Andrew Elfenbein

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English Language & Lit
210A LindH

207 Church St SE

Andrew Elfenbein researches eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British literature, the history of authorship, queer theory, linguistics, and cognitive approaches to literacy. His current work focuses on historical linguistics as a theoretical and practical challenge to governing paradigms in literary critical study. In connection with cognitive scientists, he has also begun extensive empirical work on reading in order to provide criticism with better and more sensitive models for the reading process. He has received fellowships from the American Philosophical Society and the Howard Foundation and was a Scholar of the College for the College of Liberal Arts in 2000-2003. He is Associate Editor of the Journal of British Studies and serves on the editorial boards of Genders, Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900, Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies, the Victorian Board of NINES (Networked Interface for Nineteenth-Century Electronic Scholarship), and the Victorian Board of Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net.

For those interested in seeing the bibliography to Professor Elfenbein's book The Gist of Reading (Stanford 2018), it can be found here.

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • Ph. D.: English, Yale University, New Haven, CT, 1991.
  • B. A., summa cum laude: English, Yale University, New Haven, CT, 1986.


  • British literature, history, and culture, 1700-1900
  • cognition and reading
  • queer theory
  • history of English
  • influence study
  • the study of authorship
  • empirical psychology and literary study
Courses Taught
  • Passionate Work: The Work of the Emotions in Eighteenth-Century British and French Literature
  • Victorian Poetry
  • EngL 8170 - Seminar in Nineteenth-Century Literature: Nineteenth-Century Prose
  • The Dark Side of the Enlightenment
  • The Age of Wollstonecraft
  • Decadence
  • GLBT 1001 - Introduction to Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies
  • EngL 3004 - Historical Survey of British Literature I and II
  • Techniques of Literary Study
  • GLBT Literatures and Cultures
  • Shakespeare
  • Romanticism
Research & Professional Activities

Professional Activities

  • Chair, James Russell Lowell Prize Committee: selecting best book of the year in literary criticism , Jan. 2013 - Dec. 2013
  • Editorial Board, _Gender_: 1998 - 2011
  • Associate Editor: JOURNAL OF BRITISH STUDIES , 2005 - 2010


  • Romanticism and the History of English:
  • Revising Influence:
  • Elfenbein, Andrew. Romanticism and the Rise of English. Stanford, 2009.
  • Romantic Genius: The Prehistory of a Homosexual Role: Elfenbein, Andrew, Columbia University Press, Between-Men, Between-Women Series, 1999. Link
  • Byron and the Victorians: Elfenbein, Andrew, Cambridge University Press, Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture Series , 4 , 1995. Link
  • Bram Stoker's Dracula. Elfenbein, Andrew, Longman Cultural Editions New York: Longman, Editor, 2011.
  • Picture of Dorian Gray. Elfenbein, Andrew, Longman Cultural Editions New York: Longman, Editor, 2007.
  • The Desirable Difficulties of Studying Romanticism, Pedagogy 16.3 (2016): 445-79.
  • Reading: Alone and in Groups in A Companion to the English Novel. Ed. Stephen Arata, Madigan Haley, J. Paul Hunter, and Jennifer Wicke. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2015.
  • What Literary Critics Can Learn from the ‘Simple View of Reading.’ In “Theories and Methodologies” Forum on Learning to Read. Ed. Evelyne Ender and Deidre Lynch. PMLA 130.3 (May 2015): 684-89.
  • The United States of Raveloe: Silas Marner and America in a special issue of MLQ, “Lessons from the Past: The History of Academic English.” 75:2 (June 2014): 129-48.
  • Modern Men and Women: Meredith’s Challenge to Browning.The Oxford Handbook of Victorian Poetry. Ed. Matthew Bevis. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. 416-28.
  • Austen’s Minimalism.The Cambridge Companion to Pride and Prejudice. Ed. Janet Todd. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013. 109-21.
  • How to Analyze a Correspondence: The Example of Byron and Murray.European Romantic Review 22 (2011); 347-55.
  • Romanticism and the Standardization of English: Elfenbein, Andrew, Ed. James Chandler and Maureen McClane, Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge Companion to Romantic Poetry, 76-97, 2008.
  • "Introduction“ and On the Discrimination of Influences: Elfenbein, Andrew, Modern Language Quarterly , 69 433-36; 481-507, 2008.
  • Defining Influences: Elfenbein, Andrew, Modern Language Quarterly, 69 , December 2008.
  • Sweet Silent Thought: Alliteration and Resonance in Poetry Comprehension: Elfenbein, Andrew, * Lea, Brooke, David Rapp, Aaron Mitchel, and Russell Swinburne Romine, Psychological Science , 19.7 709-16, July 2008.
  • Cognitive Science and the History of Reading: Elfenbein, Andrew, PMLA , 121 484-502, 2006.
  • Romantic Loves: A Response to Historicizing Romantic Sexuality: Elfenbein, Andrew, Ed. Richard Sha, Romantic Circles: Praxis Series, Historicizing Romantic Sexuality, 2006. Link
  • "Romantic English.": Elfenbein, Andrew, Modern Philology, 102 56-89, 2004.
  • Contesting Heterodoxy: Mrs. Hemans vs. Lord Byron: Elfenbein, Andrew, Ed. Nanora Sweet and Barbara Taylor, Romantic Circles Electronic Editions, The Sceptic: A Hemans-Byron Dialogue, 2004. Link
  • Byron: Gender and Sexuality: Elfenbein, Andrew, Ed. Drummond Bone, Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge Companion to Byron, 56-73, 2004.
  • The Management of Desire in Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure: Elfenbein, Andrew, Ed. Patsy S. Fowler and Alan Jackson, New York: AMS, Fanny Hill: Essays on the Novel and Its Influences, 27-48, 2003.
  • Papadada: Reinventing the Family: Elfenbein, Andrew, John Watkins, Special Issue of Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature The Adoption Issue, 301-18, 2002.
  • Byron and Disability: Elfenbein, Andrew, European Romantic Review, 12 , 2001.
  • Paranoid Poetics: Byron, Schreber, Freud: Elfenbein, Andrew, ed. Richard Sha, Romanticism on the Net 23 , special issue on Romanticism and Sexuality , August 2001. Link
  • "Lesbian Aestheticism on the Eighteenth-Century Stage." : Elfenbein, Andrew, Eighteenth-Century Life, 25, 2001.
  • "Whitman, Democracy, and the English Clerisy." : Elfenbein, Andrew, Nineteenth-Century Literature, 56 , 2001.
  • ACLS Fellowship, 9/1/2013 - 8/31/2014
  • Romanticism and the Rise of English awarded Choice Outstanding Academic Book, 2009
  • Howard Foundation Fellowship, 2005 - 2006
  • American Philosophical Society Sabbatical Fellowship, 2005 - 2006
  • Horace T. Morse-University of Minnesota Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education, 2002 - 2003
  • Ruth Christie Distinguished Teacher Award, 2000 - 2002
  • McKnight Land Grant Professorship
  • College of Liberal Arts, Scholars of the College, University of Minnesota, 2000
  • Byron and the Victorians awarded Choice Outstanding Academic Book, 1995
  • Graduate School Summer Faculty Fellowship, 1993
  • McKnight Summer Research Fellowship, 1993