Jonah Siegel
Distinguished Professor of English and Co-Director of Rutgers British Studies Center
Director of the Writing Program
Romantic, Twentieth Century, Victorian

Literature and the Other Arts; Modernist Literature; Victorian Literature

My research focuses on the relations between art and literature from the end of the eighteenth century to the beginning of the twentieth. I write on novels and poems, but also on criticism, art history,  aesthetic theory, and the history of institutions across the period, as well as on the intersection of violence and responses to the fine arts.  At the undergraduate level I regularly teach classes ranging from Victorian Literature to James Joyce, as well as ones with a wider set of concerns, including Principles of Literary Study and Civilization and its Discontents, which are both Core courses. Recent graduate clasess include Aesthetics and Social Critique, War/After War, Decadent to Modern Revisited, and Matter, Thing, and Remain in the Nineteenth Century and After.

I am the author of Material Inspirations: The Interests of the Art Object in the Nineteenth Century and After (2020), Haunted Museum: Longing, Travel, and the Art -Romance Tradition (2005), and Desire & Excess: The Nineteenth-Century Culture of Art (2000) and editor of The Emergence of the Modern Museum: An Anthology of Nineteenth-Century Sources (2007). My articles include: “Display Time: Art, Disgust, and the Returns of the Crystal Palace.” (Yearbook of English Studies, 2010); “Owning Art after Napoleon: Trophy, Symbol, and the Question of Restitution at the Birth of the Museum.” (PMLA, 2010); "Speed, Desire, and the Museum: The Golden Bowl as Art Romance" (Henry James Review, 2002); and "Leonardo, Pater and the Challenge of Attribution" (Raritan, 2001).

My recent publications include “Beauty.Victorian Literature and Culture (Winter 2020). "War and The Domestic Interior: Pater, Curtius, and Praz in the House of Life." Modern Language Quarterly (June 2017). "Lang's Survivals," The Andrew Lang Effect (Special issue, RaVoN, October 2013); "Mere Antiquarianism." Romantic Antiquarianism (Special issue, Romantic Praxis, June 2014); "The Material of Form: Vernon Lee at the Vatican and Out of It" (Victorian Studies, Winter 2013); "Classical Things: Archeological Poetics, Aesthetics, and the Mediation of Antique Art.The Oxford Hisotry Classical Reception in English Literature, Vol. 4: 1780-1880 (February 2015); "Victorian Aesthetics." The Oxford Handbook of Victorian Literary Culture. (May 2015).

My current book project, Overlooking Damage, is a study of the way moral and aesthetic responses come together when confronted with antiquities at risk between the eighteenth century and today.

I have served as President of the Northeast Victorian Studies Association and on the Executive Committee of the MLA Division on the Victorian Period. I have been the recipient of a National Humanities Center Fellowship (1999-2000), an ACLS/Burkhardt Fellowship, and a Rome Prize Fellowship (2003-2004).

Acting Chair of Department of English (2010-2011, 2013-2014)

Interim Director of the Writing Program, Fall 2021

36 Union Street, Room 301, College Ave Campus

Writing Program - College Avenue
  • Seminar: Abroad in the Nineteenth Century
  • Seminar: The Past as Crisis
  • Principles of Literary Study
  • British Writers II (1800-)
  • Late Victorian and Edwardian Literature
  • Victorian Literature
  • Victorian Poetry
  • Joyce
  • Decadence and Aestheticism (seminar)
  • Modern Poetry
  • Terror and Empire (seminar)
  • Civilization and its Discontents (Core)
  • Critical Nineteenth Century
  • Culture of Art: Fantasy and Fragmentation in the 19th Century
  • Introduction to Graduate Study
  • Looking Away: Fantasies of the Foreign
  • Mellon Summer Workshop
  • Nineteenth-Century Literature and Society
  • Nineteenth-Century Novel
  • Victorian Poetry
  • Aesthetics and Social Critique
  • Matter, Thing, and Remain in the Nineteenth Century and After
  • Decadent to Modern Revisited
  • Rome Prize Fellow, American Academy in Rome, 2003-4
  • Burkhardt Fellowship, American Council of Learned Societies, 2003-4
  • Sonya Rudikoff Prize for best first book in Victorian Studies, Northeast Victorian Studies Association, 2000


PhD, Columbia University
M. Phil., Oxford University
BA, Middlebury College