Welcome to the Department of English at Rutgers University

Emeritus Profile
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William C. Dowling
Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English

At Rutgers since:  1989
Retired since:  2016
Professor Dowling’s publications include: Ricoeur on Time and Narrative (2011), Oliver Wendell Holmes in Paris: Medicine, Theology, and the Autocrat of the Breakfast Table (2005), A Reader’s Companion to Infinite Jest (with Robert H. Bell) (2004), Literary Federalism in the Age of Jefferson (1999); The Senses of the Text: Intensional Semantics and Literary Theory (1999); The Epistolary Moment: the Poetics of the Eighteenth-Century Verse Epistle (1991); Poetry and Ideology in Revolutionary Connecticut (1990); Jameson/Althusser/Marx (1984); Language and Logos in Boswell’s Life of Johnson (1981), The Boswellian Hero (1979), and The Critic’s Hornbook (1977). He is currently at work on a book entitled The Strange Death of Literary Boston: Oliver Wendell Holmes, John Lothrop Motley, and the American Civil War
Education Areas of Specialization
PhD, Harvard University
MA, Harvard University
BA, Dartmouth College

Eighteenth Century English Literature; Nineteenth Century American Literature; Literary Theory


Confessions of a Spoilsport : My Life and Hard Times Fighting  Sports Corruption at an Old Eastern University

Oliver  Wendell Holmes in Paris: Medicine, Theology, and The Autocrat of the  Breakfast Table

Literary Federalism in the Age of Jefferson


Other Publications
Undergraduate Courses Taught  
  • Comparative Literature Seminar: The Mirror of Enlightenment
  • Douglass Honors Seminar : Age of Johnson
  • Rutgers College Honors Seminar: The Face of Battle
  • Senior Seminar: New Historicism
  • Senior Seminar: Oliver Wendell Holmes and Literary Boston
  • Senior Seminar: Pepys and Restoration England
  • Senior Seminar: Theory of Internal Audience
  • Principles of Literary Study
  • American Literature Survey: Puritans to Civil War

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 Undergraduate Students


Graduate Program in English


Statue of "Willie the Silent"