Department of English

Susan S. Lanser

Susan LanserProfessor Emerita of English; Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies; and Comparative Literature
PhD, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Research Interests

18th-century literature, culture and history, narrative theory and the novel, French Revolution, gender and sexuality, Israel-Palestine studies

Selected Publications

BooksThe Sexuality of History book cover

  • "The Sexuality of History: Modernity and the Sapphic 1565-1830." Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2014.
    • Finalist for the Lammy Award in LGBT Studies
    • Winner of the Joan Kelly Memorial Prize via the American Historical Association
    • Honorable Mention for the Louis D. Gottschalk Prize
  • "Narrative Theory Unbound: Queer and Feminist Interventions," coedited with Robyn Warhol. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2015.
    • Honorable Mention, The Barbara Perkins and George Perkins Prize, International Society for the Study of Narrative, 2017
    • Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2015
  • "Letters Written in France," coedited with Neil Fraistat. Broadview Press, 2001.
  • "Women Critics 1660-1820: An Anthology." Senior editor with Folger Collective on Early Women Critics. Indiana University Press, 1995.
  • "Fictions of Authority: Women Writers and Narrative Voice." Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1992.
  • "The Narrative Act: Point of View Prose Fiction." Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1981.

Representative Essays

  • "Second Sex Economics: Race, Rescue, and the Heroine’s Plot," ECTI: 18th-Century Theory and Interpretation, 61:2 (2020): 227-44.
  • "ASECS at 50: Interview with Susan S. Lanser." 18th-Century Studies 53:3 (Spring 2020): 351-58.
  • "Marie Antoinette in Maine: Royalty, Revolution, and the Fictions of History," Studies in 18th-Century Culture 49 (2020): 3-24.
  • "Narratology at the Checkpoint: The Politics and Poetics of Entanglement," with Shlomith Rimmon-Kenan, Narrative 27 (October 2019): 245-69. Honorable Mention for the Phelan Prize for the year’s outstanding essay in Narrative .
  • "Changing the Ways of the World: Sex, Youth, and Modernity in Benserade’s Iphis et Iante."
  • In "Ovidian Transversions: Iphis and Ianthe 1350-1650," ed. Valerie Traub, Patricia Badir, Peggy McCracken. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2019, 261-78.
  • "Aging With Austen," PMLA 133 (2018): 654-660.
  • "Queering Narrative Voice," Textual Practice 32 (2018): 923-37.
  • "1928: Sapphic Modernity and the Sexuality of History," Modernism/Modernity: Journal of the Modernist Studies Association, October 2016.
  • "Side by Side: Israeli-Palestinian Narratives and the Politics of Form: (with Shlomith Rimmon-Kenan), European Journal of English Studies, 20:3 (2016): 310-325.
  • "Comparatively Lesbian: Queer/Feminist Theory and the Sexuality of History." State of the Discipline of Comparative Literature (2014-2015 Report): Paradigms .
  • Reprinted (with slight revisions) in: Futures of Comparative Literature, ed. Ursula Heise, London: Routledge, forthcoming 2017.
  • "Bedfellowes in Royaltie: Early/Modern Sapphic Representations." The Cambridge Companion to Lesbian Literature, ed. Jodie Medd. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015, 93-106.
  • "Toward (a Queerer and) More (Feminist ) Narratology." Narrative Theory Unbound: Queer and Feminist Interventions ed. Robyn Warhol and Susan S. Lanser. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2015, 23-42.
  • "A Prince for All Seasons, With Notes toward the Delineation of a New Yorker Narratee." Narrative 22:3 (October 2014): 289-97.
  • "Sex, Gender, and the Limits of Enlightenment." A Cultural History of Women in the Age of Enlightenment. Ed. Ellen Pollak. Oxford: Berg Publishers, 2013, 45-69 (notes, 216-220).
  • "Gender and Narrative." Living Handbook of Narratology. Ed. Peter Hühn et al. Hamburg University Press, 2013.
  • "Of Closed Doors and Open Hatches: Heteronormative Plots in 18th-Century (Women's) Studies. The 18th-Century Theory and Interpretation 53 (2012): 273-290.
  • "The Implied Author: An Agnostic Manifesto." Style 45:1 (2011): 161-168.
  • "Sapphic Dialogics: Historical Narratology and the Sexuality of Form." Postclassical Narratology: Approaches and Analyses, ed. Monika Fludernik and Jan Alber. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2010, 186-205.
  • "Mapping Sapphic Modernity." Comparatively Queer: Crossing Time, Crossing Cultures, ed. Jarrod Hayes, Margaret Higonnet, and William Spurlin. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010, 69-89.
  • "Tory Lesbians: Economies of Intimacy and the Status of Desire." Lesbian Dames: Sapphism in the Long 18th Century, ed. John Beynon and Caroline Gonda. Farnham, Surrey, and Burlington, Vermont: Ashgate, 2010, 173-189.
  • "Novel (Lesbian) Subjects: The Sexual History of Form." Novel: A Forum on Fiction, 42:3 (2009): 497-503.
  • "'Put to the Blush': Romantic Irregularities and Sapphic Tropes."Romantic Praxis, January 2006.
  • "The Novel Body Politic." The 18th-Century Novel: Companion to Literature and Culture, ed. Paula Backscheider and Catherine Ingrassia. Oxford: Blackwell, 2005, 481-503.
  • "The 'I' of the Beholder." The Blackwell Companion to Narrative Theory. Oxford: Blackwell, 2005, 206-219.
  • "Eating Cake: The (Ab)uses of Marie Antoinette." Afterword to Marie Antoinette: Portraits of a Queen, ed. Dena Goodman and Thomas E. Kaiser. London: Routledge, 2003, 273-89.
  • "'Queer to Queer': The Sapphic Body as Transgressive Text." Lewd and Notorious: Female Transgression in the 18th Century, ed. Katharine Kittredge. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2003, 21-46.
  • "Bluestocking Sapphism and the Economies of Desire." Huntington Library Quarterly, 65:1-2 (2003): 257-75.
  • "Sapphic Picaresque, Sexual Difference, and the Challenges of Homoadventuring." Textual Practice, 15:2 (November 2001): 1-18.
  • "'Au sein de vos pareilles': Sapphic Separatism in Late 18th-Century France. Journal of Homosexuality, 41:3-4 (2001): 105-16.
  • "Befriending the Body: Female Intimacies as Class Acts." 18th-Century Studies, 32:2 (Winter, 1998-99), 179-98.
  • "Compared to What? Global Feminism, Comparatism, and The Master's Tools." Borderwork: Feminist Engagements with Comparative Literature, ed. Margaret Higonnet. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1994, 280-300.
  • "Burning Dinners: Feminist Subversions of Domesticity." Feminist Messages: Coding in Women's Folk Culture, ed. Joan N. Radner. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1992, 36-53.
  • Introduction to "Ladies Almanack" by Djuna Barnes. (New York University Press, 1992), xv-li.
  • "Feminist Criticism: 'The Yellow Wallpaper,' and the Politics of Color in America." Feminist Studies, 15:3 (Fall, 1989), 415-41.
  • "Toward a Feminist Narratology." Style, 20:3 (Fall, 1986), 341-63.

