Naomi Levine

Naomi Levine's picture
Assistant Professor of English

Ph.D., Rutgers University, 2015

I work on Victorian poetry and poetics, prosody, aesthetics, and the history of criticism. My research investigates the relationships among formal, historical, affective, and evaluative conceptions of poetry in the nineteenth century and after. My first book, The Burden of Rhyme: Victorian Poetry, Formalism, and the Feeling of Literary History (forthcoming from University of Chicago Press in Fall 2024) examines nineteenth-century ideas about the origin of rhyme and their significance for the theory and practice of Victorian poetry and for the development of literary studies. I’m also at work on a second project, “Badness in Poetry,” which begins from twentieth-century evaluative criticism and its reception of nineteenth-century poems. In theorizing and historicizing the aesthetic category of “badness,” this project considers the entanglements of judgment and interpretation in the study of poetry more broadly.    

My essays have appeared in Victorian StudiesVictorian PoetryVictoriographiesVictorian Literature and CultureMLQ, and Literature Compass. Before coming to Yale, I was a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows.

At Yale, I have taught introductory poetry classes, a course on elegy (The Art of Losing), a junior seminar on Love and Desire in the Nineteenth Century, a senior seminar on the nineteenth-century figures of the Poetess and the Woman of Letters, and a graduate seminar called The Badness of Victorian Poetry.

Selected Publications

“Understanding Poetry Otherwise: New Criticism and Historical Poetics,” Literature Compass 17.7 (2020)

“Rhyme,” Keywords issue, Victorian Literature and Culture 46.3/7 (2018)

“Tirra-Lirrical Ballads: Source Hunting with the Lady of Shalott,” Victorian Poetry 54.4 (2017)

“Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Historiographical Poetics,” MLQ 77.1 (2016)

“Victorian Pearl: Tennysonian Elegy and the Return of a Medieval Poem,” Victoriographies 6.3 (2016)

“Trebled Beauty: William Morris’s Terza Rima,” Victorian Studies 53.3 (2011)