Claudia L. Johnson

Claudia L. Johnson
Claudia L. Johnson
Murray Professor of English Literature

Claudia L. Johnson joined the faculty at Princeton in 1994 and was Chair of the English Department from 2004-2012.  She specializes in eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century literature, with a particular emphasis on the novel.  In addition to eighteenth-century survey courses, she teaches courses on gothic fiction, sentimentality and melodrama, the history of prose style, film adaptations of novels into film, on Samuel Johnson, and, of course, Jane Austen.   In addition, she has strong interests in eighteenth-century music and culture, in the idea of voice, in mysteries and narrative theory, in Yiddish story, and in the American Songbook of the 1930’s and 1940s.

Johnson’s books include Jane Austen: Women, Politics, and the Novel (Chicago, 1988), Equivocal Beings: Politics, Gender and Sentimentality in the 1790s (Chicago, 1995), and The Cambridge Companion to Mary Wollstonecraft (Cambridge, 2002), The Blackwell Companion to Jane Austen, ed. with Clara Tuite (Blackwell, 2005), and Jane Austen’s Cults and Cultures (Chicago, 2012).  She has also prepared critical editions of Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park (Norton, 1998), Sense and Sensibility (Norton, 2002), Northanger Abbey (Oxford, 2003), and (with Susan Wolfson) Pride and Prejudice (Longman, 2003).   Her research has been supported by major fellowships such as the NEH and the Guggenheim.

At present Johnson is working on several book-length projects:  Her Picture in the Exhibition at Last,  a short book about the vicissitudes of the controversial “Rice Portrait” of Jane Austen, its likely resolution through digital technology, and its entanglement in larger notions about how we think “classic” authors” should look, and about the competing authority of families and museum, with vested interests in their positions and their property; Raising the Novel, which explores key phases the history of the history of the novel in which critics have attempted to elevate them to keystones of high culture; and in the literary impact of the Handel Commemorations of 1784 and 1791.