Emily Anderson

Professor of English
Emily Anderson
Email ehanders@usc.edu Office THH 402J Office Phone (213) 740-4914

Research & Practice Areas

18th century British literature, 18th-c novel, restoration and 18th-c drama, women writers, theater history and performance studies, genre, theories of authorship


I am Professor in the English Department at USC, where I have been very happily employed since earning my Ph.D. in English from Yale University in 2004.  My area of specialty is eighteenth-century British literature and culture, and within this rubric I work on a range of topics: the eighteenth-century novel, drama, and the connections between them; actors, actresses, playwrights, and the emergent celebrity culture of eighteenth-century theater; and the impact of theatrical performance on debates about personal identity, literary and cultural memory, and the fact / fiction divide. I teach courses for the Thematic Option Program and within the English department on topics including the rise of the novel, eighteenth-century drama, Jane Austen and eighteenth-century women writers, recognition scenes in literature, and Shakespearean forgeries and adaptations.



  • Ph.D. , Yale University, 12/2004
  • A.B. , Dartmouth College
  • Tenure Track Appointments

    • Professor, University of Southern California, 11/06/2018 –
    • Associate Professor, University of Southern California, 05/01/2010 – 11/05/2018
    • Assistant Professor, University of Southern California, 08/15/2004 – 05/01/2010
  • Summary Statement of Research Interests

    My first book, on the mutually constitutive relationship of eighteenth-century novels and plays, established my interest in the interactions between performance and print. In my new work, I delve deeper into these interactions by questioning what artistic medium is best suited to commemoration, and how in practice the artistic struggle with ephemerality plays out. Shakespeare and the Legacy of Loss, recently published with the University of Michigan Press, tells the story of how eighteenth-century actors, novelists, and artists, key among them David Garrick, struggled with these questions through their re-enactments of Shakespearean plays. For these artists, the resurgence of Shakespeare, a playwright whose works just decades earlier had nearly been erased, represented their own chance for eternal life: despite the ephemeral nature of performance, Garrick and company would find a way to make Shakespeare, and through him the actor, rise again. In chapters featuring Othello, Richard III, Hamlet, The Winter’s Tale, and The Merchant of Venice, I show how Garrick’s enactments of Shakespeare modeled for his contemporaries questions that continue to preoccupy us today: How could the artist who stakes his fame on an ephemeral form of art be celebrated or preserved? How do approaches to commemoration change in light of these attempts? And how did Shakespeare become an emblem of immortality to other artists? For Garrick and those artists he inspired, performance offered a counterintuitive answer to these questions—an alternative and even an antidote to the commemoration associated with the monument, the portrait, the printed text. While theater historians have offered multiple perspectives on the re-emergence of Shakespeare, and on Garrick’s theatrical career, this book offers instead an innovative analysis of the theatrical experience: an account of what it meant for Garrick and his contemporaries to gravitate toward an art, and artists, they knew would disappear.

  • Book

    Book Chapters

    • Anderson, E. H. (2022). “The Cultures of Performance: Theories and Practices”. Routledge Companion to 18th Literatures in English (Vol. eds. Suvir Kaul, Sarah Eron, Nicole Aljoe) pp. forthcoming. NY, NY: Routledge.
    • Anderson, E. H. (2013). Aphra Behn and the Problem of Teaching Novelty. Approaches to Teaching Oroonoko pp. 181-186. NY: NY: MLA. Link to publication on MLA website
    • Anderson, E. H. (2010). She Stoops to Stratagem: A Comparative Approach to Eighteenth-Century Comedy, in Approaches to Teaching British Women Playwrights of the Restoration and Eighteenth Century. (Vol. December 2010) New York: MLA. MLA Bookstore

