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Nina Auerbach

John Welsh Centennial Professor of English Emerita


Nina Joan Auerbach was the John Welsh Centennial Professor of English until her retirement in 2010. She published, lectured, and reviewed widely in the fields of Victorian literature, theater, cultural history, and horror fiction and film. Her books included Our Vampires, Ourselves; Private Theatricals: The Lives of the Victorians; Ellen Terry, Player in Her Time; Romantic Imprisonment: Women and Other Glorified Outcasts; Woman and the Demon: The Life of a Victorian Myth; and Communities of Women: An Idea in Fiction. Her book, Daphne du Maurier, Haunted Heiress inaugurated the University of Pennsylvania Press series, Personal Takes.  She receieved Guggenheim and  Ford Foundation Fellowships as well as the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching at Penn. In 2000, she received the annual Distinguished Scholarship Award from the International Association of the Fantastic in the Arts.


Doctoral Dissertations Chaired


Ilana Blumberg "The Poetics of Ethics of Things: Sympathetic Property Relations in Silas Marner, Romola, and the Moonstone"


Laura S. Croley "Wanderers and Settlers: Vagrancy, Begging, and the English Middle Class, 1790-1867"
Jonathan Grossman "The Art of Alibi: A History of the Novel and the Law Courts"
Darryl Wadsworth "Popular Sentiments: Victorian Melodrama, Class and Sentimentality"


Frederick De Naples "Deadly Secrets, Dangerous Homes: Living with Sensation in the Victorian Period"


Deborah Schizer "Eroticizing the Middle Ages: Gender and Sexuality in Pre-Raphaelite Medievalism"


Jennifer D. Brody "Impossible Beings: Complicating Categories in Victorian Culture"


Athena Vrettos "In Sickness and in Health: Victorian Discourse on Disease"


Constance Harsh "Feminist Solutions to Social Crisis in the Condition of England Novels"
Jo Ellen Parker "Madonnas, Magdalens, and Madwomen: Biblical Typology in the Early Works of George Eliot"


Louis S. Gross "The American Gothic Novel and the Challenge of Generic Convention"


Diane Lichtenstein "Jewish Women Writers and the Myths of American Womanhood"
Robin Roberts "Doris Lessing and Feminist Science Fiction"


Helena Michie "The Flesh Made Word: Representations of Women's Bodies from the Victorian Era to the Present"


Joshua H. Silverman "World of Thackeray's Novels"

Courses Taught

spring 2009

ENGL 251.401 Ironic Romance  

fall 2008

spring 2008

ENGL 556.301 Victorian Schisms  

fall 2007

spring 2007

fall 2006

ENGL 052.001 19th Century Poetry  

spring 2006

fall 2005

ENGL 055.001 19th Century Novel  

spring 2005

fall 2004

ENGL 255.401 Beyond Mars and Venus  

spring 2003

ENGL 055.001 19th Century British Novel  

fall 2002

spring 2002

ENGL 090.401 Women & Literature  

fall 2001

ENGL 754.301 The Victorian George Eliot  

spring 2001

fall 2000

ENGL 754.401 Victorian Fiction  

spring 1999

ENGL 055.001 19th Century British Novel  

fall 1998

spring 1998

fall 1997

ENGL 290.402 Haunting Women  

fall 1996

ENGL 255.302 Topics in 19th C. Novel  

spring 1996

ENGL 255.301 The Feminist Gothic  

fall 1995

ENGL 055.001 Victorian Novel  

spring 1995

fall 1994

ENGL 055.001 19th Century British Novel