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Seton Hall University
Jonathan Farina.


Jonathan Farina, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of English

(973) 761-9388

Fahy Hall
Room 365

Jonathan Farina, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Department of English

Jonathan Farina is Associate Professor of Nineteenth-Century British Literature, an Associate Director of the Honors Program, and Director of the Center for Literature and the Public Sphere, an initiative through which the Department of English fosters interdisciplinary scholarship and public engagement on social and intellectual issues.

Jonathan studies nineteenth-century British fiction, the histories of literary criticism and the natural sciences, and theories of everyday life. His first book, Everyday Words and the Character of Prose in Nineteenth-Century Britain, is under contract with Cambridge University Press. It analyzes the epistemic import of ordinary colloquial tics including "a decided turn," "as if," "but," "something" and "that sort of thing," "in particular" and "in general. Discussing novels by Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, W. M. Thackeray, and Anthony Trollope in conjunction with Victorian scientific prose and cultural criticism, it describes 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 legal practice.

Professor Farina has begun two other book projects: 1) Informalism, an alternative history of Victorian literary criticism that, instead of reducing the subject to a genealogy of present practices, respects its historically specific repertoire of tropes and forms of thinking on their own terms; and 2) a study of the tropes, syntax, and other elements of style that distinguish nineteenth-century British scientific prose.

Professor Farina has presented dozens of conference papers and many invited talks at NVSA, NAVSA, MLA, the New York Public Library, The Grad Center at CUNY, Rutgers, Columbia, the University of Chicago, the University of Toronto (WINCS), and elsewhere. He is an Associate Editor of The Wordsworth Circle and an active member of the Northeast Victorian Studies Association.


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


  • "Middlemarch and 'That Sort of Thing'". RaVoN: Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net 53, February 2009.



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

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