Rivka Swenson

Rivka Swenson, PhD

Associate Professor

(804) 827-8416

Hibbs Hall, 900 Park Ave., room 416

18th Century



  • PhD in English Language and Literature, University of Virginia 2008
  • MA in English Language and Literature, University of Virginia 2008
  • MFA in Poetry, Virginia Commonwealth University 1999
  • BA in English (Psychology minor), Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University 1995

Research Interests

  • Eighteenth-Century British Literature and Culture
  • Robinsonades
  • The Gothic
  • Popular Culture
  • Material Culture
  • Feminism

Select Publications

  • “‘mushrooms, capers, and other sorts of pickles’: Remaking the Robinsonade in Peter Longueville’s The Hermit (1727).” Rewriting Crusoe: The Robinsonade across Languages, Cultures, and Media. Ed. Jakub Lipski. Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell UP, 2020. 9–22. 2020.
  • “The Crusoeiana: Material Crusoe.” Adapting the Eighteenth Century: Pedagogies and Practices. Eds. Sharon Harrow and Kirsten Saxton. U of Rochester P, 2020. 213–233. 2020.
  • Robinson Crusoe and the Form of the New Novel.” The Cambridge Companion to Robinson Crusoe. Ed. John Richetti. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2018. 16–31. 2018.
  • “Secret History and the It-Narrative.” The Secret History in Literature, 1660–1820. Eds. Rebecca Bullard and Rachel Carnell. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2017. 117–133. 2017.
  • Essential Scots and the Idea of Unionism in Anglo-Scottish Literature, 1603–1832. Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell UP. 2016.


  • Modern Language Association
  • American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies
  • Defoe Society
  • The Johnsonians
  • Eighteenth-Century Scottish Studies Society


  • The Gothic
  • Fan Fiction: Revising H.P. Lovecraft
  • Popular Culture Studies: Robinson Crusoe
  • 18th-Century British Novel
  • Reading Literature: Metafiction


  • CHS Excellence in Junior Scholarship Award, College of Humanities and Sciences, VCU. 
  • Lewis Walpole Library, Yale/ASECS Fellow, short-term fellowship 
  • Robert W. Woodruff Library, Emory, Manuscripts and Rare Books Library, short-term fellowship
  • Chawton House Library, University of Southampton, short-term fellowship 
  • Folger Shakespeare Library, short-term fellowship