James Buzard

James Buzard


James Buzard works on 19th- and early 20th-century British literature and culture, with particular interest in the Victorian novel (Dickens, George Eliot, the Brontës, and others), modernism, the history of travel, and theories of culture and society. In addition to teaching on these topics, he enjoys teaching “great books” surveys such as Foundations of Western Culture: Homer to Dante and Forms of Western Narrative. 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 books. 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.  He has been known to tread the boards in Gilbert & Sullivan.  He is both drawn to and wary about the revolving door.

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


Victorian Prism: Refractions of the Crystal Palace
University of Virginia Press, 2007

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

Selected Articles

Impressions of Theophrastus Such: ‘Not a Story,’” in Amanda Anderson and Harry E. Shaw, eds., Blackwell Companion to George Eliot (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013), 204-15.

“Ethnographic and Narrative Frontiers: The Case of Gaskell’s Mary Barton,” Raritan: A Quarterly Review XXXII: 1, Summer 2012, pp. 118-39.

“Nationalisms and National Identities,” in John Kucich and Jenny Bourne Taylor, eds., The Oxford History of the Novel in English, Vol. III: The Nineteenth-Century Novel, 1820-1880 (Oxford UP, 2012), pp. 392-408.

“Portable Boundaries: The Question of Race in Trollope’s North American Travels,” in Waldemar Zacharasiewicz, ed., Riding/Writing Across Borders in North American Travelogues and Fiction (Vienna: Vertag der Österreichischen Akadémie der Wissenschaften, 2011), pp. 129-36,

“Trollope and Travel,” in The Cambridge Companion to Anthony Trollope (Cambridge UP, 2011), pp. 168-80.

“The Novel and Anthropology,” The Blackwell Encyclopedia of the Novel (Blackwell, 2011), pp. 52ff.

“‘The Country of the Plague’: Anticulture and Autoethnography in Dickens’ 1850s,” for special issue of Victorian Literature and Culture 38/2 (2010), 413-19.  Also to appear in Imagining Italy: Victorian Travellers and Writers, Cambridge Scholars Publishers.

“Portable Boundaries: Trollope, Race, and Travel,” for special issue of Nineteenth-Century Contexts 32/1 (March 2010), pp. 5-18.

“Expansion, Interruption, Autoethnography: Toward Disorienting Fiction, Part 2,” Novel: A Forum on Fiction 42/2 (Summer 2009), pp. 261-67.

“Wulgarity and Witality: On Making a Spectacle of Oneself in Pickwick,” in Susan David Bernstein and Elsie B. Michie, eds., Victorian Vulgarity (Ashgate, 2009), pp. 35-54.

“Enumeration and Exhaustion: Taking Inventory in The Old Curiosity Shop” (illustrated version), Dickens Studies Annual 39 (New York: AMS Press, 2008), 17-41.  Also published without illustrations in Eileen Gillooly and Dierdre David, eds., Contemporary Dickens (Ohio State University Press, 2009), 189-206.

“Charles Darwin,” Oxford Encyclopedia of British Literature (Oxford University Press, 2006), pp. 110-17.

“What Isn’t Travel?”
In Hagen Schulz-Forberg, ed., Unraveling Civilization: European Travel and Travel Writing
Brussels: P.I.E. – Peter Lang, 2005, 43-61

“On Auto-Ethnographic Authority”
Yale Journal of Criticism 16/1 (2003), 61-91
Online through Project MUSE at:

“Notes on the Defenestration of Culture”
in Amanda Anderson and Joseph Valente, eds., Disciplinarity at the Fin-de-Siècle
Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002, 312-31

“The Grand Tour and After (1660-1840)”
in Peter Hulme and Tim Youngs, eds., Cambridge Companion to Travel Writing
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002, 37-52
http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0521786525/ref=sib_dp_pt/104-0539669-0201525 – reader-link

“Perpetual Revolution” (on revolving doors)
Modernism/Modernity 8/4 (Nov. 2001), 559-81
Online through Project MUSE at:

“Culture for Export: Tourism and Autoethnography in Postwar Britain”
in Shelley Baranowski and Ellen Furlough, eds., Being Elsewhere: Tourism, Consumer Culture, and Identity in Modern Europe and North America
Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2001, 299-319

“‘Culture’ and the Critics of Dubliners”
James Joyce Quarterly 37/1-2 (Fall 1999/Winter 2000), 43-61

“‘Anywhere’s Nowhere’: Bleak House as Autoethnography”
Yale Journal of Criticism 12/1 (1999), 7-39
Online through Project MUSE at:

“‘Then on the Shore of the Wide World’: The Victorian Nation and its Others”
in Herbert F. Tucker, ed., A Companion to Victorian Literature & Culture
Oxford: Blackwell, 1999, 437-55

“Ethnography as Interruption: News from Nowhere, Narrative and the Modern Romance of Authority”
Victorian Studies 40/3 (Spring 1997), 445-74

“Home Ec. with Mrs. Beeton”
Raritan: A Quarterly Review XVII/2 (Fall 1997), 121-35

“Mass-Observation, Modernism, and Auto-Ethnography”
Modernism/Modernity 4/3 (Sept. 1997), 93-122
Online through Project MUSE at:

“Eliot, Pound, and Expatriate Authority”
Raritan: A Quarterly Review (Feb. 1994), 106-22

“A Continent of Pictures: Reflections on the ‘Europe’ of Nineteenth-Century Tourists”
PMLA (Publications of the Modern Language Association of America ) 108/1 (January 1993), 30-44
Online through JSTOR at:

“Victorian Women and the Implications of Empire”
Victorian Studies 36/4 (Summer 1993), 443-53

“Faces, Photos, Mirrors: Image and Ideology in the Novels of John le Carré”
in David B. Downing and Susan Bazargan, eds., Image and Ideology in Modern/ Postmodern Discourse
SUNY Press, 1991, 153-79

Subjects taught the current academic year:

21L.001 Foundations of Western Literature: Homer to Dante (Fall 2018)

21L.702 Studies in Fiction: Middlemarch and After: Eliot and James (Fall 2018)


Subjects taught in recent years:

21L.001 Foundations of Western Literature: Homer to Dante (Fall 2018)

21L.003 Reading Fiction: Imaginary Journeys (Fall 2016)

21L.320 Big Books: George Eliot's Middlemarch (Spring 2017)

21L.702 Studies in Fiction: Middlemarch and After: Eliot and James (Fall 2018)

21L.705 Major Authors: George Eliot (Spring 2016)