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Robert DeMaria Professor of English on the Henry Noble MacCracken Chair

Robert DeMaria, Jr. is the Henry Noble MacCracken Professor of English at Vassar College where he has taught since 1975. His main field of study is eighteenth-century British literature. He is the author of three monographs on the life and works of Samuel Johnson (1709–84) and the general editor of The Yale Edition of the Works of Samuel Johnson, a series of 23 volumes (1958–2018). He is also interested in the history of the Language, the presence of the classical tradition in British literature, and the history of books.

  • BA, Amherst College; PhD, Rutgers University
  • At Vassar since 1975

Contact

Research and Academic Interests

  • Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)
  • History of the English Language
  • History of Books
  • Periodical literature in the eighteenth century
  • The classical tradition in English literature

Courses

  • ENGL 213. The English Language

Selected Publications

British Literature 1640-1789: Keywords. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2018

Johnson on Demand: Reviews, Prefaces, Proposals and Dedications. Ed, with O M Brack, Jr. Vol. XX of the Yale Edition of the Works of Samuel Johnson. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2018

Biographical Writings: Soldiers, Scholars, and Friends, with O M Brack, Jr. Vol. XIX of the Yale Edition of the Works of Samuel Johnson. 2016.

British Literature 1640-1789: An Anthology. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, 1996. 4th ed., rev., 2016.

The Blackwell Guide to British Literature. 4 vols. Ed., with Heesok Chang and Samantha Zacher. Blackwell/Wiley, 2014.

“Fraudulence and Savagery in Three Eighteenth-Century British Writers,” Il Conforto Letterario, ed. Lia Guerra (2016), pp. 37-55.

“Johnson and the Teutonic Roots of English.” The Harp and the Constitution, ed. Joanne Parker, Brill 2015, pp. 47-65.

“Careful and Careless: Epic Tales in the Editing of Dr Johnson,” Times Literary Supplement, 6 March 2015, pp. 14-15.

“Samuel Johnson’s Editorial Lexicography,” Dictionaries, 35 (2014), 146-61.

“Publishing Johnson’s Works: The First Two Hundred Years,” Tercentenary Essays on Samuel Johnson, ed. Howard Weinbrot, Huntington Library, 2014: 343-66.

Grants, Fellowships, Honors, Awards

NEH Scholarly Editions Grant for the Yale Edition of the Works of Samuel Johnson, 2011-2014.

Katherine F. Pantzer Fellow in Descriptive Bibliography at the Houghton Library, Harvard University, 2009-10.

Photos

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Photo: Karl Rabe / Vassar College
Photo: Courtesy of Robert DeMaria

Robert DeMaria, Jr. is the Henry Noble MacCracken Professor of English at Vassar College where he has taught since 1975. His main field of study is eighteenth-century British literature. He is the author of three monographs on the life and works of Samuel Johnson (1709–84) and the general editor of The Yale Edition of the Works of Samuel Johnson, a series of 23 volumes (1958–2018). He is also interested in the history of the Language, the presence of the classical tradition in British literature, and the history of books. Bob served as chair of his department for nine years and has served Vassar in many other capacities, including director of the decennial review in 2009. He has enjoyed fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, the NEH, the ACLS, the Houghton Library, and the Mellon Foundation. He has lectured widely in North America, Europe, and New Zealand and has been a visiting professor at Exeter University, Goldsmith’s University, and the Universita degli Studi in Milan. He is married to Joanne DeMaria, formerly the dean of studies at Vassar and now retired. Together, they edit the Johnsonian News Letter. They have two grown sons, Alexander and David.