Interim Dean of the Graduate School
Professor of English
My research and teaching revolves around the issues of nationalism, colonialism and slavery in the literature of the long eighteenth century in England, with a particular emphasis on the Restoration and early eighteenth century periods. Most recently, I have written about literature related to the failed seventeenth-century English colony in Tangier, Morocco and about British writings on slavery in the non-British world. My current research focuses on British depictions of slavery in North Africa and the Mediterranean, on the fate of African and European slaves in the region, and on the best ways to think about comparative slave institutions in the early modern world. In addition to teaching courses on these subjects and on literary theory, I also enjoy offering classes on narratives about deserted islands in Anglo-American literature and on post-colonial and feminist rewritings of canonical British literature.
I have recently worked with Srividhya Swaminathan to edit a collection of essays concerning the representation of slavery in early-modern British culture. The book is titled Invoking Slavery in the Eighteenth-Century British Imagination (Ashgate, 2013), and you can find more information about the book here.
Areas of Specialization
The “long eighteenth century” in Britain (from the Restoration through the Romantic era); British literature and drama; literary theory with particular emphasis on colonial and post-colonial discourse; global slave cultures in the early modern period.
Graduate: Restoration and 18th-century British Literature; Literary Theory 2; Writing in the Profession.
Undergraduate: British Literature 1: Beginnings to 1780; Reading and Writing About Literature; Eighteenth Century British Literature; Honors Humanities Sequence. Deserted and Exotic Islands in Anglo-American Literature and Culture; Literary Metafiction: Hearing the Other Side of the Story.
Dr. Beach's curriculum vitae