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S. Pearl Brilmyer

S. Pearl Brilmyer

Assistant Professor of English

Curriculum Vitae

Fisher-Bennett Hall 218

Office Hours

spring 2021

W 12-1

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. She is also working on an experimental, annotated edition of Olive Schreiner's unfinished novel, currently titled The Prism I Hold in My Hand (under contract with Punctum Books). 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.

Courses Taught

spring 2021

ENGL 016.301 Queer History and Theory  
ENGL 800.301 Pedagogy  

fall 2020

ENGL 560.401 Queer Studies canceled  

spring 2020

ENGL 108.001 Literature and Science  
ENGL 560.401 What is a Subject?  

fall 2019

ENGL 094.401 Intro to Literary Theory  
ENGL 601.401 History Literature Theory  

spring 2018

ENGL 560.301 Victorian Materialism  

fall 2017

ENGL 311.301 English Honors Program  

spring 2017

ENGL 290.401 Queer Attachments  

fall 2016