Liora Connor Selinger
Liora Selinger is a PhD candidate in the department of English. Her research explores literary depictions of conversations between adults and children, and the ways in which adaptations of language to suit the perceived needs of children in the Romantic period impacted the forms of poetry and criticism of the time.
Her dissertation, Romanticism, Childhood, and the Poetics of Explanation, investigates the fixation on, desires for, ethics of, and social role of explanation in the 1780-1850 period, with readings of Anna Letitia Barbauld, Richard and Maria Edgeworth, Charles and Mary Lamb, William Blake, William Wordsworth, and Thomas De Quincey against the backdrop of the rise of mass education in Britain. The authors at the core of her study challenge Lockean ideas of the child as a “blank slate” to investigate and celebrate moments in which children surprise adults with their own knowledge, perspective, and selfhood. Of particular interest are literary depictions of children’s resistance to adults’ attempts to explain death, and explanations of poetry for children. Associated interests include the literary history of the figure of the child liar, the child author, and the fraught relationships between the discourse of childhood and discourses regarding race, class, and gender.
Liora’s research is supported by the Center for the Study of Religion and the Dean’s Completion Fellowship. She has coordinated the English Department’s Eighteenth-Century and Romantic Studies Colloquium and Contemporary Poetry Colloquium and is an active participant in Princeton’s Historical Poetics Reading Group. She is a Writing Center Fellow in Princeton’s Writing Program.
In 2019, Liora was honored to receive the English Department’s McCosh Teaching Award. She teaches in the undergraduate course on Children’s Literature and previously served as preceptor for the undergraduate course on Nineteenth-Century Fiction. She is assistant to Professor Bill Gleason in integrating Princeton’s digital archive of ABC books into the ENG 385 curriculum. Prior to joining the department in 2014, Liora taught kindergarten in New York City.
“The Work of Play and the Pleasures of Work in Mary Lamb’s Mrs. Leicester’s School,” Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies 15.2 (Summer 2019).