Claudia Johnson

Murray Professor of English Literature

Princeton University

Claudia L. Johnson joined the faculty at Princeton in 1994 and was Chair of the English Department from 2004-2012.  She specializes in eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century literature, with a particular emphasis on the novel.  In addition to eighteenth-century courses, she teaches courses on gothic fiction, sentimentality and melodrama, the history of prose style, film adaptations of novels into film, detective fiction, Samuel Johnson, and, of course, Jane Austen.  In addition, she has strong research interests in eighteenth-century music and culture, in the idea of voice, in letterpress printing, in Yiddish story, and in the American Songbook of the 1930’s and 1940s.

Johnson’s most recent book, Jane Austen’s Cults and Cultures (Chicago, 2012) won the Christian Gauss Award in 2103.  Her other books include The Blackwell Companion to Jane Austen, ed. with Clara Tuite (Blackwell, 2005), The Cambridge Companion to Mary Wollstonecraft (Cambridge, 2002), Equivocal Beings: Politics, Gender and Sentimentality in the 1790s (Chicago, 1995), which won an Honorable Mention for the MLA Lowell Prize, and Jane Austen: Women, Politics, and the Novel (Chicago, 1988).  In addition she is keenly interested in textual scholarship, and has prepared editions of Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, Sense and Sensibility, Northanger Abbey and (with Susan Wolfson) Pride and Prejudice. Her research has been supported by major fellowships such as the NEH and the Guggenheim.

At present Johnson is working on several book-length projects: 30 Great Myths About Jane Austen, with Clara Tuite, forthcoming in 2018; an edition of Austen’s The Beautifull Cassandra with drawings by Leon Steinmetz, and Raising the Novel, which explores key phases the history of the history of the novel in which critics have attempted to elevate them to keystones of high culture.