Emeritus Profiles

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  • Michael McKeon
  • Position: Board of Governors Distinguished Professor of English
  • Retired Since: 2021
  • Email Address: mimckeon@english.rutgers.edu
  • Bio: Michael McKeon specializes in the history of literary and cultural forms. His approach to history takes in both the chronological or diachronic dimension of forms and their structural or synchronic relations to other formations—political, social, economic, cultural--with which they coexist at their respective diachronic moments. Within this broad methodological field, McKeon’s attention is concentrated on England in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. McKeon has taught and written on a range of topics, among them the aesthetic, realism, disinterestedness, genre theory, narrative theory, parody, allegory and typology, romance and the novel, family romance, the picaresque, pastoral and pastoralism, sensibility, travel narratives, status and class, sex and gender, domestication and domesticity, pornography, patriarchalism, secularization, the quarrel of the ancients and moderns, from feudalism to capitalism, periodization, the division of knowledge, science and literature, civil and religious liberty, the public and the private, the public sphere, libel and censorship, Marxism and literature, dialectical method, politics and poetry, tradition, print culture, virtual reality.
  • Education: PhD, Columbia University MA, Columbia University BA, University of Chicago
  • Areas of Specialization: Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries
  • Undergraduate Courses Taught: Foundations of 18th-Century British Literature The Age of Parody: English Literature 1660-1745 The Rise of the Modern in English Literature, 1600-1800 Public and Private in 18th-Century Britain Theory and Practice of the Public Sphere English Literature and the Origins of the Sex/Gender System, 1660-1800 Sex and Class: The Origins of the Modern System 18th-Century British Novel, Behn to Austen Pastoral and Pastoralism, Theocritus to Wordsworth Political Poetry Travel Narratives: Exploring Terra Incognita, 1600-1800 Andrew Marvell and Jonathan Swift History of Literary Theory, Plato to Wordsworth Theory of the Aesthetic in 18th-Century Britain Theory of the Novel Marxism and Literary Theory
Other Departmental and University Positions
  • EmeritusDepartment Graduate Studies (DGS), director
  • School of Arts and Sciences Committee on Gender Equity, member
  • University British Studies Center (RBSC), co-founder; director
  • University Promotion Review Committee (PRC), member
  • University Search Committee for Executive Dean, member
  • University Committee on Academic Planning and Review (CAPR), member

Other Information of Interest

Visiting Professorships

  • Washington University, St. Louis, Fall, 1980
  • Brandeis University, 1986-1987
  • Princeton University, 1989-1990, Spring, 1991
  • Université de Paris 3-Sorbonne Nouvelle, Spring, 2008
  • Universidad de Granada, Spain, March: 2010-2013, 2015-2017
  • Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil, May, 2012
  • La Sapienza, Università di Roma, Fall, 2016