Susan Wolfson

Susan Wolfson
Susan Wolfson

Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley 1978. I received my Ph.D from the University of California, Berkeley in 1978 and in the same year joined the faculty of Rutgers University in New Brunswick.  I came to Princeton in 1991.  My specialization is the Romantics and their contemporaries, that is, the writers in Britain from 1780 to about 1850, though I’ll always want to think about Milton and Shakespeare, too, and have written on both.  My recent publications have been  on two fronts:  editing and critical inquiry, mostly in the field of British Romanticism.  A fuller description of these interests is offered at the front of my Curriculum Vitae.   I teach an array of courses in Romanticism and Romantic-era writers, as well as the sophomore survey of British literature from Romanticism to Modernism.  Other forays have included seminars on Shakespeare and gender, and  Milton’s dazzling epic, Paradise Lost. I enjoy the energy and communication of the lecture hall as much as the intimacy and spontaneity of seminars and precepts, as well as the close working relationship that develops in advising independent projects—from junior-year essays, to senior-year theses, to doctoral dissertations.  In all my work, as teacher, critic, editor, and professional presence, I care about literary aesthetics and remain a “close reader” of its complex forms and languages, as foundational to any concern with culture and society.

My recent publications have been  on two fronts:  editing and critical inquiry, mostly in the field of British Romanticism.

I've also been writing sonnets and publishing them in Literary Imagination (fall issue 2010). Here is a recent one, not yet published, except here:

Bat in my window
A month ago I saw the baby bat, a blot
In my study-window, between screen and storm.
In heavy sunlight his small ears glowed
As head down, still he slept, a breathing form.
Except when with a slow wing-stretch he turned
head up, to answer nature’s call and not
soil its wee self.  Soft sleep was suspended
While the critter, delicate, upended--
Then down again to drowse of languid air.
Once I went to check the midnight window:
Even in full moonlight bat ears do not glow.
Two weeks on, my familiar was not there.
Later I read the mosquito-killing August drought
Had starved the adults, forced the young ones out.