Hilary Schor

Professor of English, Comparative Literature and Law
Email schor@dornsife.usc.edu Office THH 402G Office Phone (213) 740-3738

Center, Institute & Lab Affiliations

  • USC Center for Law, History and Culture, Co-Director


  • Ph.D. English, Stanford University, 1986
  • B.A. British/American Literature, Scripps College, 1980
  • Summary Statement of Research Interests

    Professor Schor studies contemporary fiction, feminist theory, and the widest possible range of Victorian literature, from serial fiction, narrative poetry, art criticism, proto-sociology, and urban history. Nothing Victorian surprises her any more. Her more unexpected research efforts focus on gender studies, film and popular culture, law and literature, and twentieth century fiction; she is currently writing on adaptation, betrayal and people who fall down in films. She is the author of studies of the novelists Elizabeth Gaskell and Charles Dickens, as well as essays on “character trials,” Victorian spectacle, voice-over narration in novels and film, and Jane Eyre as a victim of sexual harassment. Her most recent book, “Curious Subjects: Women and the Trials of Realism” (Oxford, 2013) moves from 17th century poetry to 18th century epistolary fiction, 19th century fairy tales and optical devices, and 20th century time-travel films. She is currently at work on a project on Jews, women, and other Victorian legal fictions, which re-imagines the romance of politics and the power of forgiveness. She has served as Chair of Gender Studies, President of the Academic Senate, and in 2006-7 she served as Dean of Undergraduate Programs for the College of Letters, Arts & Sciences. She is currently co-director of the Center for Law, History, and Culture, a joint center sponsored by USC Dornsife College and the Gould School of Law.

    Research Keywords

    Victorian literature and culture, contemporary fiction, feminist theory, film and popular culture, law and literature,narrative theory and the history of the novel.

  • Conference Presentations

    • “Forgiving Fictions: Women, Jews and other Victorian Legal Fictions.” , New directions in law and literatureTalk/Oral Presentation, Cornell Humanities Center, Invited, Cornell University, 2012-2013
    • “Law as literature/Literature as law.” , Law As… conference UC Irvine School of LawLecture/Seminar, Invited, UC Irvine School of Law, 2011-2012
    • “Unplanning Plots” , International Narrative ConferenceTalk/Oral Presentation, Invited, 2009-2010
    • Collisions: Plot and the Curious Heroine (Twice) , Society for Cinema and Media StudiesTalk/Oral Presentation, 2009-2010
    • Everything You Ever Wanted to know about finishing your dissertation , Dickens UniverseLecture/Seminar, Invited, 2009-2010
    • “Sliding Doors, Colliding Plots: The Thinking Heroine, Twice-Over.” , MLATalk/Oral Presentation, 2008-2009
    • “‘Was She Guilty or Not?’: Wicked Narrators in 19th Century Fiction.” , International Narrative ConferenceTalk/Oral Presentation, 2007-2008
    • “Narrating Strangeness in Daniel Deronda” , International Conference for the Study of Narrative LiteratureTalk/Oral Presentation, Washington, DC, 2006-2007

    Other Presentations

    • “The Romance of Tony Blair: The Queen in the Garden, the Minister in the House, and the Jew in the Basement.” , Invited Presentation Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, 2012-2013
    • “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Cinema: Betrayal and Adaptation in Novel and Film.” , Invited talk Mahindra Humanities Center, Harvard University, 2012-2013
    • Curious Subjects: Women and the Trials of Realism, Book Event, Rosenbach Museum and Library, 2012-2013
    • “Reading for the Law: Juridical Feminism in Great Expectations” , UC Berkeley Victorian Group, Berkeley, CA, 2010-2011
    • “Thackeray, Vanity Fair and the Curious Eye,” , Invited Presentation, King’s College, London, 2007-2008
    • “Re-Sizing the Novel: Alice, Nell, and the Curious Heroine.” , Invited lecture Oxford University, Oxford University, 2006-2007
    • “Re-Sizing the Novel: Alice, Nell, and the Curious Heroine.” , Victorian Seminar: Invited Presentation, Harvard University, 2006-2007
    • Invited workshop, “George Eliot and the Curious Bride”, 19th Century Seminar, UCLA, 2006-2007
  • Book

    • Schor, H. M. (2013). Curious Subjects: Women and the Trials of Realism. Oxford University Press.
    • Schor, H. M. (1999). Dickens and the Daughter of the House. Cambridge University Press.
    • Schor, H. M. (1992). Scheherezade in the Marketplace: Elizabeth Gaskell and the Victorian Novel. Oxford University Press.

