Virginia Jackson

picture of Virginia  Jackson

UCI Endowed Chair in Rhetoric, Departments of English and Comparative Literature, Critical Theory
School of Humanities

Ph.D., Princeton University, 1995, Comparative Literature


University of California, Irvine
Department of English
400 Humanities Instructional Building
Mail Code 2650
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
Poetics; Nineteenth-, Twentieth-, and Twenty-First-Century American Poetry; Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture; the History of Literary Theory
Academic Distinctions
National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, 2011-2012
Christian Gauss Award 2006
MLA First Book Prize 2006
Research Abstract
Virginia Jackson is UCI Endowed Chair of Rhetoric and Critical Theory in the Departments of English and Comparative Literature at UC Irvine. She is the author of Dickinson’s Misery: A Theory of Lyric Reading (Princeton UP, 2005), which won the Christian Gauss Prize and the MLA Prize for a First Book. She is the editor of On Periodization: Selected Essays from the English Institute (ACLS E-Book, 2010; Meredith McGill, series editor) and, with Yopie Prins, the co-editor of The Lyric Theory Reader: A Critical Anthology (Johns Hopkins UP, 2014). Her next book, Before Modernism: Inventing American Poetry in the Nineteenth Century is forthcoming from Princeton UP. Her essays in historical poetics have appeared in PMLA, New Literary History, MLQ, Victorian Poetry, Studies in Romanticism, Nineteenth-Century Literature, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and elsewhere. She is one of the founding members of the Historical Poetics working group


2005 Dickinson’s Misery: A Theory of Lyric Reading (Princeton: Princeton University Press)
Winner of the 2006 Christian Gauss Award, Phi Beta Kappa
Winner of the 2005 Modern Language Association Prize for a First Book

2010 On Periodization: Selected Papers from the English Institute, 2008 (ACLS Humanities E-Book )

2013 The Lyric Theory Reader (with Yopie Prins) (The Johns Hopkins University Press)

Forthcoming: Before Modernism: Inventing American Lyric in the Nineteenth Century

Essays (selected)
2019 "Poe's Common Meter," in The Oxford Handbook of Edgar Allan Poe, ed. J. Gerald Kennedy and Scott Peeples (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019)
2019 "The Cadence of Consent: Francis Barton Gummere, Lyric Rhythm, and White Poetics," in Critical Rhythm: The Poetics of a Literary Life Form, ed. Ben Glaser and Jonathan Culler (New York: Fordham University Press, 2019), 87-105
2018 " 'Our Poets': William Cullen Bryant and the White Romantic Lyric." New Literary History, volume 49, Number 4, Autumn 201, 521-551
2016, “American Romanticism, Again,” Studies in Romanticism, 55 (Fall 2016), 319-346
2016 “Specters of the Ballad,” Nineteenth-Century Literature, Vol. 71, No. 2, 176-196
2015 “The Function of Criticism at the Present Time”
2014 “Longfellow in His Time,” Chapter 11 of The Cambridge History of American Poetry, ed. Alfred Bendixon and Stephen Burt (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).
2013 (with Lisa Gitelman), Introduction to “Raw Data” is an Oxymoron, ed. Lisa Gitelman (Cambridge: The MIT Press), 1-14.
2012 “The Poet as Poetess,” The Cambridge Companion to Nineteenth-Century American Poetry, ed. Kerry Larson (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press)
2012 “Lyric,” The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics. Fourth Edition, ed. Roland Greene, et. al. (Princeton: Princeton University Press), 826-834.
2011 "Please Don't Call it History," (2011)
2010 “Periodization and its Discontents,” Introduction to On Periodization: Selected Papers from the English Institute, 2008
2008 “Who Reads Poetry?” in PMLA, vol. 123, no. 2, January, 181-187.
2008 “ The Story of Boon; or, Parables of the Poetess,” in ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance , vol. 54, nos. 1-4, December, 240-268.
2008 “Thinking Dickinson Thinking Poetry,” in The Blackwell Companion to Emily Dickinson, ed. Mary Loeffelholz and Martha Nell Smith (Blackwell Publishing), 205-221.
2008 “Bryant; or, American Romanticism,” in The Traffic in Poems: Nineteenth-Century Poetry and Transatlantic Exchange, ed. Meredith McGill (Rutgers University Press, 2008), 185-204.
2007 “ ‘The Poetess’ and Nineteenth-Century American Women Poets” (with Eliza Richards), Poetess Archive Journal , vol. 1, no. 1
2005 “Dickinson Undone,” Raritan (Spring), Vol. XXIV, Number 4, 128-148.
2000 “Poetry and Experience,” Raritan (Fall), Vol. XX, Number 2., 126-135.
2000 “Poe, Longfellow, and the Institution of Poetry,” Poe Studies. Vol. 33, numbers 1 and 2, 23-28.
1999 “Lyrical Studies” (with Yopie Prins), Victorian Literature and Culture 27:2 (Fall). 521-530.
1998 “Longfellow’s Tradition; or, Picture-Writing a Nation,” Modern Language Quarterly 59:4 (December). 471-496.
1997 “ ‘Faith in Anatomy’: Reading Emily Dickinson,” in Dwelling in Possibility: Women Poets and Critics on Poetry, ed. Yopie Prins and Maeera Shreiber (Ithaca: Cornell University Press). 85-108.
1996 “Dickinson’s Figure of Address,” in Emily Dickinson and Audience, ed. Martin Orzeck and Robert Weisbuch (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press). 77- 103.
National Endowment for the Humanities, 2011-2012
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