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Washington and Lee University

Washington and Lee University

Suzanne Keen

Thomas H. Broadus Professor of English and Dean of the College

Professor Keen can be found in Payne Hall during office hours for students.
Lee-Jackson House / Payne 110 TR 8-9 a.m.
(540) 458-8746 DOC office / (540) 458-8759 English Dept


A. B. (1984), Brown University
A. M. in Creative Writing (1986), Brown University
Ph.D. (1990), Harvard University


Contemporary British fiction, Victorian novels, postcolonial literature, narrative theory, the novel in English, psychological approaches to literary study. 


English 350—Postcolonial Literature
English 351—World Fiction in English
English 355—Studies in British Fiction after 1900. See also 356
English 292—Topics in British Literature
English 260—Literary Approaches to Poverty
English 234—Children's Literature
English 232—The Novel. See also 207.
Writing 100—First Year Writing Seminar: Schools of Magic

Frequently used handouts.

Seminar and Capstone Topics

Charles Dickens and His Circle
Thomas Hardy, Novelist and Poet

Romancing the Archive 
Studying Literature in Action
The Brontës
George Eliot and her Times
Philip Pullman and C. S. Lewis: Rival Canons
A Comic Novel Sequence: Powell’s A Dance to the Music of Time

Bread Loaf School of English (Santa Fe, NM)

Ulysses: Homer, Joyce, Walcott. 2010 syllabus.
Thomas Hardy. 2010 syllabus
Contemporary British Fiction. 2007 syllabus.
Moderns according to the Contemporaries. 2008 syllabus.

Selected Publications

Books and Edited Volumes

Thomas Hardy's Brains: Psychology, Neurology, and Hardy's Imagination. The Theory and Interpretation of Narrative. Ohio State UP, forthcoming in 2014.

Guest editor, Narrative and the Emotions (II). Poetics Today 32.2 (Summer 2011).

Guest editor, Narrative and the Emotions (I). Poetics Today 32.1 (Spring 2011).

Empathy and the Novel. Oxford UP, 2007. Publisher's Information. Paperback edition, 2010.

Milk Glass Mermaid. Lewis Clark P, 2007. Available through Amazon.

Narrative Form. Palgrave, 2003. Publisher's information.

Romances of the Archive in Contemporary British Fiction. U of Toronto P, 2001. Paperback edition, 2003.

Victorian Renovations of the Novel: Narrative Annexes and the Boundaries of Representation. Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture 15. Ed. Gillian Beer and Catherine Gallagher. Cambridge UP, 1998. Paperback edition, 2005. NetLibrary information.

Selected Articles and Chapters

"Empathy in Reading: Considerations of Gender and Ethnicity." Special Issue on Reception. Ed. Rüdiger Ahrens and Heinz Antor. Anglistik: International Journal of English Studies 24. 2 (winter 2013, forthcoming).

"Personnage et tempérament: l'empathie narrative et les theories du personage." Empathie et Esthétique. Ed. Alexandre Gefen et Bernard Voillloux. Paris: Éditions Hermann, 2013. 207-28.

"'Altruism' Makes a Space for Empathy, 1852." BRANCH: Britain, Representation and Nineteenth-Century History. Ed. Dino Franco Felluga. Extension of Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net. Web. July 2012.

"Narrative Empathy." The Living Handbook of Narratology. Ed. Peter Hühn, et al. Hamburg: Hamburg UP. Web, 2012.

Chapter 45, "The Series Novel: A Dominant Form." The Cambridge History of the English Novel. Ed. Robert Caserio and Clement C. Hawes. Cambridge UP, 2012. 724-39.

"Response to Alan Palmer." Style 45.2 (Summer 2011): 357-9.

"Readers' Temperaments and Fictional Character." New Literary History 42.2 (Spring 2011): 295-314.

"Empathetic Hardy: Bounded, Ambassadorial, and Broadcast Strategies of Narrative Empathy." Poetics Today 32.2 (Summer 2011): 349-89.

"Introduction: Narrative and the Emotions." Poetics Today 32.1 (Spring 2011): 1-53.

"Fast Tracks to Narrative Empathy: Anthropomorphism and Dehumanization in Graphic Narratives." SubStance #124. 40.1 (2011): 135-55.

