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Welcome to New Faculty Member Rachel Trocchio

The pre-1900 American literature scholar specializes in devotional literature
May 23, 2019

The Department of English is delighted to welcome a new tenure-track assistant professor to our faculty roster this fall. Dr. Rachel Trocchio brings a great deal of expertise in pre-1900 American literature, and we are thrilled to have her join the faculty.

Trocchio has a PhD in English from the University of California, Berkeley. This past year she was a visiting postdoctoral research fellow at the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale University and a visiting assistant professor of English at Franklin & Marshall College.

Trocchio specializes in 17th- and 18th-century American literature, with an emphasis on devotional literature. She is also interested in intellectual history, early modern religious literature in conjunction with philosophies of history and science, and the relationship of literature and 18th-century mathematics.

Trocchio's book project, "American Puritanism and the Cognitive Style of Grace," orients Puritanism around its participation in the history of “the craft of thought.” The phrase refers to mental devices for making thoughts, but in the context of colonial Massachusetts, Trocchio argues, this craft offered the Puritans novel ways of negotiating the ordeal predestination posed: If one’s eternal fate was determined before the beginning of time, how was one to move closer to God?