Susan Fraiman

Susan Fraiman

Professor, Director of the Undergraduate Program

210 Bryan Hall

Office Hours: Walk-in hours (210 Bryan Hall): Tuesdays/Thursdays, 2-3PM. Zoom hours by appointment: Fridays,10:30-11:30AM. Book an appointment at Zoom address:
Class Schedule: Tuesdays/Thursdays, 12:30-1:45

Feminist Theory, Queer Theory, Anglophone Novel, Cultural Studies


Ph.D. Columbia, 1988
M.A. Columbia, 1981
B.A. Princeton, 1978


My primary interest is in feminist theory and, more generally, issues of gender and sexuality whether in a theoretical context or within primary texts from Mansfield Park to Pulp Fiction.  My book on narratives of female development features chapters on Frances Burney and Jane Austen among others—and Austen is the single figure to whom I find myself returning most frequently.  I have edited the Norton Critical edition of Northanger Abbey and had something to say in print about most of Austen’s novels.   At the same time, my teaching and scholarship have shifted increasingly to consider popular and academic culture in the United States today.  Cool Men and the Second Sex (2003) is a feminist critique of such contemporary artists and intellectuals as Spike Lee, Quentin Tarantino, Andrew Ross, and Edward Said.  As this book suggests, my current interests include recent cinema and the late twentieth-century academy.  Though I continue to focus on narrative forms, today my archive extends from novels, movies, and academic writing to reality television, decorating manuals, and women’s magazines.  "Pussy Panic versus Liking Animals" (2012) is a feminist foray into animal studies. Extreme Domesticity: A View from the Margins (2017) explores domestic precarity and creativity among queer, working-class, immigrant, and other marginal figures. Several recent articles turn to television. Two are companion pieces interrogating the role of gender in theories and practices of "realism."


Edited Works

  • In the Mood: Special Issue of New Literary History  43.3 (Summer 2012).  Co-edited with Rita Felski.
  • Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice: Copia Annotated E-Reader.  New York: Copia Editions, 2011.

