Kevis Goodman

Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies

I teach and write in the fields of later 17th-Century British literature (especially Milton), 18th-Century British Literature (especially after 1740), and Romanticism. Within those historical periods, my interests gravitate toward questions in aesthetics and poetics, science and literature, and literary historiography.  My first book was Georgic Modernity and British Romanticism: Poetry and the Mediation of History (Cambridge 2004; paperback edition 2008). My new book, Pathologies of Motion: Historical Thinking in Medicine, Aesthetics and Poetics (Yale University Press, 2023), was awarded the Jean-Pierre Barricelli Prize for the year's best book in Romantic studies from the International Conference on Romanticism. It also received Honorable Mention for the 2023 Michelle Kendrick Memorial Book Prize, for the best academic book of literature, science, and the arts, from the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts.

See also under Selected Publications.

Current Research: 

My recently published book, Pathologies of Motion, studies late Enlightenment aesthetics, poetics, and medicine as overlapping ways of comprehending the dislocations of historical existence as these imbalances lodged in the movements of bodies and minds. It shows the ways in which these emerging and still-intertwined sciences (in the 18th-century sense of “science” as a kind of knowledge) were alert to the precarious ecology between persons and their worlds. The book focuses, in particular, on how each was concerned about the affective, embodied experience of place and displacement during an era defined by unprecedented degrees and kinds of mobility. I continue to study the experience of historicity and the literary forms of abstract historical processes, with essays-in-progress on the relationship between personification—as the making of a person—and depopulation, as the unmaking and reconstituting of populations. A second, different project is a co-edited collection, with an introduction, of the late work of Geoffrey Hartman, including essays never published, which will be available to readers for the first time.


Selected Publications


Georgic Modernity and British Romanticism: Poetry and the Mediation of History. Cambridge, Eng.: Cambridge University Press, 2004.  Paperback Edition, 2008.

Pathologies of Motion: Historical Thinking in Medicine, Aesthetics, and Poetics. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2022.

Edited Volumes

Eric L. Santner, Kevis Goodman (ed. and introd.). The Weight of All Flesh: On the Subject-Matter of Political Economy. In the Berkeley Tanner Lectures Series. With commentary by Bonnie Honig, Peter Gordon, and Hent de Vries.  Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2015.

About Geoffrey Hartman: Materials for a Study of Influence. Ed. Frances Ferguson and Kevis Goodman.  A special issue of Philological Quarterly 92:3 (2014).

Full-length Articles and Book Chapters

Reading Motion: Coleridge’s ‘Free Spirit’ and its Medical Background.” European Romantic Review 26:3  (2015): 349-356.

“Wordsworth and Eighteenth-Century Poetry.” William Wordsworth in Context. Ed. Andrew J. Bennett.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015. 91-100.

"Conjectures on Beachy Head: Charlotte Smith’s Geological Poetics and the Grounds of the Present.” ELH 81:3 (2014):  983-1006

“Uncertain Disease:  Nostalgia, Pathologies of Motion, Practices of Reading.” Studies in Romanticism 49:2 (2010): 197-227.

“Geoffrey Hartman’s A Scholar’s Tale: An Essay Review.” The Wordsworth Circle 39:4 (2008): 136-44.

“Romantic Poetry and the Science of Nostalgia.” The Cambridge Companion to British Romantic Poetry. Ed. James Chandler and Maureen McLane. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008. 195-216.

“Making Time for History: Wordsworth, the New Historicism, and the Apocalyptic Fallacy. With a New Afterword 2004.” The Wordsworthian Enlightenment: Romantic Poetry and the Ecology of Reading.  Ed. Helen R. Elam and Frances Ferguson. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005. 158-171.

“Magnifying Small Things: Georgic Modernity and the Noise of History.” European Romantic Review 15:2 (2004): 215-27.

“The Loophole in the Retreat: The Culture of News and the Early Life of Romantic Self-Consciousness.” South Atlantic Quarterly 102:1 (2003): 25-52.

“‘Wasted Labor’?  Milton's Eve, the Poet's Work, and the Problem of Sympathy.” English Literary History 64:4 (1997): 415-446. 

“Making Time for History: Wordsworth, the New Historicism, and the Apocalyptic Fallacy.” Studies in Romanticism 35:4 (1996): 563-77.

Short Articles

"Introduction" to About Geoffrey Hartman: Materials for a Study of Influence. Ed. Frances Ferguson and Kevis Goodman.  Philological Quarterly 92:3 (2014): 139-142.

“Uncertain Disease: The Science of Nostalgia.” Hektoen International: A Journal of Medical Humanties 5:4 (2013). Web.

“Virgil and Romanticism.” The Harvard Virgil Encyclopedia. Ed. Richard F. Thomas and Jan M. Ziolkowski. 3 Vols. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, 2013. 1094-1096.

“Erasmus Darwin.” Blackwell Encyclopedia of Romanticism. Ed. Frederick Burwick, Nancy Moore Goslee, and Diane Hoeveller. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, 2012. 329-333 .

“Georgic.” Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics: New Revised Edition.   Ed. Roland Greene. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2012. 556-557.

“Geoffrey Hartman’s ‘Psychoaesthetics.’” The Wordsworth Circle 37:1 (2006): 17-20.

Book Reviews

Modernity's Mist: British Romanticism and the Poetics of Anticipation, by Emily Rohrbach. Review 19 ( 2016-12-10.

Wordsworth, Commodification, and Social Concern: The Poetics of Modernity, by David Simpson. European Romantic Review 23:1 (2012), 73-79. 

Nostalgia in Transition, 1780-1914, by Linda M. Austin. Victorian Studies 50:1(2007): 130-33. Actual publication date: Autumn, 2008.

The Work of Writing: Literature and Social Change, 1700-1830, by Clifford Siskin, Modern Language Quarterly 61:3 (2000): 545-551. 


477 Wheeler Hall

Spring 2024 Office Hours

Weds., 3:45-5:30 and Fri., 12:15-1:30