Robyn Warhol

Interim Chair and Arts & Humanities Distinguished Professor

Ohio State University

Robyn Warhol is Arts and Humanities Distinguished Professor of English at the Ohio State University. After 26 years on the faculty at the University of Vermont, where she was Director of Women's Studies from 1995-2000 and Chair of the English Department from 2000-2005, she joined Ohio State as a core faculty member of Project Narrative in 2009. She was Director of Project Narrative from 2010-2012.  

As a feminist narratologist, Warhol studies the interrelations between gender and narrative forms in literature and popular culture. She is known among feminist scholars as the co-editor (with Diane Price Herndl) of Feminisms: An Anthology of Literary Theory and Criticism (1991, 1997) and its successor, Feminisms Redux (2009). Among other publications, Warhol has written Having a Good Cry: Effeminate Feelings and Popular Forms (2003), a study of the ways sentimental, romantic, and serial texts work to establish and reinforce gendered performance in fans of long-form TV series, Hollywood film, and Victorian and contemporary serial fiction, and Gendered Interventions: Narrative Discourse in the Victorian Novel (1989), an early work of feminist narratology which explicates her model of the “engaging narrator.”

More recently she has been working on the construction of fictional space in Dickens’s Bleak House for a special issue of Style; on “reality effects” in mockumentaries like NBC’s The Office and in so-called reality-TV shows such as The Real Housewives series; on narrative innovations in Netflix series intended for binge watching; and on the relationship between serial form and representations of addiction and alcoholism on TV.  With Mark Currie and Zara Dinnen she is co-editing the new Edinburgh Companion to Narrative Theory.

She and Susan S. Lanser of Brandeis University have just finished co-editing Narrative Theory Unbound: Queer and Feminist interventions, described by external readers as a field-defining book. It is coming out in 2015 from the Ohio State University Press. With co-author Helena Michie of Rice University, she has recently completed a work of “meta-archival biography,” Love Among the Archives: Writing the Lives of George Scharf, Victorian Bachelor, forthcoming in 2015 from Edinburgh University Press. In recent years she has been a Senior Fellow at the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Study and an Einstein Fellow at the Free University of Berlin’s Kennedy Institute for North American Studies.