Robert Markley

W. D. and Sara E. Trowbridge Professor of English,Writing Studies, and Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies


Drama, Eighteenth Century, Fiction, Film/Visual Culture, Post-Colonial, Science, Technology, and Digital Media, Seventeenth Century, Theory & Criticism, Ecocriticism/Environmental Humanities, Performance Studies


W. D. and Sara E. Trowbridge Professor

Editor, The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation

President, Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts

Specializations / Research Interest(s)

  • Literature and Science, particularly the Environmental Humanities
  • Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Studies
  • Science Fiction
  • Digital Media

Research Description

  • My teaching and scholarship include the following areas: British literature 1640-1800, with a particular interest in Britain's relations with China, India, and Southeast Asia; the digital humanities; the cross-disciplinary field of Literature and Science; and science fiction.  I have comparatively little faith in disciplinary boundaries, and I encourage students to explore the ways that technoscientific changes over the last five centuries have transformed our bodies, our cognitive perceptions of the world, and our ability to survive in our more-than-human environments.


  • University of Pennsylvania, M.A., Ph.D.
  • Vassar College, A.B.

Distinctions / Awards

  • President, Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts (2014-16); Choice Outstanding Academic Book (2)


  • NEH; Society for the Humanities, Cornell; Clark, Reinecke, and Huntington Libraries; NCSA; Humanities without Walls Consortium; etc.



  • Kim Stanley Robinson. Modern Masters of Science Fiction Series. . Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 2019.
  • The Far East and the English Imagination 1600-1730. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006.
  • Dying Planet: Mars in Science and the Imagination. Durham: Duke University Press, 2005.
  • Fallen Languages: Crises of Representation in Newtonian England, 1660-1740. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1993.
  • Two-Edg'd Weapons: Style and Ideology in the Comedies of Etherege, Wycherley, and Congreve. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1988.

Book Contributions

  • "Literature, Climate, and Time: Between History and Story." Cambridge Companion to Climate and Literature. Ed. Adeline Johns-Putra. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019.
  • "Nation and Environment in Britain, 1660-1705." Emergent Nation: Early Modern British Literature in Transition, 1660-1714. Ed. Elizabeth Sauer. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019.
  • "The Amherst Embassy in the Shadow of Tambora ." Writing China: Essays on the Amherst Embassy (1816) and Sino British Cultural Relations.. Ed. Robert Markley and Peter Kitson. London: Boydell & Brewer, 2016. 83-104.
  • Markley, Robert, and Lucinda Cole. "Human, Animal, and Machine in the Seventeenth Century." A Companion to British Literature. Ed. Robert DeMaria, Heesok Chang, and Samantha Chang. Oxford: Wiley, 2014. 375-90.
  • "The Economic Context." The Cambridge Companion to ‘Pride and Prejudice'. 2013.
  • Markley, Robert. "Missions to Mars: Reimagining the Red Planet in the Age of Spaceflight." Exploring the Solar System: The History and Science of Planetary Probes. Ed. Roger Launius. Bastingstoke: Palgrave/Macmillan for the American Astronautical Association, 2013. 249-72.
  • "The Eighteenth-Century Novel and the Pacific." The Cambridge History of the English Novel. Ed. Robert Caesario and Clement Hawes. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012.
  • "Time, History, and Sustainability." Telemorphosis: Theory in the Era of Climate Change. Ed. Tom Cohen. New York: Open Humanities Press, 2012. 43-64.
  • "Climate Studies." The Routledge Companion to Literature and Science. Ed. Bruce Clarke and Manuela Rossini. New York: Routledge, 2011. 63-76.
  • "Anson at Canton, 1743: Obligation, Exchange, and Ritual in Edward Page’s ‘Secret History." The Gift in the Eighteenth Century. Ed. Cynthia Klekar and Linda Ziokowski. New York: Palgrave, 2009. 215-33.
  • "Summer’s Lease: Shakespeare in the Little Ice Age." Early Modern Ecostudies: From Shakespeare to the Florentine Codex. Ed. Karen Raber, Tom Hallock, and Ivo Kamps. New York: Palgrave, 2008. 131-42.
  • "'I have now done with my island, and all manner of discourse about it': Crusoe's Farther Adventures and the Unwritten History of the Novel." The Blackwell Companion to the Eighteenth-Century Novel. Ed. Paula Backscheider and Catherine Ingrassia. Oxford: Blackwell, 2005. 25-47.
  • "Behn and the Unstable Traditions of Social Comedy." The Cambridge Companion to Aphra Behn. Ed. Derek Hughes and Janet Todd. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004. 98-117.
  • "The Canon and Its Critics." Cambridge Companion to English Restoration Theatre Cambridge. Ed. Deborah Payne. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000. 226-42.
  • "'Gulfes, deserts, precipices, stone': Marvell's 'Upon Appleton House' and the Contradictions of 'Nature'." The Cultural Life of the Country and City: Identities and Spaces in Britain, 1550-1860. Ed. Donna Landry , Gerald MacLean, and Joseph Ward. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999. 89-105.
  • "Newton, Corruption, and the Tradition of Universal History." Newton and Religion . Ed. James E. Force and Richard Popkin. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Press, 1999. 121-43.
  • "After the Science Wars: From Old Battles to New Directions in the Cultural Study of Science ." After the Disciplines: The Emergence of Cultural Studies. Ed. Michael Peters. London: Bergin and Garvey, 1999. 47-70.
  • "'Be impudent, be saucy, forward, bold, touzing and leud’: The Politics of Masculine Sexuality and Feminine Desire in Behn’s Tory Comedies ." Cultural Readings of Restoration and Eighteenth-Century English Theatre. Ed. J. D. Canfield and Deborah Payne. Athens: University of Georgia Pres, 1995. 114-40.
  • Markley, Robert, and Molly Rothenberg. "The Contestations of Nature: Aphra Behn’s ‘The Golden Age’ and the Sexualizing of Politics Coauthored with Molly Rothenberg ." Rereading Aphra Behn: History, Theory, and Criticism. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 1993. 301-21.
  • "Representing Order: Mathematics, Natural Philosophy, and Theology in the Newtonian Revolution ." Chaos and Order: Complex Dynamics in Literature and Science. Ed. Katherine Hayles. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991. 125-48.
  • "Sentimentality as Performance: Shaftesbury, Sterne, and The Theatrics of Virtue ." The New Eighteenth Century: Theory * Politics * English Literature. Ed. Felicity Nussbaum and Laura Brown. London: Methuen, 1987. 210-30.

