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Faculty Profile

Jacob Sider Jost

Associate Professor of English (2011)

Contact Information

Leave of absence 2021-22

East College Room 306


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

2021-2022 Academic Year

Fall 2021

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. We will read works by Homer, Virgil, the Beowulf poet, Milton, and Alexander Pope.

ENGL 341 English Literature: 1660-1776
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.