Devin Griffiths

Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature
Devin Griffiths
Email Office THH 404 Office Phone (213) 740-2813


I write about the relation between literature, science, and the environment. My work has appeared in various academic journals, including Critical Inquiry, English Literary HistoryStudies in English LiteratureVictorian Studies, and Book History. My first book, The Age of Analogy: Science and Literature Between the Darwins, published in 2016 by the Johns Hopkins University Press, examines how historical novels shaped both the life sciences and the humanities, by means of a new comparative method that established our modern, relational understanding of history. It was shortlisted for the British Society of Literature and Science’s book prize, and was runner-up for the first book prize of the British Association for Romantic Studies. I am also the coeditor of After Darwin: Literature, Theory, and Criticism in the Twenty-First Century, which was published by Cambridge University Press in 2022. The collection gathers an international roster of scholars to ask what Darwin’s writing offers future of literary scholarship and critical theory, as well as allied fields like history, art history, philosophy, gender studies, disability studies, the history of race, aesthetics, and ethics. 

I am now working on a new book project: “The Ecology of Power,” which examines how Marxist and Darwinian philosophy offer alternative models for ecocriticism and the energy humanities.


Recent reviews of The Age of Analogy:

The Age of Analogy is perhaps the most ambitious and important book on the entanglement of nineteenth-century scientific culture and literature to have been written this century–in a field of highly ambitious and truly important books. But it also elucidates the entanglement of nineteenth-century culture with our own, bringing light to contemporary historicist practices, particularly in literary studies.”

ISIS. Review by Alexis Harley. (Link)

“[A] superb account of how the literary past propelled the emergence of our present- day comparativist paradigm. … The Age of Analogy is interdisciplinary literary history at its best, dexterously weaving close readings with an extensive range of historical discourses, print histories, and material technologies. Accordingly, it ought to become required reading for scholars of the nineteenth-century novel and Victorian intellectual history.”

Victoriographies Review by Michael Martel. (Link)

“A book of enormous erudition, especially for a first book. … Great books change how criticism does its business.”

Wordsworth Circle. Review by Richard C. Shah. (Link)

“Expansive and enthralling …. Ambitious in its scope and vision and eloquently written, The Age of Analogy is a challenging and thought-provoking study that gives us new and enriching ways to read nineteenth-century intellectual history.”

Dickens Quarterly. Review by Iain Crawford. (Link)

“What is exhilarating about The Age of Analogy is its bold insistence upon the utility of imaginative literary form as an active agent in science, with the power not only to reflect knowledge of the world but to add to it as well.”

Literature & History. Review by Will Abberley. (Link)

The Age of Analogy promises to transform our understanding of literary and scientific history in the Anthropocene. This is a big, challenging, eloquent book. I cannot recommend it highly enough.”

Nineteenth-Century Contexts. Review by Jesse Oak Taylor(Link)


  • Ph.D. Literatures in English, Rutgers University, 2010
  • M.A. Literatures in English, Rutgers University, 2006
  • B.A. English, University of Texas at Austin, 2002
  • B.S. Molecular Biology, University of Texas at Austin, 2002
    • Post-doctoral Fellow, University of Pennsylvania, 2010-2012
  • Conference Presentations

    • Gripping the Present, Or, What We (Victorianists) Do in the Shadows , Dickens UniverseKeynote Lecture, Friends of the DIckens Project, Invited, UC Santa Cruz, 07/14/2019 – 07/20/2019
    • Printing the Agricultural Revolution , Working Knowledge: Thinking Through Culture, 1780-1830Lecture/Seminar, Carleton University & SSHRC, Invited, Ottawa, CN, 06/11/2019 – 06/12/2019
    • The Anthropology of Plants , Scientific PolyphonyTalk/Oral Presentation, Narrative Science Project, Invited, London School of Economics, 06/03/2019
    • Darwin and the Rhythm of Life Lecture/Seminar, Cambridge Nineteenth-Century Seminar, Invited, Cambridge, UK, 05/30/2019
    • The ‘V’ Word , Northeastern Victorian Studies AssociationTalk/Oral Presentation, Amherst, 04/12/2019 – 04/14/2019
    • Petrodrama: Melodrama and Energetic Modernity , American Comparative Literature AssociationTalk/Oral Presentation, Georgetown U, Washington D. C., 03/07/2019 – 03/10/2019
    • The Ecology of Form: Franklin, Watson, Crick, and the Molecularization of Race Talk/Oral Presentation, University of Washington and Simpson Center, Invited, Seattle, WA, 04/20/2018
    • Petrodrama: Melodrama and Energetic Modernity , Northeastern Victorian Studies AssociationTalk/Oral Presentation, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, 04/13/2018 – 04/15/2018
    • Stepping Off: Memes and the Ecosystem of Race , American Comparative Literature AssociationTalk/Oral Presentation, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, 03/07/2018 – 03/10/2018
    • The Ecology of Form and Biomorphism Talk/Oral Presentation, English Department, University of California Berke, Invited, Berkeley, CA, 11/13/2017
    • Memecology: Social Media and the Ecology of Race Talk/Oral Presentation, Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities, Vand, Invited, Nashville, TN, 11/03/2017
    • George Eliot’s Disorganized Ecologies , Association for Science, Literature, and the ArtsTalk/Oral Presentation, Detroit, 06/20/2017 – 06/24/2017
    • Darwin, Pangenesis, and the Ecology of Form , NAVSA SupernumeraryTalk/Oral Presentation, Florence, Italy, 05/17/2017 – 05/20/2017

    Other Presentations

    • Understanding Analogy: Theory and Method, ISI Natural Language Seminar, Marina Del Rey, CA, 2014-2015
  • Book

    • Devin Griffiths and Deanna Kreisel (Ed.). (2022). After Darwin: Literature, Theory, and Criticism in the Twenty-First Century. Cambridge. DOI
    • Griffiths, D. (2016). The Age of Analogy: Science and Literature Between the Darwins. (Matthew McAdam and Catherine Goldstead, Ed.). Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.

