Sarah Rivett

Assistant Professor of English

Princeton University

Sarah Rivett specializes in early American and transatlantic literature and culture.  Her first book, The Science of the Soul in Colonial New England (2011) was awarded the Brewer Prize of the American Society of Church History.  The Science of the Soul highlights the unity of science and religion in transatlantic networks of knowledge formation by arguing that empiricism and natural philosophy transformed the scope of Puritan religious activity in colonial New England from the 1630s to the Great Awakening of the 1740s.  Rivett’s current book, The Savage Sounds of Indigenous Words: Religion, Enlightenment, and American Literary History, explores the impact of indigenous languages on European ideas about the representational power of words, from seventeenth century Jesuit and Protestant missions to the imperial wars of the eighteenth century to notions of the metaphysical and imaginative capacity of Indian words as the basis for a new national literary history in the 1820s.  Additionally, Rivett is currently preparing a co-edited volume of essays on Religious Transformations in the Early Modern Americas.  Her articles have appeared in Early American Literature, William and Mary Quarterly, and Early American Studies.