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Aaron Hanlon


Visiting Assistant Professor


Department of English
General profile


+1 202-687-7435

Office hours

Spring 2014: M/W 3:30-4:30


My research and teaching interests fall primarily within the long eighteenth century, both British and early American literatures. Particular topics of interest include women's writing, the literature and rhetoric of the scientific revolution, the transnational and political influences of Don Quixote, and the role of heuristics in literary and cultural criticism. My book project, "The Politics of Quixotism," examines the proliferation of quixotic characters in British and American fiction (1612-1815) as part of a political history of exceptionalism, which both informs the history of "American exceptionalism" and locates an underexplored "British exceptionalism" of the long eighteenth century.

My articles have appeared in Studies in the Novel, The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation, Connotations, and Comparative American Studies. My most recent work explores two very different topics. One concerns the roles of empiricist and anti-empiricist rhetoric in shaping scientific methodologies in early modern Britain. Another concerns the potential of character studies as a more transportable heuristic for studying transnational and global literatures. Offshoots of these larger research projects include article-length studies of anthropomorphism and the Anthropocene in the writings of Margaret Cavendish, and rhetoric and speech act in Augustan poetry.


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  • D.Phil. (2012) University of Oxford, English
  • MA (2008) Dartmouth College, Cultural Studies
  • BA, MA (2004, 2006) Bucknell University, Political Science, English