Selected Honors and Awards

  • Wayne C Booth Lifetime Achievement Award, International Society for the Study of Narrative
  • Past President, American Society of 18th-Century Studies
  • Past President, International Society for the Study of Narrative
  • Mellon Foundation Sawyer Seminar Grant (with Jane Kamensky)
  • Great Teachers Honoree, American Society for 18th-Century Studies
  • Innovative Course Design Award, American Society for 18th-Century Studies (with Jane Kamensky)
  • Fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard, 2004-05
  • Crompton-Noll Essay Award, Modern Language Association Lesbian-Gay Caucus, 1999
  • NEH Folger Institute Library Fellowship, 1998-99
  • Distinguished Scholar-Teacher Award, University of Maryland, 1992
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Research Fellowship, 1987-88
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend, 1984
  • Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship, 1980-82
  • American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship, 1981

Selected Courses Taught

  • Gender and the Genealogy of the Novel: 1680-1800 (ENG 254a)

  • A Novel Nation: The Making of English Fiction 1680-1860 (ENG 220b)
  • Jane Austen (ENG 145b)
  • Gender and the Rise of the Novel in England and France (ENG 114b)
  • Fictions of Liberty: Europe in a Revolutionary Age (COML 115b)
  • How Fiction Works: Narrative in Theory and Practice (ENG 111a)
  • Women in Culture & Society: A Multidisciplinary Perspective (WMNS 5a)