Department of English

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Faculty Profiles

Faculty Profile
Carolyn   Williams

Carolyn Williams
Chair and Professor of English

Murray Hall | Room 105
College Avenue Campus
Phone: (848) 932-7680

Office Hours: T/W 2:30-4pm | By Appointment

Carolyn Williams specializes in Victorian literature and culture, with special interest in Victorian theater and Victorian poetry.  Until 2010 she was Director of Undergraduate Studies and Director of the Writers at Rutgers and the Writers from Rutgers reading series.  She was the founding Director of Writers House, now directed by Mark Doty.  She is a member of the Executive Committee of the Center for Cultural Analysis (CCA).  Outside Rutgers, she has served on the Supervisory Board of The English Institute and the Executive Board of The Dickens Project, and she now serves on the PMLA Advisory Committee as well as the editorial boards of Victorian Literature and Culture and English Literature in Transition.

She has recently published a study of the comic operas of Gilbert and Sullivan, entitled Gilbert and Sullivan: Gender, Genre, Parody (Columbia University Press, 2011).  The author of Transfigured World: Walter Pater’s Aesthetic Historicism (Cornell, 1989), she has also co-edited Walter Pater: Transparencies of Desire (with Laurel Brake and Lesley Higgins, ELT Press 2002).   She edited a special issue of VLC on Victorian Studies and Cultural Studies (1999) and an issue of the Pater Newsletter on Queer Pater Studies (2007).  Her current research is on Victorian melodrama, conducted under the working title, “The Aesthetics of Melodramatic Form.”  Other recent publications include:  “Melodrama,” for the New Cambridge History of English Literature (Victorian volume), ed. Kate Flint (forthcoming);  “The Gutter Effect in Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s A Dialogue on Love,” in Graphic Subjects, ed. Michael Chaney (2011);  “Eve Sedgwick, the Boston Years: Her Humor and Her Anger,” in Criticism (2010); “Walter Pater, Film Theorist,” in Victorian Aesthetic Conditions: Pater Across the Arts, ed. Elicia Clements and Lesley Higgins (2010); “Parody and Poetic Tradition: Gilbert and Sullivan’s Patience,” in Victorian Poetry (2008);  “Moving Pictures: George Eliot and Melodrama,” in Compassion: The Culture and Politics of an Emotion, ed. Lauren Berlant (2004); “Pater’s Impressionism and the Form of Historical Revival,” in Knowing the Past: Victorian Literature and Culture, ed. Suzy Anger (2001); “Intimacy and Theatricality: Mike Leigh’s Topsy-Turvy,” in VLC (2000); and “Parody, Pastiche and the Play of Genres,” in The Victorian Comic Spirit: New Perspectives, ed. Jennifer Wagner-Lawlor (2000).

She was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship in 2004-5, the Warren I. Susman Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the Scholar-Teacher Award in 2010.

Education Areas of Specialization
PhD, University of Virginia
MA, University of Virginia
BA, Wellesley College

Twentieth Century and Contemporary Poetry; Victorian Literature; Victorian Poetry

Other Departmental and University Positions
Director of Undergraduate Program | Executive Director, Writers House | Director, Writers at Rutgers Reading Series
Books

Transfigured World: Walter Pater's Aesthetic Historicism

Walter Pater: Transparencies of Desire

Victorian Literature and Culture,  27.2 (1999)

williams_2010

Other Publications
    • "Parody and Poetic Tradition: Gilbert and Sullivan’s Patience"
      Victorian Poetry
      46.4, Winter 2008
    • "Vehicular Traffic," a response to James Chandler at the conference on “Languages of Emotion”
      Textual Practice 22.1, 2008
    • "Genre Matters: Response"
      Victorian Studies
      48.2, Winter 2006
    • "Teaching Autobiography"
      Teaching Literature: A Handbook
      (2002)
    • "Pater's Impressionism and the Form of Historical Revival"
      Knowing the Past: Victorian Literature and Culture
      (2001)
    • "Parody, Pastiche and the Play of Genres: The Savoy Operas of Gilbert and Sullivan"
      The Victorian Comic Spirit: New Perspectives
      (2000)
    • "Moving Pictures: George Eliot and Melodrama"
      Compassion: The Culture and Politics of an Emotion (2004)
    • "Introduction: Victorian Studies and Cultural Studies"
      Victorian Literature and Culture
      27.2, 1999
    • "'Genre' and 'Discourse' in Victorian Cultural Studies"
      Victorian Literature and Culture
      27.2, 1999
    • "On Pater's Late Style."
      Nineteenth-Century Prose
      24.2, Fall 1997
    • "Utopia, Limited: Nationalism, Empire, and Parody in the Comic Operas of Gilbert and Sullivan" Culture and Politics at the Fin de Siècle (1994)
      Undergraduate Courses Taught Graduate Courses Taught
        • Principles of Literary Study
        • Byrne seminar: Melodrama
        • Byrne seminar: Poets of New Jersey
        • Dickens and Eliot
        • Psychoanalytic Literary Theory
        • Victorian Literature and Culture
            • Autobiography/Genre Theory
            • The Victorian First Person
            • Victorian Autobiography
            • Victorian Fin de Siècle
            • Victorian Poetry
            • Victorian Theater and Theatricality
              Awards and Distinctions Professional Memberships and Affiliations
              • The Rutgers Faculty-Scholar Teacher Award, 2010
              • Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, 2004-5
              • Warren I. Susman Award for Excellence in Teaching, Rutgers University, 1999
              • Beatrice, Benjamin, and Richard Bader Fellowship in the Visual Arts of the Theatre, Houghton Library, Harvard University, 1997-8
              • Member, Modern Language Association
              • Member, American Association of University Professors
              • Member, Northeast Victorian Studies Association
              Other Information of Interest
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