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Anne McCarthy

Anne McCarthy

Assistant Professor of English

421 Burrowes Building

Mailroom: 430 Burrowes Building

State College , PA 16801

Office Hours:

  • SPRING 2016: M 10a - 12p // W 12 - 1p // and by appointment


  1. B.A., New York University
  2. Ph.D., City University of New York

Professional Bio

I joined the faculty at Penn State in the Fall of 2012 to teach Romantic and Victorian literature, as well as critical theory. My book project, “British Poetry, 1816|1855: The Sublime Aesthetics of Contingency,” is about the way that suspension, broadly conceived as a form and practice, was understood by a group of nineteenth-century British poets: Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Alfred Tennyson, and Robert Browning. Suspended bodies and forms, practices of holding oneself in suspension and uncertainty, are ways of negotiating the crisis of a contingent reality, whether that reality is reflected in the contradictory nature of the self, the perilous ambiguity of a cataleptic body that may or may not be dead, or in a natural world whose laws are much less legible than they initially appear.

In addition to my book project, I am also interested in how "romantic" ideas and aesthetics continue to operate in contemporary culture, in areas that range from extreme sports to Western adaptations of Buddhist traditions.

My articles have appeared in Victorian Poetry, Romantic Circles, and, most recently, Studies in Romanticism.

Areas of Specialization

19th-century British Literature