Kathleen Lubey

ProfessorInterim Director, University Writing Center
Ph.D., 2005, Rutgers University, EnglishM.A., 1999, State University of New York at Buffalo, EnglishB.A., 1997, Ithaca College, summa cum laude, English

My research and teaching interests include the literature and culture of eighteenth-century Britain, sexuality and gender studies, feminist theory, the history of pornography, literature of the British slave trade, and literary criticism and theory. My book Excitable Imaginations: Eroticism and Reading in Britain, 1660-1760 (Bucknell 2012) examined the relationship between sexual representation and discourses on morality, aesthetics, and reading in a broad range of eighteenth-century texts. I am now at work on two long-term projects: a book on the history of narrative pornography from the eighteenth century to the present, under contract with Stanford University Press, and a study that asks skeptically if marriage was revered by eighteenth-century writers, as is often alleged. A special issue of The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation on the “The Novel as Theory,” which I co-edited with Rebecca Tierney-Hynes, is forthcoming in Spring 2020. Journals that have published my work include ELHEighteenth-Century FictiondifferencesEighteenth-Century Studies, and Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture. In the past several years I have been awarded research fellowships by the Walpole, Beinecke, and Chawton House Libraries. I am also the chairperson of the Columbia University Seminar in Eighteenth-Century European Culture.

Recent Invited Lectures

  • “Piecing Together Mary Wollstonecraft’s Feminism.” Columbia University, February 2020.
  • “Looking Backward at Eighteenth-Century Pornography.” University of Virginia; Villanova University; University of Colorado Boulder; Centre for Eighteenth-Century Studies at York University. February 2018-February 2020.
  • “Eighteenth-Century Sex Toys and the Prehistory of Transgender.” Ithaca College, October 2019.
  • “Eighteenth-Century Dildo Theory.” New York University, November 2018.
  • “Eighteenth-Century Pornography (and What the Victorians Did to It).” Yale University, March 2017.

Select Recent Conference Papers

  • “Genital Property.” International Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. Edinburgh, UK, 2019.
  • “Eighteenth-Century Pulp.” American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Denver, CO, March 2019.
  • “The Woman of Colour, White Women, and the Eclipse of Feminist Politics.” Society for Novel Studies, June 2018; American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, March 2018.
  • “How Pornography Became Erotic.” Modern Language Association, Austin, TX, January 2016.
  • “Hester Thrale Piozzi’s Dialogic Historiography.” Aphra Behn Society, Summit, NJ, November 2015.

Recent Panels Chaired

  • “Adolescent Girls.” American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, March 2020.
  • “Anti-Marriage Plots in the Eighteenth Century.” Modern Language Association, January 2017.
  • “Whither the Subject in Eighteenth-Century Studies?” American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, April 2016.
  • “The Novel as Theory.” American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, March 2014.


  • Excitable Imaginations: Eroticism and Reading in Britain, 1660-1760. Bucknell University Press, 2012

Journal Publications

  • “Teaching Eighteenth-Century Black Lives.” Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture 48. Forthcoming.
  • Co-editor, “The Novel as Theory” special issue. The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation 61.2. Forthcoming 2020.
  • “Sexual Intention in Pornography.” Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture 47 (2018)
  • “Sexual Remembrance in Clarissa.” Eighteenth-Century Fiction 29.2 (2016)
  • “Making Pornography, 1749-1968: The History of The History of the Human Heart.” ELH English Literary History 82 (2015)  
  • “Erotic Interiors in Joseph Addison’s Imagination.” Eighteenth-Century Fiction 20.3 (2008)
  • “Spectacular Sex: Thought and Pleasure in the Encounter with Pornography.” differences 17.2 (2006)
  • “Eliza Haywood’s Amatory Aesthetic.” Eighteenth-Century Studies 39.3 (2006)


  • English 3280: Early English Feminisms
  • English 3290, Special Topics: Eighteenth-Century Black Lives
  • English 3220: The Eighteenth-Century Novel
  • English 3270: Eighteenth-Century British Poetry
  • English 4991: Cultures of Sexuality in the Eighteenth Century
  • English 2200: Reading and Writing as an English Major


  • English 430: Early English Feminisms
  • English 440: The Eighteenth Century and the History of Sexuality
  • English 450: Samuel Richardson’s Clarissa
  • English 450: Eighteenth-Century Black Lives
  • English 855: Theory of the Novel
  • English 885: A History of Pornography, Aretino to the Internet