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, view the bibliography to Professor Elfenbein's book The Gist of Reading (Stanford 2018).

Educational Background & Specialties
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Educational Background

  • Ph. D.: English, Yale University, 1991 - none
  • B. A., summa cum laude: English, Yale University, 1986 - none


  • British literature, history, and culture, 1700-1900
  • influence study
  • queer theory
  • history of English
  • cognition and reading
  • the study of authorship
  • empirical psychology and literary study