Articles and Reviews

  • "Memory Work and Dirty Work: Writing the Labor of Eldercare," New Literary History (forthcoming).
  • “Realism’s Gender Wars: The Masculinity Effect in Late Realist Fiction and Reality TV.” American Literary History 34.4 (Winter 2022).
  • "Passion. Mess. Genius. Mother," Public Books, August 16, 2022.
  • “HGTV’s House Hunters and the Right to Coziness,” Canadian Theatre Review, Vol. 191 (Summer 2022).
  • "Bathroom Realism and the Women of Cable TV." Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 47.3 (Spring 2022): 589-611.
  • Nomadland Swerves from the Manly Road Movie,” Public Books, November 19, 2021.
  • Review of Victoria Rosner, Machines for Living: Modernism and Domestic Life. In Modern Fiction Studies 67.3 (Fall 2021).
  • "Occupying Domesticity: Reproductive Labor in Zuccotti Park." Public Space/Contested Space. Ed. Kevin D. Murphy and Sally O’Driscoll. New York: Routledge, 2021.
  • “Jane Austen on the Global Stage.”  A Companion to World Literature, Volume IV.   Ed. Ken Seigneurie.  New York: Wiley-Blackwell, 2020.
  • “Everyday Domestic Life: Two Feminist Perspectives.” The Handbook of Contemporary Feminism.  Ed. Andrea Press and Tasha Oren.  New York: Routledge, 2019.
  • "Home." Encyclopedia of Intimate Relationships and Families. Ed. James J. Ponzetti. New York: Macmillan, 2019.
  • Review of Maria DiBattista & Deborah Epstein Nord, At Home in the World: Women Writers and Public Life, from Austen to the Present. In ALH Online, Series XIII (winter 2017).
  • Review of Sara Ahmed, Living a Feminist Life. In Critical Inquiry (July 2017).
  • “Gendered Narratives in Animal Studies.”  Narrative Theory Unbound: Queer and Feminist Interventions.  Ed. Robyn Warhol and Susan Lanser.  Columbus: Ohio State UP (2015): 293-311.
  • “Pussy Panic versus Liking Animals: Tracking Gender in Animal Studies.”  Critical Inquiry 39.1 (Autumn 2012): 89-115.
  • “Introduction,” with Rita Felski.  In the Mood: Special Issue of New Literary History 43.3 (Summer 2012): v-xii.
  • “The Domestic Novel.” The Oxford History of the Novel in English, Volume 3: 1820-1880.  Ed. John Kucich and Jenny Bourne Taylor.  New York: Oxford, 2012.  169-84.
  • “Domesticity Beyond Sentiment: Edith Wharton, Decoration, and Divorce.” American Literature 83.3 (Sept. 2011): 479-507.
  • “Bad Girls of Good Housekeeping: Dominique Browning and Martha Stewart.” American Literary History 23.2 (Summer 2011): 260-282.
  • “My Professor, Myself.”  Review of Terry Castle, The Professor and Other Writings. In GLQ 17.4 (2011).
  • “Joe Wright’s Liberation of Elizabeth Bennet.” Persuasions On-Line (December 2010).
  • “’Women as the Sponsoring Category’: A Forum on Academic Feminism and British Women’s Writing” (with Ann Cvetkovich and Susan Stanford Friedman). Partial Answers: Journal of Literature and the History of Ideas 8.2 (June 2010): 235-54.
  • “After Gilbert and Gubar: Madwomen Inspired by Madwoman.” Gilbert and Gubar’s The Madwoman in the Attic After Thirty Years. Ed. Annette R. Federico. Columbia, MO: U of Missouri P, 2009
  • "In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens--With Help from a New Digital Resource for Literary Scholars." Modern Philology (August 2008).
  • “The Mixed News for Women in Academe: Feminization, Privatization, and the New Women’s Studies.” Special issue of South Atlantic Review. Ed. Barbara Ladd (Fall 2008).
  • “Shelter Writing: Desperate Housewives from Crusoe to Queer Eye.” New Literary History 37.2 (2006).
  • Review of Bill Brown, ed. Things and Suzanne Juhasz, A Desire for Women: Relational Psychoanalysis, Writing, and Relationships Between Women. In American Literature 77.1 (2005.)
  • Review of Sarah Brown, Devoted Sisters: Representations of the Sister Relationship in Nineteenth-Century British and American Literature. In Victorian Studies 48.1 (2005).
  • Review of George Butte, I Know That You Know That I Know: Narrating Subjects from Moll Flanders to Marnie. In Eighteenth-Century Fiction 17.2 (2005).
  • “Dark Austen.” Re-Drawing Austen: Picturesque Travels in Austenland. Ed. Beatrice Battaglia and Diego Saglia (Naples: Liguori, 2004).
  • “Response to Carolyn G. Heilbrun’s ‘From Rereading to Reading.’” PMLA 119.2 (2004).
  • “Cuban Entries.” Callaloo 26.1 (2003).
  • “Andrew Ross, Cultural Studies, and Feminism.” the minnesota review 52-54 (2001).
  • “Feminism Today: Mothers, Daughters, Emerging Sisters." American Literary History 11.3 (Fall 1999).
  • “Rachel Crothers.” American National Biography. Ed. John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes. Oxford University Press, 1999
  • "Getting Waylaid in Evelina.” Norton Critical Edition of Evelina. Ed. Stewart J. Cooke. Norton, 1998
  • “’Diversity’ in Adversity: The Retreat from Affirmative Action.” NWSA Journal 9.1 (Spring 1997).
  • “Jane Austen and Edward Said: Gender, Culture, and Imperialism.” Critical Inquiry 21.4 (summer 1995).
  • “Jane Eyre’s Fall from Grace.” Jane Eyre: Case Studies in Contemporary Criticism. Ed. Beth Newman. St. Martin’s, 1995.
  • Review of Catharine MacKinnon, Only Words. In American Quarterly 47.4 (December 1995).
  • Review of Amanda Anderson, Tainted Souls and Painted Faces: The Rhetoric of Fallenness in Victorian Culture. In Discourse 17.2 (Winter 1994-1995).
  • “Geometries of Race and Gender: Eve Sedgwick, Spike Lee, Charlayne Hunter-Gault.” Feminist Studies 20.1 (Spring 1994).
  • Review of Janet Gezari, Charlotte Bronte and Defensive Conduct and Carol Bock, Charlotte Bronte and the Storyteller’s Audience. In Victorian Studies 37.2 (Winter 1994).
  • “The Mill on the Floss, the Critics, and the Bildungsroman.” PMLA 108 (1993).
  • Review of Elaine Showalter, Sexual Anarchy and Ann Ardis, New Women, New Novels. In Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature 21. 1 (Spring 1993).
  • “Crashing the Party: Women and the Academy Now.” Wild Orchids and Trotsky: Messages from American Universities. Ed. Mark Edmundson. Viking, 1993.
  • “Peevish Accents in the Juvenilia: A Feminist Key to Pride and Prejudice.” Approaches to Teaching Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Ed. Marcia Folsom. MLA, 1993.
  • “The Humiliation of Elizabeth Bennet.” Refiguring the Father. Ed. Patricia Yaeger and Beth Kowaleski-Wallace. Southern Illinois University Press, 1989.

Selected Service and Honors

  • Associate Editor, New Literary History: A Journal of Theory and Interpretation.
  • Advisory Editor, Callaloo: A Journal of African Diaspora Arts & Letters, 2003-2014
  • Executive Council of the Society for the Study of Narrative Literature, 2000-2004
  • Sesquicentennial Fellow, UVa Center for Advanced Studies, 2021-2022 , 2015-2016, 2009-2010, 2000-2001, 1996-1997
  • Florence Howe Award for Outstanding Feminist Scholarship (Modern Language Association), 1993
  • Fulbright Fellow, 1978-1979