The Dean’s Office

Carolyn Dever

Dean DeverCarolyn Dever became dean of Vanderbilt University’s College of Arts and Science in December 2008 after serving as executive dean of the college with responsibilities for faculty actions and research. She previously served as the first associate dean for graduate education in the College of Arts and Science.

Since arriving at Vanderbilt in 2000, she has taught courses in both English and Women’s and Gender Studies. She has directed graduate studies in English, co-directed two faculty fellows programs at the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities and served as acting director of the Program in Women’s and Gender Studies.

Dever received her undergraduate degree from Boston College in 1988. She was awarded the Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, and completed the Ph.D. in English and American Literature and Language at Harvard University in 1993.

Dever began her career at New York University as a member of the English Department, where her teaching and research focused on Victorian literature and studies of gender. She was awarded NYU’s “Golden Dozen” award for undergraduate teaching, was a three-time director of the NYU Summer in London Program, and also directed graduate studies in English.

She is the author of two books, Death and the Mother From Dickens to Freud: Victorian Fiction and the Anxiety of Origin (Cambridge University Press, 1998) and Skeptical Feminisms: Activist Theory, Activist Practice (Minnesota, 2004), and co-editor of a third, The Literary Channel: The Inter-National Invention of the Novel (Princeton, 2002).

Dever has several active research projects underway. She is co-editor of the Cambridge Companion to Anthony Trollope, a book which was published in January 2010. She travels to London frequently for research at the British Library on the manuscript diaries of the late-Victorian poet and playwright “Michael Field”—the pseudonym for a collaborative pair of women writers, Katharine Bradley and Edith Cooper. Dever’s research on Michael Field has led to further research on poetry and the visual arts in late-Victorian Britain, and will culminate in a book about intimacy, domesticity, and art in Britain at the turn of the 20th century. Dever directs the research of a number of Vanderbilt graduate students on topics relating to Victorian literature and culture.