Cristobal SilvaAssociate Professor of English and Comparative Literature408H Philosophy Hall
Office Hours:Mondays 11:00am-12:00pm; Wednesday 12:00pm-2:00pm(212) 854-6439
Areas of Interest :Colonial and 18th-century American literature and culture, transatlantic literature, narrative and medicine
B.A., Literature and Mathematics, University of California, Berkeley (1992); Ph.D., NYU (2003). Cristobal Silva specializes in colonial and 18th-century literatures and cultures of the Americas with a particular emphasis on the history of medicine. His research explores the methods and forms that physicians, historians, novelists, and poets rely on to translate their experience of contagion into literary narratives. His first book, Miraculous Plagues: An Epidemiology of Early New England Narrative (2011) examines the intertwined evolution of New England’s literary and epidemiological histories. It argues that familiar forms and genres of the era—the justification narrative, the jeremiad, the early newspaper—are influenced as much by the physical experience of illness and epidemic as they are by the intellectual histories of Puritanism. He is currently writing a book titled Republic of Medicine, which is a literary history of the late eighteenth-century Atlantic world that examines the complicated interchange of pathogens, treatments, and medical narratives that shadowed the slave trade between the end of the Seven Years’ war and the Haitian Declaration of Independence. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Early American Literature, The William and Mary Quarterly, ELH, and in the The Haitian Revolution and the Early U.S. (2016) edited by Elizabeth Maddock Dillon and Michael Drexler. He is an editor of The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation, and has co-edited Teaching the Transatlantic Eighteenth Century (2010) with Jennifer Frangos, as well as a forthcoming special issue on “Early American Disability” for Early American Literature with Sari Altschuler. For the 2015–2016 academic year, he is at the Center for New World Comparative Studies Fellow at the John Carter Brown Library in Providence, Rhode Island.