University Profiles

Jonathan Farina

Jonathan Farina, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Department of English


Dr. Farina writes about 19th-century English fiction by writers like Dickens and Thackeray and the history of science.

I study nineteenth-century British fiction, Victorian culture, and the history of science. My present project, which I'll be working on as an Associate Fellow at the Center for Cultural Analysis at Rutgers University, is a book that analyzes the everyday assumptions about reality that are inscribed in colloquialisms and paradigmatic stylistic tics, like "as if," "that sort of thing," "in particular" and "in general." Analyzing novels by Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, W. M. Thackeray, and Anthony Trollope, in conjunction with Victorian scientific prose and nineteenth-century cultural criticism, I describe the grammatical forms that underwrite what counted as knowledge for Victorian writers. So many of the fundamental forms of characterizing fictional characters -- fictional people -- turn out also to be the forms of characterizing inanimate, abstract things, like physical laws, the economy, and the function of art.

I am also interested in Romantic literature and culture, British periodicals like Household Words and Cornhill Magazine, the histories of "character" and "culture," sympathy and abstraction, and Victorian aesthetics.


  • Ph.D., New York University
  • M.A., New York University
  • B.S., Boston College

Academic Distinctions

  • Associate Fellow, 2010-11, Seminar "The Ordinary and the Everyday," Center for Cultural Analysis, Rutgers University

  • I have delivered papers at annual conferences of the North American Victorian Studies Association (NAVSA), the Northeast Victorian Studies Association (NVSA), the Modern Language Association (MLA), the North American Society for the Study of Romanticism NASSR), the International Conference on Romanticism (ICR), the Dickens Symposium, the International Nineteenth-Century Studies (INCS), and elsewhere, including the CUNY Graduate Center Victorian Seminar and the Robert Penn Warren Center for Humanities at Vanderbilt University.



Office Phone
(973) 761-9388


Office Location
Room 361
Fahy Hall


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