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USC College Taps Literary Scholar for Post

English Professor Hilary Schor to lead undergraduate programs

USC College Taps Literary Scholar for Post

Hilary M. Schor, professor of English in USC College, has been appointed dean of undergraduate programs, effective July 1.

Schor replaces Peter Starr, professor of French and comparative literature, who has assumed the post of dean of the College on an interim basis.

In his letter to the faculty announcing the appointment, USC College Dean Peter Starr wrote, “Those of you who know Hilary know her as an exceptional scholar of Victorian literature and culture, a brilliant teacher and as fine an institutional mind as we have at this university.”

In her new position, Starr wrote, “Hilary will be instrumental in our efforts to implement the new College Honors Society, the Core Multimedia Program, and our undergraduate team research initiatives.

“But I dare say that she will also be taking the undergraduate programs office in directions not yet foreseen.”

Schor, who has taught at USC since 1986, holds a joint appointment in the department of comparative literature and is also a professor of law in the Gould School of Law. She is an active member and past co-director of the USC Center for Law, History and Culture.

She has chaired gender studies and directed the Center for Feminist Research, and also is past president of the USC Academic Senate.

“As someone who has taught at USC since 1986, I appreciate the continuing strengths of the College as well as the new possibilities that come with the bright, lively, imaginative students we’ve been attracting,” said Schor. “The students bring more to USC and expect more from us — and I'm looking forward to working with them to diversify our curriculum and make undergraduate education at USC richer and more challenging for all of us. I can't think of a better job right now.”

Schor’s scholarship focuses on narrative theory, as well as on law, property and the nature of subjectivity in literature, popular culture and film.

Actively involved in the University of California Dickens Project, Schor regularly leads graduate seminars and organizes conferences, the titles of which include, “Victorian Soundings,” “Victoria Redressed: Feminism and Nineteenth-Century Studies,” and “Victorian Terror.”

Her books include Scheherezade in the Marketplace: Elizabeth Gaskell and the Victorian Novel (Oxford, 1992), and Dickens and the Daughter of the House (Cambridge, 1999). She’s currently working on a book about women, curiosity, and the novel, titled, Curious Subjects: Women and the Trials of Realism.

She has written essays in companions to Dickens, Jane Austen and film, the Victorian Novel and Victorian literature and culture, as well as essays on Bleak House and Bastard out of Carolina and Victorian “character”-trials.

Schor received her bachelor’s degree in British and American literature from Scripps College in Claremont, Calif., and her master’s and doctoral degrees from Stanford University, where she specialized in Victorian literature and culture, drawing on work in intellectual history, feminist studies and the history of the novel.

She has received numerous fellowships and awards, including a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, a Stanford Humanities Center Fellowship, a Graves Foundation Fellowship and a USC Zumberge Faculty Research Fellowship.
(Additional reporting by Kirsten Holguin)