Director of Undergraduate Studies/Professor
Mark Schoenfield is a professor of English at Vanderbilt University, where he has received the Jeffrey Nordhaus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in the Humanities. His first book explores William Wordsworth’s connection to the law, and his second, British Periodicals and Romantic Identity: The "Literary Lower Empire” won the Colby Prize for outstanding work on 19th-century periodicals. He has written articles on Byron and marriage (and in each, alluded to the other), as well as on Walter Scott, John Galt, and various periodicals and periodical writers. His teaching interests include law and literature, romanticism, the novel, and existential fictions, and he is experimenting with alternative forms of student work at all levels of his teaching, including digital story-telling. He is pleased that three of his publications were co-authored with an undergraduate, a graduate student, and a professor respectively, and he looks forward to continued collaboration. He has coached and refereed high school wrestling, as well as taught chess to middle-school aspiring tournament players. He is a recent recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship.
His current research interests expand upon and merge some of his prior interests. His two on-going projects explore law and literature and romantic constructions of the self. The first, tentatively called The Culture of Litigation: Legal Trials and Romantic Print Culture, 1750–1835, examines how transformations in trials during the romantic period were bolstered and contested in the press and literature of the time, producing celebrity lawyers, novel legal theories, and legal novels. The second, The Celebrity of the Ordinary: Romantic Autobiography and Periodical Culture, 1790-1840, demonstrates how the extensive fascination with celebrities influence how ordinary people conceptualized and represented their roles and place in the commercial and social orders of the romantic period.
- “Bodies in Play: Boxing, Dance, and the Science of Recreation.” Co-authored with Kristin -Samuelian, George Mason University. The Material Game in Nineteenth-Century Culture. Eds. Ann Hawkins and Allison Whitney, Bloomsbury (forthcoming, 2018).
- Blog Post: “A Culture of Litigation: Arguing Daily Life” VU BreakThru, April 18, 2018.
- “Coleridge Among the Periodicals” co-authored with Alec Jordan, BA, Vanderbilt '14. Coleridge: Critical Readings, 2016.
- “The Trial of James Stuart (1822): ‘Abuse of the Press, and Duelling.’” BRANCH: Britain, Representation and Nineteenth-Century History. Extension of Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net, 2015.
- British Periodicals and Romantic Identity:The "Literary Lower Empire" winner of the Colby Prize for outstanding work on 19th century periodicals.
- The Professional Wordsworth: Law, Labor, and the Poet's ContractGeorgia UP
- "A Performance of Difference: The Public Image of Daniel Mendoza" Romanticism and "The Jewish Question": Nationalism, Religion, Individualism.
- "Romantic Periodicals" Co-authored with Brian Rejack, PhD, Vanderbilt University. Literature Compass.
- "The Culture of Comparison: Byron in the Satirist" "Romantic Fandom" Praxis volume. Romantic Circles.
- Playing with Logic, Discovering Logic, Adventures with Logic (three grade-school activity books, co-authored with J. Rosenblatt), San Francisco: Lake Publishers, 1985.
- “Cross-Examination in the Age of Personalities.” North American Society for the Study of Romanticism (NASSR) Conference, Providence, RI, 2018
- Invited Speaker, “Trial by a Jury of Peeriodicals” Blackwood's Bicentenary Conference, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, July 2017.
- “The Biographies of Paupers: Poverty, Periodicals, and Imposture” Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies (INCS) Conference, “Odd Bodies” Philadelphia, PA, March, 2017.
- “Property and Personality : Continuities of Law and Literature” American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. - “Re-defining Romanticism in the Eighteenth Century.” Pittsburgh, PA, April, 2016.
- “The Things the Thing: Objects and Objections in Romantic-era Trials” Nineteenth Century Studies Association Conference on “Material Cultures / Material Worlds.” March, 2015
- “Whose Life? Periodical Contestation and Theorizations of Auto-Biography” MLA, Vancouver, January 2015.
- "The Celebrity of the Ordinary: Men and Modes of Fashion" Plenary Speaker, 7th Annual English Graduate Student Conference, University of Tulsa, October, 2012