Lynn Festa

Associate Director of Graduate Program and Associate Professor of English

Rutgers University

Professor Festa is a specialist in eighteenth century British and French literature, best known for her book, Sentimental Figures of Empire in Eighteenth-Century Britain and France. In this widely-praised study, she traces two developments central to modern life, which appear to have little to do with each other: colonialism and imperialism, and the culture of humanitarian sensibility. The relationship between them, Festa shows, is complex and profound. As the autonomy of the individual gained increasing credence during this period, people's heightened sense of self also heightened their sense of others' identities.