    Book Review

    • Anderson, E. H. (2019). Ireland, Enlightenment, and the English Stage, 1740-1820, by David O’Shaughnessy. Review 19 / Dartmouth College. Ireland, Enlightenment, and the English Stage, 1740-1820
    • Anderson, E. H. (2018). Review of Anne Widmayer’s _Theatre and the Novel from Behn to Fielding_. The Scriblerian. pp. 167-69.
    • Anderson, E. H. (2017). Book Review of Shakespeare and the Eighteenth-Century Novel, by Kate Rumbold. The Shandean. pp. 164-65.
    • Anderson, E. H. (2017). Book Review of Spectacular Disappearances: Celebrity and Privacy, 1696-1801, by Julia H. Fawcett. Theatre Survey. pp. 118-119.
    • Anderson, E. H. (2016). Book Review of The Gothic Novel and the Stage: Romantic Appropriations, by Francesca Saggini. Review 19: An Online Review of New Books on English and American Literature of the 19th Century. NBOL-19
    • Anderson, E. H. (2015). Review of Francesca Saggini’s _Backstage in the Novel: Frances Burney and the Theater Arts_. South Atlantic Review. pp. 149-151.
    • Anderson, E. H. (2014). Review of Susan Campbell’s _Tempest-Tossed: The Spirit of Isabella Beecher Hooker_. Times Literary Supplement.
    • Anderson, E. H. (2013). “Female Models”: Review of Caroline Franklin’s *The Female Romantics* and Brenda Weber’s *Women and Literary Celebrity in the Nineteenth Century*. Times Literary Supplement.
    • Anderson, E. H. (2012). “Protestantism and Its Discontents,” Review of Allison Conway’s _The Protestant Whore: Courtesan Narrative and Religious Controversy in England, 1680-1750_. Novel: A Forum on Fiction / Duke UP. pp. 111-115.
    • Anderson, E. H. (2011). “Further Letters of Joanna Baillie”. Review 19. Review 19: An Online Review of New Books on English and American Literature of of the 19th Century
    • Anderson, E. H. (2011). “Finding the Plot,” Review of Jesse Molesworth’s _Chance and the Eighteenth-Century Novel_. Times Literary Supplement.
    • Anderson, E. H. (2011). Toni Bowers’s _Force or Fraud?: British Seduction Stories and the Problem of Resistance, 1660-1760_. Times Literary Supplement.
    • Anderson, E. H. (2011). “Theatrical Women,” Review of Nora Nachumi’s Acting Like a Lady: British Women Novelists and the Eighteenth-Century Theater”. The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation. Theatrical Women
    • Anderson, E. H. (2011). Children’s Fiction, 1765-1808; ed. Anne Markey. Times Literary Supplement.
    • Anderson, E. H. (2010). Who were the Bluestockings?. Times Literary Supplement. The Sunday Times
    • Anderson, E. H. (2006). Review of Betty Schellenberg’s _The Professionalization of Women Writers in Eighteenth-Century Britain_. Huntington Library Quarterly/Huntington Library. pp. 685-90.


    Encyclopedia Article

    • Anderson, E. H. (2016). Audiences of Shakespeare: English-Speaking Audiences, Restoration and the Eighteenth Century. 1500-1506. Vol. 2 Cambridge: The Cambridge Guide to the Worlds of Shakespeare: Cambridge University Press.

