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John Bender



Building 460, Room 341
Phone: 650 723 3052

Affinity links:

visual arts
18th century British literature
literary theory

John Bender

Jean G. and Morris M. Doyle Professor in Interdisciplinary Studies
Professor of English and Comparative Literature

John Bender's research and teaching focus on the eighteenth century in England and France. His special concerns include the relationship of literature to the visual arts, to philosophy and science, as well as to the sociology of literature and critical theory. He is also on the Comparative Literature faculty. Bender is the author of Spenser and Literary Pictorialism (1972), and Imagining the Penitentiary: Fiction and the Architecture of Mind in 18th-Century England (1987), which received the Gottschalk Prize of the American Society for 18th-Century Studies. He has published articles on Shakespeare, Piranesi, Hogarth, Hume, Goldsmith, Blake, Godwin, and on theoretical issues including fictionality and scientific inquiry. He is co-editor of The Ends of Rhetoric: History, Theory, Practice (1990), Chronotypes: The Construction of Time (1991), The Columbia History of the British Novel (1994), the Oxford World Classics edition of Tom Jones (1996), and Regimes of Description: In the Archive of the Eighteenth Century (2005).


1967: Ph.D., Cornell University
1962: B.A., Princeton University


COMPLIT 353A Experiment and the Novel (ENGLISH 303)

A double exploration of experiment in the novel from 1719 into the 19th century. Taking off from Zola's "The Experimental Novel," consideration of the novel's aspect as scientific instrument. Taking the idea of experimental fiction in the usual sense of departures from standard practice, consideration of works that seem to break away from techniques of "realism" devised prior to 1750, with "Robinson Crusoe" as the representative of that mode.. Texts by: Defoe, Sterne, Walpole, Godwin, Lewis, Goethe, and Shelley..