Edited Books

  • Markley, Robert, and Peter Kitson. Writing China: Essays on the Amherst Embassy (1816) and Sino British Cultural Relations. . London: Boydell & Brewer, 2016.
  • Virtual Realities and their Discontents. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996.
  • Markley, Robert, and Laurie Finke. From Renaissance to Restoration: Metamorphoses of the Drama. Cleveland: Bellflower, 1984.
  • Markley, Robert, and Ronald Schleifer. Kierkegaard and Literature. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1984.

Journal Articles

  • "As If: The Alternative Histories of Literature and Science." Configurations: A Journal of Literature, Science, and Technology 26.2 (2018): 259-68.
  • Markley, Robert, Michael Simeone, Christopher Morris, and Kenton McHenry. " The Canoe and the Superpixel: Image Analysis of the Changing Shorelines on Historical Maps of the Great Lakes ." Journal 18 5 (2018):
  • "Are You Experienced? Restoration Literature and the Critique of Cynical Reason. ." Restoration 40.2 (2016): 90-95.
  • "Alexander Hamilton, the Mughal War, and the Critique of the East India Company." Genre 48 (2015): 237-59.
  • Markley, Robert. "China and the English Enlightenment: Literature, Aesthetics, and Commerce." Literature Compass 11 (2014): 517-27.
  • "Defoe and the Imagined Ecologies of Patagonia." Philological Quarterly 93.3 (2014): 295-314.
  • "How to go forward’: Catastrophe and Comedy in Kim Stanley Robinson’s Science in the Capital Trilogy." Configurations (2012):
  • "‘A Putridness in the Air’: Monsoons and Mortality in Seventeenth-Century Bombay." Journal of Early Modern Cultural Studies 10 (2010): 105-26.
  • "'Casualties and Disasters': Defoe and the Interpretation of Climactic Instability." Journal of Early Modern Cultural Studies 8 (2008): 102-24.
  • "Aesthetico-Constructivism: Farther Adventures in Criticism." Philological Quarterly 86 (2007): 291-314.
  • "Monsoon Cultures: Climate and Acculturation in Alexander Hamilton's A New Account of the East-Indies." New Literary History 38 (2007): 527-50.
  • "Aphra Behn’s The City Heiress: Feminism and the Dynamics of Popular Success on the Late Seventeenth-Century Stage." Comparative Drama 41 (2007): 141-66.
  • "Gulliver and the Japanese: The Limits of the Postcolonial Past." Modern Language Quarterly. 65 (2004): 457-479.
  • "New Media and the Natural World: The Dialectics of Desire." Bucknell Review 46.2 (2003): 33-57.
  • "'Land enough in the World': Locke's Golden Age and the Infinite Extensions of 'Use'." South Atlantic Quarterly 98 (1999): 817-37.
  • "Foucault, Modernity, and the Cultural Study of Science." Configurations: A Journal of Literature, Science, and Technology 7 (1999): 153-175.
  • "Alien Assassinations: The X-Files and the Paranoid Structure of History." Camera Obscura 40-41 (1997): 77-103.
  • "Falling into Theory: Simulation, Terraformation, and Eco-economics in Kim Stanley Robinson's Martian Trilogy." Modern Fiction Studies 43 (1997): 773-799.
  • "Boundaries: Mathematics, Alienation, and the Metaphysics of Cyberspace." Configurations: A Journal of Literature, Science, and Technology 3 (1994): 485-507.
  • "‘So Inexhaustible a Treasure of Gold’: Defoe, Credit, and the Romance of the South Seas ." Eighteenth-Century Life 18.2 (1994): 148-67.
  • "Complex Dynamics: Literature, Science, and Postdisciplinarity ." Poetics Today 12.3 (1991):
  • "The Rise of Nothing: Revisionist Historiography and the Narrative Structure of Eighteenth-Century Studies ." Genre 23.1 (1990): 77-101.
  • "What Isn’t History: The Snares of Demystifying Ideological Criticism ." Critical Inquiry 15.4 (1989): 647-57.
  • "Beyond Consensus: The Rape of the Lock and the Fate of Reading Eighteenth-Century Literature ." New Orleans Review 15.4 (1988): 68-77.
  • "Language, Power, and Sexuality in Cleland’s Fanny Hill. ." Philological Quarterly 63.4 (1984): 343-56.
  • "Tristram Shandy and ‘Narrative Middles’: J. Hillis Miller and the Style of Deconstructive Criticism ." Genre 17.2-3 (1984): 179-90.
  • "Objectivity as Ideology: Boyle, Newton, and the Languages of Science ." Genre 16.3-4 (1983): 355-72.

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