Department of English

University of Toronto

Bewell, Alan

Alan BewellAlan Bewell
Professor and Chair of Department of English; Graduate Faculty; Undergraduate Instructor (UTSG)
Office Phone: 416-978-3197
Office Location: Jackman Humanities Building, Room 607
Faculty Bookshelf
Office hours or leave status:  TBA

B.A. (Simon Fraser), M.A., Ph.D. (University of California, Irvine)

Alan Bewell is Professor and Chair of English at the University of Toronto. His primary teaching and research field is British Romanticism, with additional interest in Literature and Colonialism; Postcolonial Theory; Ecology and Environmental History; and Science, Medicine, and Literature. Much of his recent work has been focused on the manner in which the ecological impact of British colonialism upon global natures is reflected upon late eighteenth- and nineteenth-century literature. Professor Bewell’s first book, Wordsworth and the Enlightenment: Nature, Man, and Society in the Experimental Poetry (Yale University Press, l989), examined the ways in which Wordsworth’s poetry engages with eighteenth-century anthropological thought on human origins. In Romanticism and Colonial Disease (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999), he examined the impact of the global spread of colonial diseases upon British literature between 1780 and 1850. He also edited Medicine and the West Indian Slave Trade (Pickering and Chatto, 1999), which provides primary materials on medicine and slavery during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.  His most recent monograph, entitled “Natures in Translation: Romanticism and Colonial Natural History” (forthcoming, Johns Hopkins UP, Fall 2016), discusses the manner in which the global transport and exchange of plants, animals, and natural commodities shaped how the British came to understand themselves, English nature, and the natural world. He is also at work on another book entitled Romanticism and Mobility, which studies how Romantics reacted to a world of moving people, things, and ideas. In addition to receiving research grants from SSHRC, Professor Bewell is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a Guggenheim Fellow, and a recipient of the Northrop Frye Award at the University of Toronto for excellence in teaching and research. His essay, “Keats’s ‘Realm of Flora,’” received the Keats-Shelley Association Prize in 1992. He currently serves on a number of editorial boards, among these Studies in Romanticism, Nineteenth-Century Literature, and the Palgrave series, The Enlightenment, Romanticism, and the Cultures of Print.

Faculty Bookshelf
Books and Articles 
Romanticism and Colonial Disease. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1999. 356 pp. 
Medicine and the West Indian Slave Trade. Vol. 7 of Slavery, Abolition, and Emancipation in the British Romantic Period. Ed. Peter Kitson and Debbie Lee. 8 vols. London: Pickering and Chatto, 1999. 390 pp.

Wordsworth and the Enlightenment: Nature, Man, and Society in the Experimental Poetry. New Haven: Yale UP, l989. 333 pp.

“De Quincey and Mobility.” Poetica 76 (2011): 1-19.

“John Clare and the Ghosts of Natures Past.” Nineteenth-Century Literature 65 (2011): 548-78.

“Erasmus Darwin’s Cosmopolitan Nature.” ELH 76 (2009): 19-48.

“Traveling Natures.” Nineteenth-Century Contexts 29, nos. 2-3 (2007): 1-22.

“Keats’s ‘Realm of Flora.’” Studies in Romanticism 31 (1992): 71- 98.

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