Department of English, College of LAS, University of Illinois

Eleanor Courtemanche

Director of Graduate Studies, Associate Professor of English and Germanic Languages and Literatures

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PhD (Comparative Literature): Cornell 1998. BA: Yale 1990.

Teaching Interests

Victorian literature and culture; histories of economics, technology, and design; narrative theory; popular culture; urbanism and steampunk.


Grad Courses: "The Industrial Novel and the Rise of Cultural Studies (2006), "Sexuality and Empire in the Fin de Siècle" (2009), "Victorian Socialisms" (2011), "Machine Dreams: Victorian Utopias" (2012). Selected Undergrad Courses: "Dickens and the Victorian City," "Pulp Fictions of the 1890s," "Tales of Economic Disaster."

Research Interests

Economic and political approaches to Victorian fiction; history of economic theory in Europe and America; socialism and anarchism; history of urban planning; narrative theory; irony and comedy. Currently serving as Victorian Book Reviews Editor of the online journal Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net, or RaVoN ( and Affiliate of the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory, the Program in Comparative and World Literature, and the Department of German. Blog posts are cross-posted at

Selected Publications


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Book Contributions

  • "Unintended Consequences and the Epistemology of Fraud from Dickens to Hayek." Debt: Ethics, the Environment, and the Economy. Ed. Peter Paik and Merry Wiesner-Hanks. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2013. 164-76.
  • "Invisible Hands and Visionary Narrators: Why the Free Market is Like a Novel." Metaphors of Economy. Ed. Nicole Bracker and Stefan Herbrechter. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2005. 69-78.

Journal Articles

  • "Marx, Heine, and German Cosmopolitanism: The 1844 'Deutsche-Französische Jahrbücher'." Telos 159 (2012): 49-63.
  • "'Naked Truth is the Best Eloquence': Martineau, Dickens, and the Moral Science of Realism." ELH 73.2 (2006): 383-407.
  • "Bread, Roses, and Reason: Or, Can Victorian Cultural Criticism Reform Political Economy?." Nineteenth Century Studies 16 (2002): 115-25.
  • "Kafka and the Mirror of Instrumental Reason." Journal of the Kafka Society of America 19.1-2 (1995): 16-24.
  • "Satire and the "Inevitability Effect": The Structure of Utopian Fiction from "Looking Backward" to "Portlandia"." MLQ, Special Issue on "The Inevitable" (forthcoming) (2015):

Website Articles


  • Rev. of Individualism, Decadence, and Globalization: On the Relation of Part to Whole, 1859-1920.RaVoN (Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net) (2011):
  • Rev. of Reforming Philosophy: A Victorian Debate on Science and Society. Nineteenth Century Contexts 31.1 (2009): 81-83.
  • Rev. of Victorian Writing About Risk: Imagining a Safe England in a Dangerous World. Nineteenth Century Literature 56.2 (2001): 265-268.

Works in Progress

  • Book Project: "Fragile Capitalism." Article on Fabian socialism and the strategy of permeation. Article on satire and didacticism in utopian fiction.