Prof. Alliston works mainly at the intersections of the fields of eighteenth-century studies, gender studies, and the history and theory of the novel. An ongoing study explores the relationship between European gender conventions and the origins of the modern novel, arguing that the early novel, far from affirming Enlightenment individualism connects new philosophical skepticism about interiority and sense experience with archaic social anxieties around female fidelity. She is also currently working on a biography of James Fenimore Cooper, co-authored with Pamela J. Schirmeister of Yale University.
Support for her research has included fellowships awarded by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Humanities Center, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the American Antiquarian Society, as well as, most recently, an Old Dominion Professorship in the Princeton University Council of the Humanities.
The Recess (link is external); Or, A Tale of Other Times, a critical edition of Sophia Lee's 1785 novel