Faculty Profile

Jacob Sider Jost

Assistant Professor of English (2011; 2013)

Contact Information


East College Room 309


Sider Jost's research and teaching interests include the long eighteenth century, Shakespeare, Austen, and Hume. His first book, Prose Immortality, 1711-1819, was published by Virginia in 2015, and he has work published or forthcoming in RES, Modern Philology, ELH, SEL, Modern Intellectual History, and elsewhere. He is currently writing a book about interest.

Curriculum Vitae


  • B.A., Goshen College, 2002
  • B.A., University of Oxford, 2005
  • M.A., 2009
  • Ph.D., Harvard University, 2011

2014-2015 Academic Year

Fall 2014

FYSM 100 First-Year Seminar
The First-Year Seminar (FYS) introduces students to Dickinson as a "community of inquiry" by developing habits of mind essential to liberal learning. Through the study of a compelling issue or broad topic chosen by their faculty member, students will: - Critically analyze information and ideas - Examine issues from multiple perspectives - Discuss, debate and defend ideas, including one's own views, with clarity and reason - Develop discernment, facility and ethical responsibility in using information, and - Create clear academic writing The small group seminar format of this course promotes discussion and interaction among students and their professor. In addition, the professor serves as students' initial academic advisor. This course does not duplicate in content any other course in the curriculum and may not be used to fulfill any other graduation requirement.

ENGL 101 The Epic: God/Dev/Monster/Men
An introduction to the epic as a genre and to the mythic stories that have shaped Western culture. Texts will likely include Homer's Iliad, Beowulf, Milton's Paradise Lost, and Wordsworth's The Prelude.

ENGL 392 Shakespearean Genres
We will read a wide selection of Shakespeare's plays and poems, paying particular attention to how he masters the genres of comedy, tragedy, history, and romance, as well as writing plays that trouble or transcend generic boundaries. We will deepen our understanding of Shakespeare's context by reading individual plays by major contemporaries: Marlowe, Middleton, and Jonson.

ENGL 403 Literature and Money
Permission of Instructor Required.In this seminar we will connect the topics of literature and money through three interrelated approaches. First, we will read literature about money: texts that take money and economics as their central themes. Second, we will read literature as money, exploring the ways that terms like "credit," "value," "character," "counterfeit," and "interest" reveal historical and structural links between the literary and the monetary. Finally, we will think about how authors and others exchange literature for money, looking at the history of intellectual property from the invention of copyright to online file sharing; the roles of patronage, print, and the academy in literary livelihoods; and the tension between authenticity and commercialism in literary reputation. Primary text authors may include Shakespeare, Daniel Defoe, Samuel Johnson, Adam Smith, Goethe, Henry James, and Ezra Pound; we will engage with recent critical work by Pierre Bourdieu, Marc Shell, James English, Mary Poovey, Deidre Lynch, and others.

Spring 2015

ENGL 354 English Literature, 1660-1798
Canonical authors and marginal voices of the long eighteenth century. Plagues, fires, invasions, fashion, theology, flirtation, lexicography, heavy drinking, slavery, rebellion, municipal sanitation, love. Pepys, Dryden, Behn, Addison, Pope, Swift, Pilkington, Johnson, Boswell, Piozzi, possibly early Austen.

ENGL 404 Senior Workshop
A workshop requiring students to share discoveries and problems as they produce a lengthy manuscript based on a topic of their own choosing, subject to the approval of the instructor. Prerequisites: 300 and 403.