S. Pearl Brilmyer
S. Pearl Brilmyer's work lies at the intersection of the history of philosophy, science, and literature with a focus on the nineteenth-century English novel. Other areas of research include theories of will and drive in nineteenth-century German philosophy and science (Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, Freud), questions of sex and relationality in feminist and queer theory, and materialisms old and new.
Prior to joining the faculty at Penn, Brilmyer was assistant professor at The University of Oregon and adjunct instructor at New York University, Pratt Institute, and the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research. She has also held fellowships from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the ICI Berlin Institute for Cultural Inquiry, the DAAD (German Exchange Service), the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, the Wolf Humanities Center, and the Trustees’ Council of Penn Women Faculty Research.
Her current book project, The Science of Character: Human Objecthood and the Ends of Victorian Realism (under contract with The University of Chicago Press) asks what the realist novel, especially as it developed in the hands of turn-of-the-century women writers, can tell us about what it is like to experience another person as a material body with dynamic, aesthetic effects. With Filippo Trentin and Zairong Xiang, she is the editor of a special issue of GLQ: A Journal of Gay and Lesbian Studies entitled "The Ontology of the Couple" (2019). Her essays have been published in PMLA, Representations, Criticism, and Victorian Studies, among other venues.