The executive committee of the forum LLC Late-18th-Century English has nominated me to stand for election to the executive committee this year. It was suggested that I submit a post describing my interests and goals to the Late-18th-Century forum’s Commons group, which is how I find myself here. I am an Associate Professor in the Department of English at UCLA. My research and teaching focus on eighteenth-century literature with particular attention to the history and theory of the novel and fiction’s representation and solicitation of affective attachments. My first book, Eighteenth-Century Fiction and the Reinvention of Wonder (Oxford 2014), argued that wonder and the marvelous were integral to eighteenth-century literary realism. My current book project focuses on the ways in which distance, obstacles, and negative feelings facilitate attachments within—and with—literary works.
What are my goals? Insofar as they pertain to this committee’s remit of selecting panel topics for the annual conference, my goals would be to put together panels that will generate thrilling, provocative conversations. To be charged with coming up with topics but not actually having to write about them myself is pretty much my dream job. Also, I really care about the eighteenth century. If anything, I care TOO much. And, while my work spans the eighteenth century, my acute sense of my own belatedness gives me a special affinity with the late eighteenth century.
As for my other qualifications, well, the email I received from the Executive Director about this committee informed me that its role is to “conduct important business,” some of which is “handled by correspondence.” While I’m, frankly, sometimes a bit negligent when it comes to unimportant business, I conduct important business like a boss. Furthermore, as a dix-huitièmiste, I am naturally well versed in the art of epistolary correspondence. All told, I believe I possess the qualities this position demands and would do a smashing job.
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