• Claudia Stokes specializes in nineteenth-century American literature. She is the author of several books and numerous articles. Her first book, Writers in Retrospect: The Rise of American Literary History, 1875–1910 (University of North Carolina Press, 2006), traces the steps by which American literary history became a formal academic field of study and examines the origins of numerous enduring disciplinary tenets. Her second book, The Altar at Home: Sentimental Literature and Nineteenth-Century American Religion (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014), examines the religious contexts and contents of nineteenth-century American sentimental literature, showing how such writers as Harriet Beecher Stowe and Louisa May Alcott actively enlisted and promoted numerous controversial new doctrines; in addition, this book illustrates how sentimental literature significantly influenced several new American religions such as Mormonism and Christian Science. The Altar at Home received Honorable Mention for the Book Prize awarded triennially by the Society for the Study of American Women Writers.

    She is also co-editor, with Michael A. Elliott, of American Literary Studies: A Methodological Reader (New York University Press, 2003), which examines the impact of interdisciplinarity on the study of American literature. She has received grants and fellowships from the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History, Harvard's Houghton Library, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

    She recently published a new book, Old Style: Unoriginality and its Uses in Nineteenth-Century U.S. Literature (University of Pennsylvania Press), which examines familiarity and unoriginality in nineteenth-century American literature. An essay taken from that book project, “The Poetics of Unoriginality: The Case of Lucretia Davidson,” was awarded the Florence Howe Award for feminist scholarship given by the Women’s Caucus of Modern Languages. .  In 2018, she received Trinity University's highest award, the Dr. and Mrs. Z. T. Scott Faculty Fellowship for Outstanding Achievement in Teaching and Advising.  Her essay "Novel Commonplaces: Quotation, Epigraphs, and Literary Authority," published in American Literary History, was awarded the 1921 Prize for best essay in American literature (tenured category), given in 2018 by the American Literature Society.

    • Ph.D., Columbia University
    • M.Phil., Columbia University
    • B.A., University of Michigan

    Books

    • Old Style: Unoriginality and its Uses in Nineteenth-Century U.S. Literature (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2021)
    • The Gates Ajar, co-edited with Elizabeth Duquette. Penguin Classics, 2019.
    • The Altar at Home: Sentimental Literature and Nineteenth-Century American Religion. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014.
    • Writers in Retrospect: The Rise of American Literary History, 1875-1910 (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2006.
    • American Literary Studies: A Methodological Reader, co-edited with Michael A. Elliott. New York: New York University Press, 2003.

    Essays

    • “Bachelor Sketches:  Invisible Women in Irving’s Domestic Writings,” Early American Literature 57.1 (Spring 2022): 193-219 
    • “Exegesis in the Age of Extremism,” Christianity and Literature 70. 3 (September 2021): 303-312. Invited contribution to special issue on “The Future of Christianity and Literature in Higher Education”
    • "The Last Cleric: Ann Douglas, Intellectual Authority, and the Place of Feminization at Forty," co-authored with Kevin Pelletier and Abram Van Engen. J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists 7 (Spring 2019): 185-208.
    • "Novel Commonplaces: Quotation, Epigraphs, and Literary Authority," American Literary History, 30.2 (Summer 2018): 201-221.
    • “’Sinful Creature, Full of Weakness’: The Theology of Disability in Cummins’s The Lamplighter,” Studies in American Fiction 43.2 (Fall 2016): 139-59.
    • “Women Writers and Hymns,” A History of Nineteenth-Century American Women’s Poetry, ed. Jennifer Putzi and Alexandra Socarides (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016.)
    • "The Poetics of Unoriginality: The Case of Lucretia Davidson," Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers 32.1 (2015): 31-52.
    • “The Religious Novel,” The Oxford History of the Novel in English, volume 6, The American Novel: 1870-1940, Ed. Priscilla Wald and Michael A. Elliott (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014): 168-83.
    • “My Kingdom: Sentimentalism and the Refinement of Hymnody,” ESQ 58.3 (3rd quarter, 2012): 294-337.
    • “The Mother Church: Mary Baker Eddy and the Practice of Sentimentalism.” The New England Quarterly 81 (September 2008): 438-61.
    • “In Defense of Genius: Howells and the Limits of Literary History.” American Literary Realism 40 (Spring 2008): 189-203.
    • “Copyrighting American History: International Copyright and the Periodization of the Nineteenth Century,” American Literature 77 (June 2005): 289-315.
    • 19th-century American women writers
    • Sentimentalism
    • Realism and Naturalism
    • Feminist Theory
    • Huma 1600
    • Advisory Board, C19: The Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists
    • Editorial Board of ESQ
    • Literary Consultant to Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers
    • Board of Directors, Jewish Federation of San Antonio