Jenny DavidsonProfessor of English and Comparative Literature511c Philosophy Hall
Office Hours:Teaching abroad Fall 2018(212) 854-1204
Areas of Interest :Eighteenth-century British literature and culture; cultural and intellectual history, especially history of science; the contemporary novel
A.B., Harvard-Radcliffe (1993); Ph.D., Yale (1999). Jenny Davidson writes about eighteenth-century literature and culture; other interests include British cultural and intellectual history and the contemporary novel in English. She is the author of four novels, Heredity (2003),The Explosionist (2008), Invisible Things (2010), and The Magic Circle (2013). She has published two books about eighteenth-century literature, Hypocrisy and the Politics of Politeness: Manners and Morals from Locke to Austen (Cambridge, 2004) and Breeding: A Partial History of the Eighteenth Century (Columbia, 2009). Reading Style: A Life in Sentences was published in 2014 and her latest book of criticism is Reading Jane Austen. She is currently at work on a short book about how Edward Gibbon came to write The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, and other long-term projects include a literary history of the footnote and a book about reading long books (special focus on Richardson’s great novel Clarissa). Honors include a Lenfest Distinguished Teaching Award (2005), a Guggenheim Fellowship (2005-2006) and the Mark Van Doren Teaching Award (2010).