Anastasia Eccles

Anastasia Eccles's picture
Assistant Professor of English

Ph.D., Stanford University, 2018

B.A., Yale University, 2007

I work on eighteenth-century and Romantic literature, with particular interests in theories of reading, the novel, and the long history of formalism. My current book project theorizes a condition I call “perverse attachment,” in which a person has a strong desire to act on something beyond their control. It identifies this form of frustrated agency as a constitutive but neglected aspect of the experience of reading fiction–particularly as it was shaped by the long regime of sentimentalism in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries–as well as a key feature of an emergent mass politics. I am also beginning work on a second project on the emergence of subtlety as an aesthetic value over the long eighteenth century.


“On the Origins of the Witness-Protagonist,” Modern Language Quarterly 85.2 (forthcoming June 2024)

“Feeling Complicit in William Godwin’s Caleb Williams,” Romantic Poetics and Public Feeling, special issue of Romantic Circles Praxis (December 2021)

“Formalism and Sentimentalism: Viktor Shklovsky and Laurence Sterne,” New Literary History 47.4 (Autumn 2016)


Novel Feelings; Beyond the Novel: Genres of Fiction, 1700-1850; Suspense and Narrative; Jane Austen and Walter Scott; Readings in English Poetry II, Epic in the European Literary Tradition

Sentimentalism and its Critics; How to Read