Baym, Nina 1936-
BAYM, Nina 1936-
PERSONAL: Born June 14, 1936, in Princeton, NJ; daughter of Leo and Frances (Levinson) Zippin; married Gordon Baym, June, 1958 (marriage ended); married Jack Stillinger, May 21, 1971; children: Nancy, Geoffrey. Ethnicity: "Caucasian of eastern European descent." Education: Cornell University, B.A., 1957; Radcliffe College, M.A., 1958; Harvard University, Ph.D., 1963. Politics: "Independent."
ADDRESSES: Office—Department of English, University of Illinois, Urbana—Champaign, 608 South Wright St., Urbana, IL 61801; fax 217-333-4321. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: University of Illinois, Urbana—Champaign, IL, instructor, 1963-67, assistant professor, 1967-69, associate professor, 1969-72, professor of English, 1972—, Liberal Arts and Sciences Jubilee Professor, 1989—, Swanlund Endowed Professor and Center for Advanced Study Professor of English, both 1997—; director of School of Humanities, 1976-87, associate at the Center for Advanced Studies, 1989-90.
MEMBER: Modern Language Association of America (executive committee, Nineteenth-Century American Literature division; chair, 1984; chair of American literature section, 1984), American Studies Association (executive committee, 1982-84; nominating committee, 1991-1993), American Association of University Women (fellow), Organization of American Historians, American Literature Association, American Antiquarian Society, Nathaniel Hawthorne Association, Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, Mortarboard.
AWARDS, HONORS: Guggenheim fellowship, 1975-76; National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship, 1982-83; named University of Illinois Senior University Scholar, 1985; Jay Hubbel Medal for lifetime achievement in American literary studies from the American literature section of the Modern Language Association, 2000.
The Shape of Hawthorne's Career, Cornell University Press (Ithaca, NY), 1976.
Women's Fiction: A Guide to Novels by and about Women in America, 1820-1870, Cornell University Press (Ithaca, NY), 1978, 2nd revised edition including a new introduction and supplementary bibliography, University of Illinois Press (Urbana, IL), 1993.
(Editor) Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter, Penguin (New York, NY), 1982.
Novels, Readers, and Reviewers: Responses to Fiction in Antebellum America, Cornell University Press (Ithaca, NY), 1984.
The Scarlet Letter: A Reading, Twayne (Boston, MA), 1986.
(Editor) Maria Susanna Cummins, The Lamplighter, Rutgers University Press (New Brunswick, NJ), 1988.
(Coeditor) Norton Anthology of American Literature, 3rd edition, Norton (New York, NY), 1989, 4th edition, 1994, 5th edition (general editor), 1998, 6th edition (general editor), 2003.
Feminism and American Literary History: Essays, Rutgers University Press (New Brunswick, NJ), 1992.
(Editor) Judith Sargent Murray, The Gleaner, Union College Press (Schenectady, NY), 1992.
(Editor) Juliette Magill Kinzie, Wau-Bun, the "Early Day" in the North-West, University of Illinois Press (Carbondale, IL), 1992.
American Women Writers and the Work of History, 1790-1860, Rutgers University Press (New Brunswick, NJ), 1995.
(Editor) E. D. E. N. Southworth, The Hidden Hand, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 1997.
American Women of Letters and the Nineteenth-Century Sciences: Styles of Affiliation, Rutgers University Press (New Brunswick, NJ), 2002.
(Editor and author of introduction) Hannah Gardner Creamer, Delia's Doctors; or, A Glance behind the Scenes, University of Illinois Press (Urbana, IL), 2002.
Contributor of over sixty articles and over 130 reviews to various literature journals and literary magazines, including American Literary History, American Quarterly, American Literature, New England Quarterly, Studies in Modern Fiction, Studies in Short Fiction, Nineteenth-Century Fiction, Publications of the Modern Language Association (PMLA), and Journal of English and Germanic Philology; contributor to New York Times Book Review and New York Newsday. Member of editorial board,American Quarterly, American Literature, New England Quarterly, Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature, Legacy: A Newsletter of Nineteenth-Century American Women Authors, American Periodicals, American Studies, Hemingway Review, Nathaniel Hawthorne Review, Resources for American Literary Studies, Studies in American Literature and Culture, and Studies in American Fiction.
SIDELIGHTS: Nina Baym once told CA: "I became interested in Hawthorne because of the disparity between the clear functional centrality of the heroine of The Scarlet Letter and the negative criticism of her character in scholarship at the time; I felt Hawthorne viewed her as a heroine, not a sinner. Interested in women in literature, I found it reasonable to extend my interest from major (male) authors to minor (female) authors. From there, it became reasonable to consider the matter of major and/versus minor authors, the contexts of authorship, the constitution of the canon, and other matters concerning the way in which we make our literary choices and, having made them, justify them. I find this subject particularly germane to fiction, where storytelling is the essence of the form but where literary choices are seldom validated by discussions of the writer's skill at telling a story or the interest of the story he or she tells."
Baym's American Women Writers and the Work of History, 1790-1860 examines how women read and wrote history, and how their role in society affected their view of history. Dale M. Bauer wrote in Signs,"Baym knows women novelists, reviewers, critics, and, now, nineteenth-century historians—with a compelling mastery."
In American Women of Letters and the Nineteenth-Century Sciences: Styles of Affiliation, Baym discusses the flowering of the sciences during the nineteenth century, and the role of women in that growth. Women were largely left out of scientific endeavor, but a few managed to enter that world. Baym explores the writing of several of these, and analyzes how they interpreted, used, or changed scientific beliefs and practices of their day. Women's Review of Books writer Valerie Jablow stated, "Baym is an astute reader and scholar."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Choice, June, 2002, J. S. Gabin, review of American Women of Letters and the Nineteenth-Century Sciences: Styles of Affiliation, p. 1766.
Review of English Studies, November, 1995, Lionel Kelly, review of The Norton Anthology of American Literature, 4th edition, p. 617.
Signs, autumn, 1998, Dale M. Bauer, review of American Women Writers and the Work of History, 1790-1860, p. 262.
South Atlantic Quarterly, winter, 1968.
Times Higher Education Supplement, May 28, 1999, Stephen Wade, review of The Norton Anthology of American Literature, 5th edition, p. S17.
Women's Review of Books, July, 2002, Valerie Jablow, p. 41.