Headshot of Rivka Swenson

Rivka Swenson

Associate Professor
(804) 827-8416
Hibbs Hall 416


BA Virginia Polytechnic Institute
MFA Virginia Commonwealth University
MA, PhD University of Virginia

Research/Teaching Focus

Restoration and eighteenth-century British literature


Essential Scots and the Idea of Unionism in Anglo-Scottish Literature, 1603-1832. Lewisburg PA: Bucknell UP, 2016. [Series: Transits: Literature, Thought & Culture, 1650–1850]

Ed. with Elise Lauterbach. Imagining Selves: Essays in Honor of Patricia Meyer Spacks. Newark: U of Delaware P, 2009.

Recent/Selected Publications

“‘it is to pleasure you’: Seeing Things in Mackenzie’s Aretina (1660), or, Whither Scottish Prose Fiction before the Novel?” Studies in Scottish Literature. [Symposium on “Periodization,” ed. Juliet Shields] [in press]

“Secret History and the It-Narrative.” The Secret History in Literature, 16601820. Eds. Rebecca Bullard and Rachel Carnell. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. [in press]

Robinson Crusoe and the Form of the New Novel.” The Cambridge Companion to Robinson Crusoe. Ed. John Richetti. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. [in press]

“The Poet as Man of Feeling.” Oxford Handbook of British Poetry 1660–1800. Ed. Jack Lynch. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2016. 195–209.

“Formalism, Historicism, and the Author’s Farce: Making the Modern Author in Tom Jones.” Approaches to Teaching the Novels of Henry Fielding. Eds. Jennifer Wilson and Elizabeth Kraft. New York: Modern Language Association, 2015. 130–37.

“History.” The Cambridge Companion to Women’s Writing in Britain, 1660–1789. Ed. Catherine IngrassiaCambridge: Cambridge UP, 2015. 135–46.

Ed. with Manushag N. Powell. “Sensational Subjects,” special issue of The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation 54.2 (Summer 2013).

“Revising the Scottish Plot in Roderick Random.” New Contexts for Eighteenth-Century British Fiction: “Hearts Resolved and Hands Prepared”: Essays in Honor of Jerry C. Beasley. Ed. Christopher Johnson. Newark, DE: U of Delaware P, 2011. 177–200.

“Optics, Gender, and the Eighteenth-Century Gaze: Looking at Eliza Haywood’s Anti-Pamela.” The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation 51.1–2 (Spring/Summer 2010): 27–43.

“‘A Soldier is her Darling Character’: Susanna Centlivre, Desire, Difference, and Disguise.” Journal of Narrative Theory 31.4 (2007): 16–43.

“Representing Modernity in Jane Barker’s Galesia Trilogy: Jacobite Allegory and the Patch-Work Aesthetic.” Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture 38.1 (2005): 55–80.

Current Elected Positions

Liaison to Other Societies, Executive Committee, Defoe Society. 2015–2019

Board Member, Executive Committee, Scottish Literature Forum, Modern Language Association. 2014–2019 [Secretary, 2017­–2018; Chair, 2018–2019]

Participation in Grant-Funded Professional Working Groups

“Anglo-Scottish Migration and Integration.” AHRC-funded research network, U of Manchester. 2013–2014.

Participation in Grant-Funded Professional Working Groups

“Anglo-Scottish Migration and Integration.” AHRC-funded research network, U of Manchester. 2013–2014.

Editorial Positions

The Scriblerian and the Kit-Kats. 2014–
Digital Defoe. 2011–

Recent External Fellowships

Lewis Walpole Library/ASECS, Yale U. 2015.
Manuscripts and Rare Books Library, Woodruff Library, Emory U. 2013.
Chawton House Library and U of Southampton, 2013.
Folger Shakespeare Library. 2012.
William Andrews Clark Memorial Library. 2010.

Faculty photo by Patrick Scott Vickers – 2014