    Book Chapters

    • Schor, H. M. (2012). “The Make Believe of a Middle: On (Not) Knowing Where You Are in Daniel Deronda” in “Middles”. pp. pp. 47-74. Ohio State University Press.
    • Schor, H. M., Stolzenberg, N. M. (2011). “Teaching Law and Literature: Free Speech, Free Love,” in MLA Teaching Approaches to Law and Literature. pp. 225-234. MLA Publications.
    • Schor, H. M. (2010). “Who’s the Stranger? Jews, Women, and Bastards in Daniel Deronda.” Forthcoming in Law and the Stranger. Law and the Stranger pp. 180-210. Stanford University Press.
    • Schor, H. M. (2008). “Bleak House and Narrative Theory” in “Teaching Approaches to Bleak House”. pp. pp. 191-198. MLA Publications.
    • Schor, H. M. (2006). “Dickens and Plot” in Palgrave Advances in Dickens Studies. pp. 90-111. Palgrave Press.

    Journal Article

    • Schor, H. M. (2006). “Reading Knowledge: Curiosity in The Golden Bowl,” in The Henry James Review. The Henry James Review. Vol. 26 (3), pp. 237-246.


    • Schor, H. M.Sorting, Morphing and Mourning: A. S. Byatt Ghost-writes Victorian Fiction, in Victorian Afterlife: Postmodern Culture Rewrites the Nineteenth Century ed. John Kucich and Dianne F. Sadoff, University of Minnesota Press, 2000


    • Schor, H. M.Show-Trials: Character, Conviction and the Law in Victorian Fiction,Cardozo Studies in Law and Literature, Winter 1999
    • “From Year One to Year Zero: The Uses of Time in the Invention of the Modern World”, COLT 475, 2011-2012
    • Feminism and the Law: Where Are We and How Did We Get Here?, Law 723, 2011-2012
    • Time Trials: Exhausting Time in the Novel and Narrative Cinema, 1789-2012, CSLC 603, 2011-2012
    • Contract Narratives and Robber Brides, Comparative Literature, 2009-2010
    • “Seeing Into Everything: Furnishing the Victorian Imagination”, English, 2008-2009
    • Radcliffe Institute Fellowship, 2012-2013
    • National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship Recipient, Taught NEH Summer Seminar for College and University Teachers on “Adaptation and Revision: The Example of Great Expectations” (co-taught with Professor Paul Saint-Amour), 2006-2007
    • USC Zumberge Research and Innovation Fund Award, Joint award with Professor Nomi M. Stolzenberg to develop new research project in law & literature of the First Amendment., 2002-2003
    • Guggenheim Fellowship Recipient, 2001-2002
    • USC Academic Senate Executive Board, President of the Academic Senate, 2001-2002
    • USC Innovative Teaching Award, 2000-2001
    • Stanford Humanities Center Fellowship, 1994-1995
    • USC Zumberge Research and Innovation Fund Award, 1989-1990
    • American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship Recipient, Grant-in-aid Research fellowship, 1988-1989
    • USC Innovative Teaching Award, 1987-1988
  • Administrative Appointments

    • Director, College Commons Program, 2009-2010
    • Director, College Commons Program, 2008-2009
  • Professional Memberships

    • Society for the Study of Narrative Literature, 04/01/1995 –

    Reviewer for Publications

    • Journal of Victorian Literature and Culture, Editorial board, 06/01/2005 –
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