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Jed Esty

Vartan Gregorian Professor of English

Fisher-Bennett Hall 221

Office Hours

fall 2024

Thursdays, 2-4pm.  Please use Calendly link to pick a time slot.

Credit: Eric Sucar, University of Pennsylvania

Jed Esty teaches and writes about Anglophone literature after 1850, with special interests in modernism, critical theory, history and theory of the novel, colonial and postcolonial studies, the Victorian novel, and post-45 U.S. culture. He received his BA from Yale and his PhD from Duke. He taught for several years at Harvard and at the University of Illinois before joining the Penn faculty in 2008. Esty is the author of The Future of Decline: Anglo-American Culture at its Limits (Stanford 2022), Unseasonable Youth: Modernism, Colonialism, and the Fiction of Development (Oxford 2012), and A Shrinking Island: Modernism and National Culture in England (Princeton 2004). He is currently at work on a new project entitled Cold War Victorians: The Genre System of the Angloworld.  With Joe Cleary and Colleen Lye, he coedited a 2012 special issue of MLQ on the topic of realism in postcolonial and ethnic US literatures; with Ania Loomba, Suvir Kaul, Antoinette Burton, and Matti Bunzl, he coedited Postcolonial Studies and Beyond (Duke 2005).  Esty has been a fellow of the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the National Endowment for the Humanities; he has published essays in Modern Fiction Studies, Victorian Studies, Modernism/Modernity, ALH, ELH, MLQ, PMLA, Representations, Contemporary Literature, Narrative, Novel, and the Yale Journal of Criticism.




News & Events

Doctoral Dissertations Chaired


Micah Del Rosario "Scattered Supremacies: Locating Whiteness in Modernist Fiction"
Sam Waterman "After Men: Modernist Adventure and Post-Patriarchal Work"


Natalie Amleshi "Inhuman Power: Infrastructural Modernism and the Fiction of Social Form"


Sara Sligar "Forms of Justice: The Rise of the Legal Procedural in the Age of Due Process, 1930-1980"


Nesrine Chahine "Marketplaces of the Modern: Egypt as Marketplace in Twentieth-Century Anglo-Egyptian Literature"


Kelly Mee Rich "States of Repair: Institutions of Private Life in the Postwar Anglophone Novel"


Clifford Mak "Virtuoso Beasts: Modernist Fables and the Vitality of Style"


Philip Tsang "Untimely Citizens: Late Realism in Twentieth-Century British Literature"

Courses Taught

spring 2024

ENGL 1111.001 Modern Irish Literature  

fall 2023

ENGL 1095.301 Novel to Film Adaptation  
ENGL 2751.301 Fiction and Connectivity  

spring 2023

ENGL 0090.001 Literature and Business  

fall 2022

fall 2021

ENGL 058.001 Modern Irish Literature  

fall 2020

ENGL 016.304 Fiction and Connectivity  

spring 2019

ENGL 109.301 Literature and Business  

fall 2018

ENGL 255.301 Victorian Action Heroes  

fall 2017

ENGL 058.001 Modern Irish Literature  

spring 2017

ENGL 109.301 Literature and Business  

fall 2015

spring 2015

ENGL 104.401 The Twentieth Century  
ENGL 800.301 Pedagogy  

spring 2014

ENGL 058.001 Modern Irish Literature  
ENGL 355.301 Victorian Action Heroes  

spring 2013

ENGL 104.401 The Twentieth Century  
ENGL 800.301 Pedagogy  

fall 2012

spring 2012

ENGL 058.001 Modern Irish Literature  

fall 2011

ENGL 259.301 Fictions of Empire  

fall 2010

ENGL 016.301 Modernist Short Story  
ENGL 260.301 Dickens and Joyce  

spring 2010

ENGL 058.001 Modern Irish Literature  
ENGL 591.401 Theories of Modernism  

spring 2009

ENGL 058.001 Modern Irish Literature  
ENGL 262.301 Yeats and Eliot  

fall 2008

ENGL 259.301 Fictions of Empire