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Michael Gamer

Professor of English and Comparative Literature


Office Hours

I'll be in London on a British Academy Global Professorship until Autumn 2024. Please feel free to write to me via email.

Most broadly, I write on how context shapes media ecologies and impacts aesthetic forms. My most recent books are Romanticism, Self-Canonization, and the Business of Poetry (Cambridge, 2017) and - as part of the Multigraph Collective - Interacting with Print: Modes of Reading in the Age of Print Saturation (Chicago, 2018), along with A Cultural History of Tragedy in the Age of Empire (2019) and Women's Travel Writing in India: Volume 2: Harriet Newell's Memoirs and Eliza Fay's Letters. I'm currently British Academy Global Professor of Theatre Studies at Queen Mary University of London (until 2024); there I'm at work on a book on melodrama and an associated digital project asking what playbills read en masse can tell us. With Angela Wright, I am General Editor of the Cambridge Edition of the Works of Ann Radcliffe. Editorial work includes Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto (Penguin, 2002), The Broadview Anthology of Romantic Drama (Broadview, 2003), Charlotte Smith's Manon L'Escaut and the Romance of Real Life (Pickering and Chatto, 2005), and Samuel Coleridge and William Wordsworth's Lyrical Ballads 1798 and 1800 (Broadview, 2008). Essays on poetic collections, performing animals and It-narratives, the Gothic, book history, Jane Austen, dramas of spectacle, gender and performance, periodicals, early novel canons, authorship, and pornography have appeared in MLQ, PMLA, Novel, ELH, Nineteenth-Century Contexts, Studies in Romanticism, and other journals. While at Penn I've been fortunate enough to be the recipient of the Ira Abrams, Lindback, College of General Studies, David Delaura, and Alan Filreis awards for distinguished teaching. 


Articles and Book Chapters

"‘The Stage in a Page: A Visual Life of Romantic Playbills.’ " Book Chapter. The Visual Life of Romantic Theatre (2023)
"'Coleridge and Theatre'" Book Chapter. The New Cambridge Companion to Coleridge (2022)
"'The South Seas Onstage'" Journal Article. Romanticism on the Net (2022)
"‘Keats, Incorporated: Social Authorship and the Making of a Brand.'" Journal Article. European Romantic Review (2022)
"‘(Un)making a Monster: Melodrama, The Satirist, and the Cartoons of Samuel De Wilde.'" Journal Article co-written with David Mayer. Journal (2021)

News & Events

Doctoral Dissertations Chaired


Cassidy Holahan "Dramatizing the Novel: Transmedial Exchange in the Long Eighteenth Century"


Travis Chi Wing Lau "Prophylactic Fictions: Immunity and Biosecurity "


Christine Woody "Romantic Periodicals and the Invention of the Living Author"


Alyssa Connell " Paper Kingdom: Travel Literature, Chorography, and the Writing of Britain, 1660-1770"
Neşe Lisa Devenot "Altered States/Other Worlds: Romanticism, Nitrous Oxide, and the Literary Prehistory of Psychedelia"


Suzanne L. Barnett "Romantic Paganism: Ecstasy and Excess in the Shelley Circle"
Katherine Bennett Gustafson "Coming of Age in the Eighteenth-Century Novel"
Myra Lotto "The Rustic Mode in Britain, 1700-1900"


Daniel DeWispelare "Textual Shibboleths: Anglophony, Authority, and Authenticity, 1753-1832"
Jonathan Scott Enderle "Novel Properties: Communication, Copyright and the British Novel, 1710-1774"


Linda Nurra "Signs Performing: Language and Politics in 1790s Britain"
Jared Richman "Transatlantic Realms: The Idea of America in British Literary Imagination"


Carolyn Anne Jacobson "Contagious Transmissions and Charged Atmospheres: Disease Theories and Narrative in Early Victorian Novels"


Dahlia Porter "'Knowledge Broken': Empiricist Method and the Forms of Romanticism"


Nicole L. Brittingham Furlonge "On the Lower Frequences: Listening and African-American Expressive Culture"

Courses Taught

fall 2024

ENGL 1041.001 Gothic Bodies  
ENGL 2041.301 The Romantic Book  

summer 2019

ENGL 101.950 Penn in London: Jane Austen  

spring 2019

ENGL 101.401 Jane Austen and Adaptation  
ENGL 800.301 Pedagogy  

fall 2018

fall 2017

ENGL 311.302 English Honors Program  

spring 2017

ENGL 050.401 Romantic Revolutions  
ENGL 550.301 The Gothic  

summer 2016

ENGL 101.950 Jane Austen  

summer 2015

ENGL 101.950 Jane Austen  

spring 2015

spring 2014

ENGL 101.401 Jane Austen and Adaptation  
ENGL 455.640 Jane Austen and Adaptation  
ENGL 800.301 Pedagogy  

fall 2013

ENGL 250.301 The Romantic Book  

summer 2012

ENGL 101.950 Jane Austen  

spring 2012

ENGL 050.001 Romantic Revolutions  
ENGL 455.640 Jane Austen and Adaptation  

fall 2011

ENGL 350.301 The Romantic Book  

summer 2010

ENGL 246.950 Romantic Drama and Theatre  

spring 2010

ENGL 551.401 The Global 1790s  
ENGL 566.640 Literature and the Law  

fall 2009

ENGL 101.401 Jane Austen and Adaptation  
ENGL 800.301 Pedagogy  

fall 2008

ENGL 250.301 The Romantic Book  

fall 2007

ENGL 760.301 National Tales  

summer 2006

ENGL 040.950 British Poetry and Painting  
ENGL 068.950 London Theatre Experience  

spring 2006

fall 2005

summer 2005

spring 2005

ENGL 299.307 Shakespeare on Trial  
ENGL 801.301 Pedagogy  

fall 2004

ENGL 199.307 Advanced Fiction Writing  

summer 2004

ENGL 068.950 London Theatre Experience  
ENGL 246.950 Romantic Drama and Theater  

spring 2004

ENGL 299.001 Jane Austen  
ENGL 801.301 Pedagogy  

summer 2003

spring 2003

ENGL 299.001 Early British Novel  

fall 2002

ENGL 299.001 The British Novel  

summer 2002

spring 2002

ENGL 311.301 The Honors Program  

fall 2001

spring 2001

ENGL 050.001 Romantic Poets  
ENGL 299.001 Gothic Novel  
ENGL 311.301 The Honors Program  

fall 2000

summer 2000

ENGL 060.950 Novel Urban Spectacles  

fall 1998

ENGL 250.301 19th Century British Poetry  

summer 1998

fall 1997

ENGL 202.302 Major British Poets  
ENGL 250.301 19th Century British Poetry  

summer 1997

fall 1996

ENGL 202.305 Major British Poets  

spring 1996

ENGL 050.001 Romantic Poets  
ENGL 299.001 Romantic Political Prose  

fall 1995

ENGL 550.301 Gothicism and Romanticism  

spring 1995

ENGL 299.003 The Scottish Enlightenment  
ENGL 299.004 Studies in Wordsworth