Berman, Carolyn Vellenga

Carolyn Berman

Carolyn Vellenga Berman
Ph.D., Comparative Literature, Brown University, 2000
M.A., Comparative Literature, University of Minnesota, 1993
B.A., College of Letters, Wesleyan University, 1990
Associate Professor of Literature / Co-Chair, Dept. of Literary Studies


In my teaching and research, I examine the power of literature as well as its deployment in social and political reform movements.  My writing focuses on Victorian authors, French travelers, and American sentimental fiction as well as contemporary fiction, Victorian psychology, slave narratives, and the performance of race and gender (both onstage and off).

My current book project, tentatively entitled “Dickens and Parliament: Representing the People,” explores the interplay between efforts to depict, solicit, and advocate for "the people" in the Victorian novel and the Victorian parliament, with an emphasis on Charles Dickens and the parliamentary publications of his time.

Courses Taught:
  • 18th Century British Fiction
  • American Literature and the Abolition of Slavery
  • Victorian Literature
  • Dickens and the Law
  • The Brontës
  • The Fairy Tale and Literature
  • Confessional Writing: Fiction and Autobiography
Recent Publications:



Office Location:
Eugene Lang College, The New School for Liberal Arts
64 West 11th Street (Lang Annex), Room 113
New York, NY 10011
Phone Number/Extension:
212.229.5100 x2994


Research Interests:
  • Victorian Literature and Culture
  • History of the Novel
  • Gender Studies
  • Post/Colonial Studies
  • Transatlantic Literature
  • Slavery in Literature
Professional Affiliations:


  • Modern Language Association
  • North American Victorian Studies Association
  • Interdisciplinary Nineteenth Century Contexts
  • Society for Novel Studies


Recent Presentations/Exhibits:


  • “Testimony:  Hearing Voices in Parliamentary Publications.”  North American Victorian Studies Association Conference, October 2013. 

  • Bleak House and the Mirror of Parliament.”  North American Victorian Studies Association Conference, September 2012.  

  • “Sensation after Emancipation: Slavery in All the Year Round.”  Research Society in Victorian Periodicals Conference, September 2012.  

  • “Victorian Twitter.”  Conference hosted by the Dickens Project on “Victorian Futures.”  University of California at Santa Cruz, July 2011.  

  • “The Moral Limits of Trade and the Petroleum Frontier.”  Panel on “The Oil Spill.”  Vera List Center for Art and Politics, The New School, October 2010.  (Posted on YouTube.)

  • “Créoles de l’île de France:  L’éducation sentimentale de Paul et Virginie.”  Bernardin de Saint-Pierre et l’Océan Indien, International Colloquium organized by Professor Jean-Michel Racault for the Centre de Recherches Littéraires et Historiques de l’océan Indien (CRLHOI), Université de la Réunion, Île de la Réunion, November-December 2009.  (Published on CD.)


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