    Journal Article

    • Anderson, E. H., Minas, S. A. (2020). “Scholarship in a Time of Crisis”. The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation. Vol. 61 (Summer 2020), pp. online supplement. “Scholarship in a Time of Crisis”
    • Anderson, E. H. (2019). Frankenstein’s Ghosts. Studies in the Novel; Johns Hopkins University Press. Vol. 51.3, 333-47.
    • Anderson, E. H. (2015). Theatrical Tristram: Sterne and Hamlet Reconsidered. Eighteenth-Century Fiction. Vol. 27 (3-4), pp. 661-680.
    • Anderson, E. H. (2013). Why We Do (Or Don’t) Argue About the Way We Read. The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation. Vol. 54 (1), pp. 125-128.
    • Anderson, E. H. (2013). “Self-Citations in Maria Edgeworth’s _Helen_”. Studies in English Literature. Vol. 52.4 (Autumn 2012), pp. 797-818.
    • Anderson, E. H. (2011). “Celebrity Shylock”. PMLA. Vol. 126.4 (October 2011), pp. 935-949.
    • Anderson, E. H. (2011). Teaching the Teachings of the Stage: A Graduate Seminar in Restoration to Romantic Drama. Romantic Circles: Pedagogy Commons. Teaching the Teachings of the Stage
    • Anderson, E. H. (2010). A Shakespearean Character on the 18th-c Stage: Recognizing Perdita. Literature Compass / Wiley-Blackwell. Vol. 7.4 (2010), pp. 266-280. http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/123338360/abstract?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0
    • Anderson, E. H. (2009). Autobiographical Interpolations in Maria Edgeworth’s Harrington. ELH / Johns Hopkins University Press. Vol. 76.1 (Spring 2009), pp. 1-18.
    • Anderson, E. H. (2007). Novelty in Novels: A Look at What’s New in Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko. Studies in the Novel/University of North Texas UP. Vol. 39.1 (Spring 2007), pp. 1-16.
    • Anderson, E. H. (2006). Revising Theatrical Conventions in A Simple Story: Elizabeth Inchbald’s Ambiguous Performance. Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies/Florida State UP. Vol. 6.1(2006), pp. 5-30.
    • Anderson, E. H. (2005). Staged Insensibility in Burney’s Cecilia, Camilla, and The Wanderer: How a Playwright Writes Novels. Eighteenth-Century Fiction/McMaster University. Vol. 17.4 (July 2005), pp. 629-48.
    • Anderson, E. H. (2005). Performing the Passions in Eliza Haywood’s Fantomina and Miss Betsy Thoughtless. The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation/Texas Tech UP. Vol. 46.1 (Summer 2005), pp. 1-15.
    • Interview, “Frankenstein’s Ghosts”: interview on _Faculti_ regarding the place of the supernatural in Mary Shelley’s iconic novel.


    • USC Provost’s Award for Advancing Scholarship in the Humanities and Social Sciences, Early Sabbatical, Spring 2021
    • USC Phi Kappa Phi Faculty Recognition Award, Spring 2019
    • Summer Faculty Fellowship, USC Early Modern Studies Institute, 2014/06/01-2014/08/31
    • USC Provost’s Award for Advancing Scholarship in the Humanities and Social Sciences, 2012-2013
    • USC Raubenheimer Outstanding Junior Faculty Award, 2009-2010
    • USC Provost’s Award for Advancing Scholarship in the Humanities and Social Sciences, 2007-2008
    • USC Parents’ Association Teaching and Mentoring Award, Fall 2007
    • British Academy Travel Grant, 2005
    • Huntington Library Research Fellowship Recipient, Mellon Match Fellow, 2005
    • USC or School/Dept Award for Teaching, General Education Teaching Award, Category V, Spring 2005
    • Hemlow Prize for best new scholarship on Frances Burney, Burney Society, 2004
    • Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in Humanitistic Studies, 1999-2000
  • Administrative Appointments

    • College Dean of Undergraduate Education, 08/16/2021 – 08/15/2026
    • Interim College Dean of Undergraduate Education, 11/16/2020 – 08/15/2021
    • Dean’s Leadership Fellow of the Humanities and Graduate Programs, 08/16/2020 – 11/15/2020
    • Dean’s Leadership Fellow, 08/16/2019 – 08/15/2020
    • Director of Graduate Studies, 2019-2020
    • Director of Graduate Studies, 2018-2019
    • Dean’s Leadership Fellow, 10/01/2017 – 08/15/2019
    • Director of Graduate Studies, 2017-2018
    • Director of Graduate Studies, 2015-2016
    • Director of Graduate Studies, 2014-2015
    • Director of Graduate Studies, 2013-2014
    • Job Placement Officer, English Department, 2013-2014
    • Director of Graduate Studies, English Department, 2012-2013
  • Conferences Organized

    • Organizer, Long 18th Century Seminar at the Huntington, Huntington Library, 2006 –
    • Co-organizer, “On Writing”, USC, 2020-2021

    Editorships and Editorial Boards

    • Editor, The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation, 08/01/2019 –
    • Editorial Advisory Board, Eighteenth-Century Studies, 07/01/2017 – 06/30/2020

    Professional Memberships

    • American Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies, 2000 –
    • Modern Language Association, 2000 –
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