Jayne Elizabeth Lewis

Professor, English
School of Humanities

Ph.D., Princeton University, 1988, English literature

Phone: (949) 824-6875
Fax: (949) 824-2916
Email: jelewis@uci.edu

University of California, Irvine
MKH 161
Mail Code: 2650
Irvine, CA 92697

picture of Jayne Elizabeth Lewis

Research
Interests
literature and religion; literature and medicine, restoration and 18th-century british literature; literature of the supernatural and gothic fiction; history and/of fiction;
   
Academic
Distinctions
SOH Teaching Excellence Award (2016)
ACLS Fellowship
UC President's Fellowship
NEH Summer Stipend
NEH Fellowship
UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award
   
Appointments UCLA (1988-2004)
UC Irvine (2004-present)
   
Research
Abstract
My current research lives at the crossroads of religious studies and literary history. "PIECES OF EXPERIMENTAL DIVINITY": THE ENGLISH PSALM IN MIDDLE MODERNITY amplifies their 18th-century translator Isaac Watts's resonant characterization of the Hebrew Psalms as "pieces of experimental divinity" so as to account for these ancient poems' living presence in Anglo-American autobiography, devotional literature, lyric, romance, and realist fiction, 1650-1850. A related project focuses on the writings of several female Protestant mystics of the late seventeenth century--Anne Conway, Jeanne de Guyon, Jane Lead, Elizabeth Delaval, and Anna Maria van Schurman--as eidetic paradigms of what I call "informal realism." Though inspired by Kenneth Burke's insights into "the rhetoric of religion," I rely on both the middle modern Psalm and the Protestant mystical figment to dissent from the present-day academy's "religion of rhetoric." I seek instead to elucidate the logic and grammar of the soul as it revealed itself in overlapping literary and spiritual practices of the long 18th century. Long implicated in the now-discredited secularization thesis as well as in Horkheimer and Adorno's "disenchantment of the world," that century was also the crucible of Ernst Cassirer's notion of language as an immanent "spiritual form" to be appraised according to its own "fundamental law of formation." Psalm translations and the writings of the female Protestant mystics nourish language's epigenetic potential.
   
Publications RELIGION IN ENLIGHTENMENT ENGLAND (Baylor, 2016)
   
  AIR'S APPEARANCE: LITERARY ATMOSPHERE IN BRITISH FICTION, 1660-1794 (Chicago, 2012)
   
  MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS: ROMANCE AND NATION Routledge, 2000)
   
  THE ENGLISH FABLE: AESOP AND LITERARY CULTURE, 1650-1740 (Cambridge, 1995)
   
  (with Lisa Zunshine) APPROACHES TO TEACHING THE WORKS OF JOHN DRYDEN_ (MLA, 2013)
   
  (with M.E. Novak) ENCHANTED GROUND: REIMAGINING JOHN DRYDEN (Toronto, 2005)
   
  THE TRIAL OF MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS: A DOCUMENTARY HISTORY(Bedford, 2000)
   
   
Link to this profile http://www.faculty.uci.edu/profile.cfm?faculty_id=5137
   
Last updated 01/01/2018