James Buzard

Professor - ON LEAVE

James Buzard works on 19th- and early 20th-century Anglo-American literature and culture, with particular interest in fiction (Jane Austen, Dickens, George Eliot, the Brontës, Hardy, Conrad, Joyce, Woolf, et al.). He teaches this material at all levels of the curriculum, but also enjoys teaching introductory classes such as 21L.001: Homer to Dante and 21L.003: Reading Fiction. He is the author of The Beaten Track: European Tourism, Literature, and the Ways to “Culture,” 1800-1918 (Oxford 1993) and Disorienting Fiction: The Autoethnographic Work of Nineteenth-Century British Novels (Princeton 2005), as well as of numerous articles in journals and essay collections. He is also a contributing editor of Victorian Prism: Refractions of the Crystal Palace (Virginia 2007), a collection of essays on the impact of the Great Exhibition of 1851.


Subjects taught the current academic year:

21L.001 Foundations of Western Literature: Homer to Dante (Fall 2024)

21L.705 Major Authors: James Joyce (Fall 2024)

Subjects taught in recent years:

21L.003 Reading Fiction: Great Novels in English (Fall 2023)

21L.705 Major Authors: Jane Austen and After (Fall 2023)

Research Interests
Nineteenth-century British literature and culture; modernism; cultural criticism and theory; literature and ethnography; travel literature

Disorienting Fiction: The Autoethnographic Work of 19th-Century British Novels. Princeton University Press, 2005.

The Beaten Track: European Tourism, Literature, and the Ways to “Culture,” 1800-1918. Clarendon Press/Oxford University Press, 1993.

Co-edited book:

Victorian Prism: Refractions of the Crystal Palace (collection of essays on the afterlife of the Great Exhibition of 1851). Coedited with Joseph Childers and Eileen Gillooly. University of Virginia Press, 2007. Contributed first half of book’s introduction and an essay (see below).

Journal issue:

Victorian Ethnographies. Special issue of Victorian Studies 41/3 (Spring 1998). Coedited with Joseph Childers. Contributed the issue’s introduction, pp. 351-53.

Selected Articles and chapters in edited collections:

“David Copperfield and the Thresholds of Modernity.” ELH 86.1 (Spring 2019): 223-43.

“Race, Imperialism, Colonialism, Postcolonialism, and Cosmopolitanism.” Commissioned essay for Oxford Handbook to Charles Dickens (OUP, 2018), 517-31.

“Gathering and Scattering: Figuring Interest in Martin Chuzzlewit.” Dickens Studies Annual 48 (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State UP, 2017): 95-119.

“How George Eliot Works,” Raritan: A Quarterly Review XXXVI/3 (Winter 2017), 130-51.

“Travel’s Others: Realism, Location, Dislocation” [on Flaubert’s Madame Bovary], Journeys: The International Journal of Travel and Travel Writing 16.2 (2015): 1-19.

Levitan Prize, School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, MIT
NEH Fellow, National Humanities Center
Visiting Membership, School of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton (declined)
Class of 1956 Career Development Chair, MIT
Junior Fellow, Society of Fellows, Harvard University