Sophie Gee

Associate Professor
Office Phone
49 McCosh Hall
Office Hours

Fall 2023: On Leave
Spring 2024: On Leave


Ph.D. Harvard 2002. Sophie Gee specializes in seventeeth- and eighteenth-century British Literature from Milton to Jane Austen. Her first monograph Making Waste: Leftovers and the Eighteenth-Century Imagination (Princeton University Press, 2009), is about the period’ obsession with things discarded: everything from Milton’s chaotic uncreated atoms to Defoe’s plague-ridden corpses, to Swift’s dead dogs and turnip tops. Sophie Gee’s debut novel, The Scandal of the Season, is a comedy of manners set in eighteenth-century London, and a retelling of Pope’s "The Rape of the Lock."  The novel was named one of the Best Books of 2007 by the Washington Post and the Economist and has been published in 13 countries. She has published essays on Milton, Pope, Swift and others, and has written for the TLS, the New York Times Book Review, the Washington Post, the Financial Times and elsewhere.

Currently, she is most interested in global and imperial perspectives on eighteenth-century literary studies. Her current scholarly book, entitled Infidelity: the Rise of the Sacrificial Novel, is about how powerful state religions, imperial aggression and global human sacrifice call for transformed readings of eighteenth-century domestic narratives and marriage plots work. With Prof. Sarah Rivett she co-ordinated a major interdisciplinary conference on “The Global Enlightenment” in spring 2017.  She is also completing a new novel entitled Mysteries of the Invisible World, about eighteenth-century scientists, ghosts, gold mines, textiles, time-travel and true love.

Selected Publications

“Communion, Communication, Sacrifice: Miraculous Identification in Tom Jones” (work in progress).

“Special Occasions: Defoe, Sacrifice and the Occasional Conformity Crisis” (work in progress).

“True Accounts” in The Oxford Handbook of English Prose, 1640-1720, eds. Henry Power and Nicholas McDowell. Oxford: Oxford University Press (forthcoming).

The Dunciad: Politics and Theology,” in The Oxford Handbook of Eighteenth-Century Satire, ed. Paddy Bullard. Oxford: Oxford University Press (forthcoming).

“Milton’s Pope” in Milton and the Long Restoration. Eds. Blair Hoxby and Ann Coiro, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), pp.242-62.

“It Narratives, Thing Theory, and “Trivial Things”: Sophie Gee’s The Scandal of the Season and The Rape of the Lock,” by Kate Scarth and Sophie Gee in Anniversary Essays on Alexander Pope’s “The Rape of the Lock,”  Ed. Don Nichol, Toronto: Toronto University Press, 2015.

“ ‘Such Opinions Cannot Cohere’: Swift’s Inwardness.” In “The Essay: An Attempt, a Protean Form,” forum edited by Denise Gigante. Republics of Letters 4.1 (2014): 1-13.