Assistant Professor

PhD, RutgersJohn Savarese head shot
MA, Rutgers
BA, New York

Extension 33019
Office: HH 143


I teach and research in the field of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British literature, with particular focus on Romanticism, poetry and poetics, and the history and philosophy of science. While I spend most of my time teaching and writing about the history of literary forms, I have an abiding interest in what literary studies can contribute to interdisciplinary conversations, and have co-taught for Waterloo’s program in cognitive science. In addition to courses on literature and the sciences, I also regularly offer courses on topics such as poetry and popular song; literary Orientalism; and the gothic mode from the novel to new media.

Selected publications

“Cognitive Scaffolding, Aids to Reflection,” in Distributed Cognition in Enlightenment and Romantic Culture, eds. Miranda Anderson, George Rousseau, and Michael Wheeler. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press (forthcoming 2018).

Baillie’s Diagnostic Sublime,” European Romantic Review 29.3 (June 2018).

Social Minds in Romanticism,” Literature Compass 14.2 (February 2017).

“Wordsworth between Minds,” in Multi-Media Romanticisms, eds. Andrew Burkett and James Brooke-Smith, Romantic Circles Praxis Series (November 2016). n.p., 4300 words.

Ossian’s Folk Psychology,” ELH 80.3 (Fall 2013).

Reading One’s Own Mind: Hazlitt, Cognition, Fiction,European Romantic Review 24.4 (2013).

Lyric Mindedness and the ‘Automaton Poet,’” in Romantic Numbers, ed. Maureen N. McLane. Romantic Circles Praxis Series (April 2013).

Psyche’s ‘Whisp’ring Fan’ and Keats’s Genealogy of the Secular,” Studies in Romanticism 50.3 (Fall 2011).

Fellowships & Awards

  • UW/SSHRC Insight Development Grant 4A Award (internal funding), 2015
  • American Council of Learned Societies New Faculty Fellowship, 2013-2014
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Texas at Austin, 2012-2013

Current research

My first book project, Romanticism’s Other Minds, looks at eighteenth- and nineteenth-century attempts to formulate a science of poetry, and to make poems evidence about the history of cognition. While the most familiar versions of that effort made poetry an expression of a universal or solitary consciousness, Romantic-era poetic theory also served as the occasion for a livelier debate between diverse, competing models of mind, including models that pictured the mind as fundamentally social, historically contingent, or even socially and technologically “extended.” I am also currently beginning a second project that connects my interests in science studies (and especially recent approaches to “the experimental” as a concept) to eighteenth- and nineteenth-century writings on “experimental religion.”

Areas of graduate supervision

  • Eighteenth-century literature
  • Nineteenth-century literature
  • The history and philosophy of science
  • Poetry and poetics
  • Gothic studies
University of Waterloo

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