    Book Chapters

    • Griffiths, D. (2022). Afterlives of the Comparative Method. Routledge Routledge. Website
    • Griffiths, D. (2022). Great Exaptations: On Reading Darwin’s Plant Narratives. Narrative Science pp. 143-63. Cambridge. DOI
    • Griffiths, D. (2018). Darwin and Literature. The Cambridge Companion to Literature and Science Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Journal Article

    • Griffiths, D. S. (2021). The Ecology of Form. Critical Inquiry. Vol. 48 (1), pp. 68-93. Download
    • Griffiths, D. Silas Marner and the Ecology of Form. Victorian Literature and Culture. Vol. 48. 1 2020:299–326 Download
    • Beehler, Brianna; Franklin, Grace; Griffiths, Devin (Ed.). (2020). Special Issue: The Green Conference. Nineteenth-Century Contexts. Vol. 42 (5)
    • Beehler, B., Franklin, G., Griffiths, D. “Introduction: The Green Conference. Nineteenth-Century Contexts. Vol. 42. 5 2020:487–92
    • Griffiths, D., Kreisel, D. Introduction: Open Ecologies. Victorian Literature and Culture. Vol. 48. 1 2020:1–28 Download
    • Griffiths, Devin; Kreisel, Deanna (Ed.). (2020). Special Issue: Open Ecologies. Victorian Literature and Culture. Vol. 48 (1)
    • Griffiths, D. Petrodrama: Melodrama and Energetic Modernity. Victorian Studies. Vol. 60. 2018 2018:611-638. Print Download
    • Griffiths, D., Dzkiowicz, D., Ludkiewicz, A. (2018). Metoda porównawcza a historia wspólczesnych nauk humanistycznych. Tekstualia. Vol. 54 (3), pp. 5-32. Download
    • Griffiths, D. (2018). “Teleology”. Victorian Literature and Culture. Vol. 46 (3-4), pp. 905-9. Link
    • Griffiths, D. (2018). The Distribution of Romantic Life in Erasmus Darwin’s Later Works. European Romantic Review. Vol. 29 (3), pp. 309-19. Download
    • Griffiths, D. (2017). The Comparative Method and the History of the Humanities. The History of the Humanities/University of Chicago Press. Vol. 2 (2), pp. 473-505. Download
    • Griffiths, D. (2017). Romantic Planet: Science and Literature within the Anthropocene. Literature Compass. Vol. 14 (1), pp. 17. Article
    • Griffiths, D. (2016). Untimely Historicism. Article
    • Griffiths, D. (2016). The Fertile Darwins: Epigenesis, Organicism, and the Problem of Inheritance. RoN: Romanticism on the Net. Vol. 66-67 (Spring-Fall) Download
    • Griffiths, D. (2015). The Radical’s Catalogue: Antonio Panizzi, Virginia Woolf, and the British Museum Library’s ‘Catalogue of Printed Books’. Book History. Vol. 18, pp. 134-165. Download
    • Griffiths, D. S. (2015). Flattening the World: Natural Theology and Darwin’s Orchids. Nineteenth-Century Contexts. Vol. 37 (5), pp. 431-52.
    • Griffiths, D. S. (2013). The Comparative History of A Tale of Two Cities. ELH. Vol. 80 (3), pp. 811-838.
    • Griffiths, D. S. The Intuitions of Analogy in Erasmus Darwin’s Poetics. Sel – Studies in English Literature. Vol. 51. 2011 2011:645-665. Print
    • Griffiths, D. S. Red Hot Fiction: Harnessing Maxwell’s Demon in Victorian Literature. Endeavour. Vol. 34. 2010 2010:137-138. Print
    • Olsen, M. J., Stephens, D., Griffiths, D. S., Daugherty, P., Georgiou, G., Iverson, B. Function-based Isolation of Novel Enzymes from a Large Library. Nature Biotechnology. Vol. 18. 10 2000:1071. Print
    • Digital Archive and Multimedia Installation, “The Peries Project” is an online edition of an early-nineteenth century manuscript by the Orientalist John Leyden, produced collaboratively as part of an undergraduate honors seminar led at the University of Pennsylvania. Url:,
    • Online Collection, “Victorian Teaching Now”: Edited Collection of Pedagogical Essays by Faculty on the Question of “Strategic Presentism” and Politics.,
    • Carrollian Fellow, USC Libraries, 2019-2022
    • Salz-Pollak Fellow, English Department, Spring 2021
    • The Age of Analogy Runner up for First Book Prize of the British Association for Romantic Studies, 2017-2018
    • USC Raubenheimer Outstanding Junior Faculty Award, Given ir recognition of outstanding performance in the areas of teaching, scholarship, and service within the university., 2017-2018
    • The Age of Analogy shortlisted for the book prize of the British Society for Literature and Science, 2016-2017
    • USC or School/Dept Award for Teaching, General Education Teaching Award, 2013-2014
  • Other Service to the University

    • President, Dornsife Faculty Council, 2019-2020
    • Representative, Faculty Senate, 2018-2019
    • Vice President, Dornsife Faculty Council, 2018-2019
  • Conferences Organized

    • Lead Organizer, Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies, Los Angeles, CA, 04/05/2018 – 04/08/2020
    • Program Committee Member, Panel Chair, North Atlantic Victorian Studies Association, Pasadena, CA, 2012-2013

    Professional Offices

    • Board Member, Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies, 2019 – 2022