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Coronavirus Update

Dickinson is remote for the fall. Prospective students may contact our admissions office and schedule a visit. Campus buildings are closed. Face coverings are required on campus.

Additional Information.

Faculty Profile

Jacob Sider Jost

Associate Professor of English (2011)

Contact Information

East College Room 306

Office Hours for Fall 2020: Monday 2-4 Thursday 2-4 by appointment


I am a teacher and scholar of literature, with a particular focus on the British eighteenth century. At Dickinson I teach courses about the epic, Shakespeare, the novel from Behn to Austen, eighteenth-century poetry and drama, and fairy stories from Spenser to Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. I am the author of two monographs, Prose Immortality, 1711-1819 (2015), and Interest and Connection in the Eighteenth Century: Hervey, Johnson, Smith, Equiano (2020), both from the University of Virginia Press. I have also published essays on Shakespeare, Shaftesbury, Defoe, Hume, Johnson, Proust, and other figures. I have long believed that it is important to write things down about your life so that you don't forget them, and I am currently beginning a book about life writing in the eighteenth century.

Curriculum Vitae


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

2019-2020 Academic Year

Spring 2020

ENGL 331 Where Do Novels Come From
Unlike age-old genres such as the lyric, epic, or drama, the novel describes itself as something, well, novel. In this course we will focus on what is new about the novel by reading founding texts of the British novel tradition, with some attention to earlier sources and Continental analogues. Authors will likely include Haywood, Behn, Defoe, Richardson, Fielding, Sterne, Equiano, Austen, and Goethe.

ENGL 404 Senior Thesis 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.

MEMS 490 The Senior Experience
Senior Projects and Research in Medieval & Early Modern Studies. Seniors in the major will work independently with a director and a second faculty reader (representing another discipline in the major) to produce a lengthy paper or special project which focuses on an issue relevant to the cluster of courses taken previously. Under the direction of the program coordinator, students will meet collectively 2 or 3 times during the semester with the directors (and, if possible, other MEMS faculty) to share bibliographies, research data, early drafts, and the like. This group will also meet at the end of the semester to discuss and evaluate final papers and projects.Prerequisite. 200; four-course "cluster."