Review of Alan Richardson, The Neural Sublime and Blakey Vermeule, Why Do We Care about Literary Characters?, Eighteenth-Century Studies 44.4 (2011) 535-7. 

"Narrative Empathy." Toward a Cognitive Theory of Narrative Acts. Ed. Frederick Aldama. Austin: U of Texas P, 2010. 61-93.

“Psychological Approaches to Thomas Hardy.” Ashgate Research Companion to Thomas Hardy. Ed. Rosemarie Morgan. Ashgate, 2010. 285-300.

“The Undergraduate Literature Classroom.”  Teaching Narrative Theory. Eds. James Phelan, Brian McHale, and David Herman. MLA, 2010. 19-32.

"Strategic Empathizing: Techniques of Bounded, Ambassadorial, and Broadcast Narrative Empathy." Deutsche Vierteljahrs Schrift 82.3 (Sept. 2008): 477-93; in German translation in an edited collection, Empathie und Erzählung. [Empathy and Narrative], ed. Claudia Breger and Fritz Breithaupt. Freiburg/Breisgau: Rombach, 2009. 

“A Theory of Narrative Empathy.” Narrative (Fall, 2006) 207-36.

“The Fantasy Man: The Strange Brilliance of John Crowley.” Commonweal (11 August 2006) 13-16.

“The Historical Turn in British Fiction.” Concise Companion to Contemporary British Fiction. Ed. James English. Blackwell, 2005. 167-87.

“‘I cannot eat my words but I do’: Food, Body and Word in the Novels of Jeanette Winterson.” Scenes of the Apple: Hunger and Appetite as Metaphor in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Women’s Writing. Ed. Tamar Heller and Patricia Moran. SUNY P, 2003. 167-79.

“Introduction.” Thomas Hardy's Far from the Madding Crowd. Signet, 2002: vii-xvi.

“Quaker Dress, Sexuality, and the Domestication of Reform in the Victorian Novel.” Victorian Literature and Culture 30: 1 (2002): 211-36.

“The Risks of Enfranchisement: Reading Hardy's Mixen Lane.” Norton Critical Edition of Thomas Hardy’s The Mayor of Casterbridge. Ed. Philip Mallett. NY: Norton, 2000.

“The Condition of India: Hardyan and Trollopian Realism in Rohinton Mistry and Vikram Seth.” Days to Recollect: Essays in Honour of Robert Schweik. Ed. Rosemarie Morgan. New Haven: The Hardy Association Press, 2000: 31-40.

“Peter Ackroyd and Catholic England: At Present, Living in the Past.” Catholic Writers Series. Commonweal (3 Nov. 2000): 14-19.

“Catching the Heart Off Guard: the Generous Vision of Seamus Heaney.” Catholic Writers Series. Commonweal (17 May 1996): 10-14.

“Ironies and Inversions: The Art of Anthony Burgess.” Commonweal (11 Feb. 1994): 9-12.

“Inescapable Responsibility.” Michael S. Harper Special Issue. Callaloo 13: 4 (Fall 1990): 815-816.

“Narrative Annexes in Charlotte Bronte's Shirley.” Journal of Narrative Technique 20: 2 (Spring 1990): 107-119.


Poems in Agni, An Anniversary Collection of the Pawtucket Arts Council, The Anthology of New England Writers, Ararat, Chelsea, Clerestory, Colloquy, The Graham House Review, New and Selected: The Ohio Review Thirtieth Anniversary 1971-2001, Notus: New Writing, The Ohio Review, Quarterly West, Standing on the Verge: Emerging Poets and Artists (eds. Joseph Lease and Thomas Sayre Ellis), and Six Seasons Review (Bangladesh).


"Human Rights Discourse and Universals of Cognition and Emotion: Postcolonial Fiction." The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Literary Studies. Ed. Lisa Zunshine. Oxford UP, forthcoming in 2013.

"Magical Values in Recent Romances of the Archive," Literature, Libraries, and Archives, ed. Sas Mays. Routledge, forthcoming in 2013.

"Novel Readers and the Empathetic Angel of Our Nature." Rethinking Empathy Through Literature. Eds. Sue J. Kim and Meghan M. Hammond. Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Literature. Routledge, forthcoming.

"Affective Trollope." Ashgate Research Companion to Trollope. Ed. Deborah Denenholz Morse, Margaret Marwick and Mark Turner. Ashgate, forthcoming in 2015.

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