Galperin, William H.
Galperin, William H.
University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, instructor, 1977-80; Oregon State University, Corvallis, instructor, 1980-83; Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, assistant professor, 1983-89, associate professor, 1989-93, professor of English, 1993-2004, Professor II, 2004—. Instructor, Northwest Film Study Center, 1980-82.
International Society for the Study of Narrative Literature, Modern Language Association, Wordworth-Coleridge Association, Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies Association, North American Society for the Study of Romanticism, Jane Austen Society of North America.
National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship, 1982; American Council of Learned Societies fellowship, 1981; Howard Foundation fellowship, 1991; Rutgers University Board of Trustees award for excellence in research, 2004; Choice outstanding academic title, 2004, for The Historical Austen.
Revision and Authority in Wordsworth: The Interpretation of a Career, University of Pennsylvania Press (Philadelphia, PA), 1989.
The Return of the Visible in British Romanticism, Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD), 1993.
The Historical Austen, University of Pennsylvania Press (Philadelphia, PA), 2003.
Contributor to books, including Between "Race" and Culture: Representations of "the Jew" in English and American Literature, 1996; The Lessons of Romanticism, Duke University Press (Durham, NC), 1998; Janeites: Austen's Disciples and Audiences, edited by Deidre Lynch, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 2000; Comedy: A Geographic and Historical Guide, edited by Maurice Charney, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 2005; The Traffic in Poems: Nineteenth-Century Poetry and Transatlantic Exchange, edited by Meredith McGill, Rutgers University Press (New Brunswick, NJ), 2008; A Companion to Jane Austen, edited by Claudia Johnson and Clara Tuite, Blackwell (Malden, MA), 2008. Author of articles for scholarly journals, including English Literature History, European Romantic Review, Studies in English Language, and the Wordsworth Circle.
William H. Galperin is a professor of English who has published books on Romanticism, the British poet William Wordsworth, and the novelist Jane Austen. In The Return of the Visible in British Romanticism, Galperin examines the work of many famous artists to show how they feared betraying their Romantic ideals by creating visible works of art, which they felt could jeopardize the idea of Romantic subjectivity. John Constable's paintings, William Wordsworth's poetry, William Hazlitt's writing, Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poetry, Caspar David Friedrich's landscape paintings, and Lord Byron's poetry are all analyzed in pursuit of this thesis, in which Galperin "exposes the dialectical relation between perceiver and object," wrote Leon Chai in the Journal of English and Germanic Philology.
Galperin's book The Historical Austen received positive reviews for its new approach to studying both Austen's life and her work. "There is no question that Galperin's The Historical Austen is an important, intelligent, engaged and engaging study of Austen's works and literary ideologies," wrote Diane Long Hoeveler in Clio. One crucial element of Austen that critics have overlooked, Galperin believes, is silence. The book discusses at length Austen's silence over the family scandal in which her aunt stood trial for shoplifting; he examines the various messages Austen conveys through her silence, both in the public record and in her fiction.
Galperin's goal in The Historical Austen is to present what Austen intended to achieve through her novels, and not what she may have actually achieved inadvertently. As Richard Cronin put it in a review for the Wordsworth Circle, Galperin's "title is punningly intended, for ‘the historical Austen’ refers both to the author he wishes to resurrect, whose true achievement has been mislaid, obscured by the passage of time, and to the author who has been substituted for her, a conservative moralist who teaches above all the folly of harbouring extravagant expectations." Her novels are about the small moments of everyday life, for one, and not sweeping historical panoramas they have become through decades of scholarship, he believes. "By reading her work as a mix of toxic nostalgia and what might almost be a precursor of magical realism, Galperin presents Austen's fictions as straddling both the earlier as well as the emerging epistemic and literary traditions," Hoeveler concluded. Michael Scrivener, writing in Criticism, appreciated many of Galperin's arguments, especially those about Miss Bates, a major character in Austen's novel Emma, and his comparison of Austen with one of her most famous authorial precursors, Fanny Burney. "His readings of Austen's novels are innovative but not idiosyncratic," Scrivener wrote. "As with the example of Miss Bates, one thinks after reading the interpretation: Why didn't I think of that? How did I miss it? It seems now obvious," he concluded. Deborah Elise White concurred in a review for Studies in Romanticism. "Galperin brings a fresh eye to the major issues that inform Austen criticism even as he gives them a complex and original turn. He shows … new possibilities, hidden in plain sight, within the novels," she concluded.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Albion, spring, 2004, Frances Ferguson, review of The Historical Austen, p. 149.
Choice, January, 1994, W.C. Snyder, review of The Return of the Visible in British Romanticism, p. 780; October, 2003, K. Tololyan, review of The Historical Austen, p. 1079.
Clio, spring, 2004, Diane Long Hoeveler, review of The Historical Austen, p. 305.
Criticism, winter, 2004, Michael Scrivener, review of The Historical Austen, p. 151.
Eighteenth Century Life, spring, 2004, Marilyn Gaull, review of The Historical Austen, pp. 113-119.
Encounter, June, 1990, review of Revision and Authority in Wordsworth: The Interpretation of a Career, p. 50.
English Studies, October, 1990, Peter Morgan, review of Revision and Authority in Wordsworth, p. 462.
Journal of English and Germanic Philology, April, 1995, Leon Chai, review of The Return of the Visible in British Romanticism, p. 256.
Modern Language Quarterly, December, 2006, Clifford Siskin, review of The Historical Austen, p. 536.
Modern Language Review, April, 1991, Keith Hanley, review of Revision and Authority in Wordsworth, p. 409; July, 2004, Mary Waldron, review of The Historical Austen, p. 749.
Nineteenth-Century Contexts, December, 2005, Kathryn Sutherland, review of The Historical Austen, pp. 390-395.
Nineteenth-Century Literature, March, 1990, David Perkins, review of Revision and Authority in Wordsworth, p. 543.
Reference & Research Book News, November, 1993, review of The Return of the Visible in British Romanticism, p. 43.
Review of English Studies, February, 1996, W.J.B. Owen, review of The Return of the Visible in British Romanticism, p. 100.
Studies in Romanticism, fall, 2005, Deborah Elise White, review of The Historical Austen, p. 439.
Times Higher Education Supplement, March 3, 1995, Chloe Chard, review of The Return of the Visible in British Romanticism, p. 23.
Times Literary Supplement, November 19, 1993, Nigel Leask, review of The Return of the Visible in British Romanticism, p. 19.
Virginia Quarterly Review, spring, 1990, review of Revision and Authority in Wordsworth, p. 67.
Wordsworth Circle, fall, 2003, Richard Cronin, review of The Historical Austen, p. 192.