Peter Jaros Associate Professor of English, Department Chair of English


Ph.D. English, Northwestern University, 2009.
M.A. English, Northwestern University, 2002.
B.A. Psychology, magna cum laude, Yale University, 1998.


Early and Antebellum American Literature and Culture, Transatlantic Eighteenth-Century Literature and Culture, Critical Theory, Print Culture, Law and Literature

Grants & Awards

NEH Post-Doctoral Fellow, Library Company of Philadelphia (2013-14)
Consortium Summer Faculty Fellow, McNeil Center for Early American Studies (2011)
Honorable Mention, Richard Beale Davis Prize (for the best article published in Early American Literature) (2009-10)
Fellow, Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Foundation (2007-09)
Phi Beta Kappa (1998)


“The Faculties of Law: Robert Montgomery Bird's Sheppard Lee as Legal Fiction.” (forthcoming).
“A Double Life: Personifying the Corporation from Dartmouth College to Poe.” Poe Studies (forthcoming).
“Good Names: Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa.” The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation 54.1 (2013).
“Personating Stephen Burroughs: The Apparitions of a Public Specter.” Early American Literature 44.3 (2009).
Translation (from French): Jean-Luc Nancy and Emmanuel Alloa, “The Real Outside Is ‘at the Heart’ of the Inside: An Interview with Jean-Luc Nancy.” Atopia 9 (2006).


Selected Recent Presentations

“A Creature of Law in the Wilderness: Irving’s Astoria.” C19: The Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists. Chapel Hill. 15 March 2014.

Sheppard Lee and Supernatural Law.” Modern Language Association. Marriott Chicago Downtown. Chicago. 10 January 2014.

“Facing History: Charles Brockden Brown, Physiognomics, and Temporality.” The Revolutionary Atlantic: Acts of Alienation and Sedition, 1780-1830 (Charles Brockden Brown Society Biennial Conference). Université Paris IV—Sorbonne. Paris. 12 October 2013.

“Face Time: Charles Brockden Brown and the Temporalities of Physiognomics”; Panel Organizer: “The Temporal Turn in Early American Perspective.” Society of Early Americanists. Hyatt Regency. Savannah. 1 March 2013.

“Collective Action, Corporate Fiction, and The Confidence-Man.” Modern Language Association. Sheraton Boston. Boston, 3 January 2013.

“Crises of Personhood: Sheppard Lee and the 1837-38 Pennsylvania Convention.” American Studies Association. Puerto Rico Convention Center. San Juan, PR, 17 November 2012.

“The Antebellum Corporation in Literature and Law: A Chapter in the Prehistory of Citizens United.” Franklin & Marshall Alumni College 2012. Lancaster, PA, 1 June 2012. (Invited lecture.)

“How to Kill a Corporation: Corporate Mortality in Law and Verse”; Panel Organizer: “Corporate Fictions.” American Literature Association. Hyatt Regency. San Francisco, 26 May 2012.

“Equiano, the Author.” American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. Vancouver, Canada, 17-20 March 2011.

“Lavater and Levinas on Traits that Withdraw.” Fading Figures/Figures of Fading Colloquium. Northwestern University. Evanston, IL, 14 May 2010.

“The Swiss Atlantic? Another Look at the ‘Atlantic World.’” Society of Early Americanists. Hamilton, Bermuda, 4-7 March 2009.

“The Character of the Citizen: Physiognomy and Republicanism in the Early American Public Sphere.” Pennsylvania Historical Association. Bethlehem, PA, 16 October 2008.

“‘Fairly exposed to public view’: Picturing Stephen Burroughs.” American Literature Association. Hyatt Regency. San Francisco, 24 May 2008.

“Arresting Characters: Physiognomy and Interruption”; Panel Chair: “Shady Characters and Sketchy Science.” International Conference on Narrative. University of Texas at Austin. Austin, 2 May 2008.

Course Information

CNX 135: America from Outside

ENG 206: Studies in American Literature 1

ENG 207: Studies in American Literature 2

ENG 372: Reading Characters in American Literature

ENG 461: Making Persons in American Literature