Jeff Dolven

Office Phone
33 McCosh Hall
Office Hours

Fall 2023: Thursdays from 2:30pm - 4:30pm, and by appointment
Spring 2024: On Leave


Jeff Dolven teaches poetry and poetics, especially of the English Renaissance. He has written three books of criticism, Scenes of Instruction (Chicago 2007), Senses of Style (Chicago 2018), and the admittedly hasty Take Care (Cabinet 2017), as well as essays on a variety of subjects, including Renaissance metrics, Edmund Spenser, Shakespeare’s reading, Fairfield Porter, and player pianos. His poems have appeared in magazines and journals in the US and the UK and in a volume, Speculative Music (Sarabande 2013). He is also an editor-at-large at Cabinet magazine, and was the founding director of Princeton’s Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in the Humanities (IHUM) and acting chair of the English Department in 2018-19.

Recent undergraduate classes include the Humanities Sequence, lectures on Shakespeare and on early English literature, and seminars on the poetry of Edmund Spenser, the theory and praxis of the human voice, sixteenth- and seventeenth-century poetry, and (at East Jersey State Prison) poetry and belief. He has taught graduate classes on Shakespeare’s language, sixteenth-century lyric, and Renaissance romance, as well as less categorizable, co-taught seminars including Critique and Its Discontents, Style and Rule, Experience, and The Poetics of History.

Ongoing collaborative, para-academic pedagogical projects include Schema for a School and the Attention Lab at Mildred’s Lane. That work, and related experiments in the structures and protocols of intellectual exchange and artistic experience, is gathered (along with more writing) at Work in progress includes essays on the poetics of feedback, the book as metaphor, and a larger project to do with sound and simultaneity, with the tentative title All Together Now 

Selected Publications


Senses of Style. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2017.

Take Care. Brooklyn: Cabinet Books, 2017.

Speculative Music. Louisville: Sarabande, 2013.

Scenes of Instruction. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007.

Five articles:

Besides Good and Evil.  Studies in English Literature 51.1 (2017): 1-22

Disjunct Quatrains. The Chicago Review 58 (2014): 147-153.

Critique and Imitation. English Language Notes 51 (2013): 123-27.

Panic’s Castle. Representations 120 (2012): 1-16.

Styles of Disjunction. Southwest Review 92 (2010): 116-31.

Five poems:

from A New English Grammar. The Paris Review 215 (Winter 2015).

The Custom of the Country. Harper’s (August 2015).

Discretion Is the Very Soul of Your Pants Pocket. Paris Review 211 (Winter 2014).

Rituals. The New Yorker (April 2, 2012).

Filing Form 3526. Cabinet 36 (Winter 2009-10).