Sarah Eron

  • Professor
  • English
  • Phone: 401.874.4683
  • Email:
  • Office Location: 308E Swan Hall
    Office Hours: Mondays & Wednesdays, By Appointment


Sarah Eron specializes in the literature, culture, and philosophy of the long eighteenth century (1660-1820). Her teaching and scholarship maintain a formalist and philosophical approach to literature, while entertaining cross-disciplinary questions that motivate the broader field of cognitive studies. Her recent book, Mind over Matter: Memory Fiction from Daniel Defoe to Jane Austen (University of Virginia Press, 2021) brings theories about “memory error” from today’s scientific culture into conversation with literary historical perspectives so as to argue for a new vision of memory and mediation in the early English novel.

Professor Eron received her PhD at Cornell University where she studied eighteenth-century literature, with a particular focus on Enlightenment and Romantic philosophies of the mind and aesthetics. Her early work on form and aesthetics at Cornell led her to think about authorship and the modern belief that language and ideas come from ourselves, our mentors, and the conversations we have with other people. Her first book, Inspiration in the Age of Enlightenment, traces this historical assumption to a secular turn in early eighteenth century practices of readership and composition.


Eighteenth-Century Studies & Romanticism; Cognitive Literary Studies; Enlightenment Aesthetic Theory & Philosophy of Mind; History of Science


  • Ph.D., Cornell University
  • M.A., Cornell University
  • B.A., Brown University

Selected Publications

Mind over Matter: Memory Fiction from Daniel Defoe to Jane Austen: Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2021. (Available in Hardback, Paperback and Ebook).

Inspiration in the Age of Enlightenment. Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2014. (Paperback Edition, 2017).

“More than a Conscious Feeling: Reading Evelina’s Mind in Time,” Studies in the Novel (Forthcoming Spring 2018).

“Why Memory Matters: Surviving Intentions,” Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture. 47 (2018): 239-244.

“Genius, Muse: Inspiration and Invocation in Fielding’s Tom Jones,” The Eighteenth-Century Novel. 9 (2012): 25-49.

“‘Bound . . . By Their Narrowing Perceptions’: Sympathetic Bondage and Perverse Pity in Blake’s Book of Urizen,” Blake: An Illustrated Quarterly. 46.3 (2012-2013): 1-26.

“Circles and the In-Between: Shaping Time, Space, and Paradox in Swinburnian Verse,” Victorian Poetry 44.3 (2006): 283-309.

Work in Progress:

The Routledge Companion to Eighteenth-Century Literature (Coedited with Suvir Kaul and Nicole Aljoe)

“Not My First Impression: Transactive Memory in Pride and Prejudice” (Article)

“A Moveable Impression: the Neuroscience behind Persuasion’s Revisionist History” (Article)

Courses Taught


English 355: Novels & the Neuroscience of Memory
English 374: The Embodied Mind: The 18th-Century Passions
English 480: Jane Austen, Therapist
English 460: Novels & Networks
English 263: The Neuroscience of Poetry
English 264: Theater & the Passions
English 265: Personal Matters: Short Novels of the Eighteenth Century
English 260: Jane Austen, Mind-Reader
English 469: The Eighteenth-Century Novel
English 447: Eighteenth-Century Poetry
English 265: Gothic Fictions
English 374: Satire


English 610: Literary Minds: How Novels Think
English 610: Enlightenment Aesthetics

Curriculum Vitae