," examined how British writers responded to political crises and global expansion with a turn inward, deploying domestic travel to craft an idealized vision of an organized, legible, self-contained Britain.

I have taught a seminar on Jane Austen, writing seminars ranging from an intensive basic writing course to a class on eighteenth-century periodicals, and summer writing courses for Penn's Pre-Freshman Program. My courses in the English department include a Jane Austen seminar; "Fugitive Tales," a nineteenth-century literature course on various kinds of runaways; "Romantic Revolutions," in introduction to various genres of Romantic writing; and "Enlightenment Voyages," exploring writing about travel in the long eighteenth century.

I have also co-coordinated Penn's Eighteenth Century Reading Group and served as a Hopkinson Fellow, a Mellon Graduate Humanities Forum Fellow, and vice-president of the Graduate English Association. In addition, I taught a monthly community literature seminar ("Books You Wish You'd Read") in Philadelphia. 

I research, write about, and cook from early modern manuscript recipe books with Marissa Nicosia at

Courses Taught

spring 2015

ENGL 041.001 Enlightenment Voyages  
ENGL 050.001 Romantic Revolutions  

fall 2014

ENGL 251.601 Fugitive Tales  

fall 2012