Fellow: Awarded 2009
Field of Study: Literary Criticism
Competition: US & Canada
I focus on nineteenth- and twentieth-century British literature. My book, The Crime in Mind: Criminal Responsibility and the Victorian Novel (Oxford UP, 2003), attends in particular to the interdisciplinary study of law and literature. I am also the editor of Decadent Poetry from Wilde to Naidu (Penguin, 2006). Currently, I am working on a book-length manuscript entitled Novel Judgments: Critical Terms of the 19th- and 20th- Century Novel Review that explores the vocabulary of reviewing. This study moves between two genres—the novel and the periodical review—and considers the development of key critical terms in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The novel reviews of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries played a central role in shaping literary-critical terms, and my chapters analyze uses of particular terms in this vital context. "Popular Dickens"—one chapter of this ongoing work—was recently published in Victorian Literature and Culture. In addition to my work on reviewing, I am editing The Oxford Handbook of the Victorian Novel as well as Sir James Fitzjames Stephen's The Story of Nuncomar and the Impeachment of Sir Elijah Impey (also for Oxford). The latter work is a late Victorian legal history in which Stephen takes up both the eighteenth-century trial (and execution) of Nuncomar (an Indian who worked for the East India Company) and the subsequent impeachment proceedings for judicial murder brought against Elijah Impey, one of the judges who tried Nuncomar.
Lisa Rodensky is an Associate Professor of English at Wellesley College.