Office Hoursfall 2020
Fall 2020: Virtual office hours for current students at their convenience. Contact me by email to arrange a Zoom or phone appointment.
Toni Bowers (Professor) specializes in British literature and culture from Charles II’s restoration in 1660 to the French Revolution, on early-modern poetry and prose fiction from England and Scotland, and on the implications of silent film and pantomime for the claims of representational language. In all her work, Professor Bowers is interested in how imaginative writing shapes public and private distributions of power and significance. Her overall concern is with how language works to create and solidify social hierarchies, and what alternatives exist to, and within, that process. Professor Bowers is convinced that popular cultural and entertainment reveal and foster ideological agendas.
In addition to dozens of essays in scholarly journals and collections, Bowers is the author of two book of literary history: Force or Fraud: British Seduction Stories and the Problem of Resistance, 1660-1760, (Oxford University Press, 2011), and The Politics of Motherhood: British Writing and Culture, 1660-1760 (Cambridge University Press, 1996). She has also produced distinguished editons and scholarly collections. With John Richetti (Penn, Emeritus), she co-edited an abridgement of Samuel Richardson's 1747-48 masterpiece Clarissa (Broadview Press, 2010); this edition is now in frequent use in undergraduate and graduate classrooms worldwide. And with Professor Tita Chico (Maryland) she has edited a volume of scholarly essays titled Atlantic Worlds in the Long Eighteenth Century: Seduction and Sentiment (Palgrave: 2012). She has been granted permission by the literary heirs of two previously unknown Chaplin memoirs to edit and publish those previously unknown works. With Prof. Albert Rivero of Marquette University, she is editing the first complete edition in nearly a century of Richardson's Pamela (v. 1-4); that edition is under contract with Broadview Press. She is co-editing a book on the artistry of Michael Jackson, and she is working on a monograph that traces how a particular set of metaphors was used in public debate to shape the creation of "Great Britain" between 1603 and 1707 (with implications for understanding the imaginative work that goes into creating nation states and national identity). For more of Dr. Bowers's publications, see here.
Toni Bowers regularly presents her scholarship across the United States and has lectured by invitation in Canada, England, Finland, France, the Netherlands, and Scotland.In 2018, she was MacLain Distinguished Professor at Colorado College. In addition to her undergraduate teaching -- in her view, the most important work she does -- Bowers directs and advises doctoral dissertations at Penn and at other institutions around the world, supervises independent studies at both the undergraduate and graduate leves, and serves on committees at Penn for the English Department, the School of Arts and Sciences, and the larger University. Dr. Bowers co-founded Penn’s Atlantic Studies Seminar, was a year-long Visiting Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh (Scotland), and for many years served as Faculty-in-Residence at Kings Court-English House College House, where she founded the undergraduate humanities society Perspectives in Humanities and inaugurated the Penn Authors' Forum. In She has been the recipient of a number of national and international fellowships and awards, including from the NEH, the British Academy, the Newberry Library, the Huntington Library, the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, and the Harry Ransom Center.
Toni Bowers is a member of the Steering Committee and a Core Faculty Member for Penn's Gender Studies program (GSWS). She served for many years on the Advisory Board to the McNeil Center for Early American Studies. She works as editorial consultant for a number of academic journals and publishing houses, has served as both Delegate and member of the Executive Committee of the Delegates for the ACLS (American Council for Learned Societies). She has served as a Delegate for the Modern Language Association as well as on its Executive Committee for Restoration and Early Eighteenth-Century Studies and on its Executive Committee for Scottish Literature. She received the Ph.D. from Stanford.