Timothy w. H. Peltason

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Founders 117

Wellesley College

Wellesley, MA 02481

(781) 283-2592

7 Upland Road

Wellesley, MA 02482

(781) 237-4426


A.B. Harvard College, 1972

Ph.D. Yale University, 1978
Instructor, Wellesley College, 1977-78

Assistant Professor, Wellesley College, 1978-83

Associate Professor, Wellesley College, 1983-90

Professor, Wellesley College, 1990- (William R. Kenan Professor 2001-2005)

Visiting Professor, Brandeis University 1996-1997

Director, Newhouse Center for the Humanities, 2004-2009


1986 Reading 'In Memoriam' (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press)
1994 Matthew Arnold: Selected Poems, ed., introduction, and notes by Timothy Peltason (London and New York: Viking-Penguin)

1983 "The Embowered Self: 'Mariana' and 'Recollections of the Arabian Nights,'" Victorian Poetry 21, pp. 335-350.
"Supposed Confessions, Uttered Thoughts: The First Person Singular in Tennyson's Poetry," Victorian Newsletter 64, pp. 13-18.
1984 "Tennyson's Philosophy: Some Lyric Examples," in Philosophical Approaches to Literature, ed. William Cain (Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press), pp. 51-72. Rpt in Critical Essays on Alfred Lord Tennyson, ed. Herbert Tucker (New York: G.K. Hall), 1993.

"Tennyson, Nature, and Romantic Nature Poetry," Philological Quarterly, pp.. 75-93.

1985 "Tennyson's Fables of Emergence," Bucknell Review, pp. 143-170.
1988 "Imagination and Learning in George Eliot, Mill and Dickens," Essays in Criticism 38, pp. 35-54.
1990 "Ruskin's Finale: Vision and Imagination in Praeterita" ELH 57, pp. 665-684.
1992 "Esther's Will," ELH 59, pp. 671-691. Rpt. Bleak House: Contemporary Critical Essays, ed. Jeremy Tambling (London: Macmillan), 1998.
"Learning How to See: The Holy Grail," Victorian Poetry 30, pp. 463-481.
1994 "The Function of Matthew Arnold at the Present Time," College English 56, pp. 749-765.
1996 "The Place of Reading: Graduate Study and the Literature Classroom," ADE Bulletin 113, pp. 9-12.
1998 "Life Writing," in The Blackwell’s Companion to Victorian Literature and Culture, ed. Herbert Tucker (London: Blackwells), pp. 356-371.
1999 "The Way We Read and Write Now: The Rhetoric of Experience in Victorian Prose and Contemporary Criticism," ELH 66, pp. 985-1014.
2000 “Making the Case for a Literary Education,” ADE Bulletin 125, pp. 14-19.
2004 “The Uncommon Pursuit,” Literary Imagination 6, pp. 499-515.
2007 “Seeing Things As They Are: Literary Judgment and Disinterestedness, Literary Imagination 9, pp. 177-194
2009 “What the Laureate Did Next: Tennyson’s Maud”; Victorian Poetry 47, pp. 197-219
2010 “The Esther Problem,” in Approaches to Teaching Charles Dickens’s Bleak House, eds. John Jordan and Gordon Bigelow (New York: MLA publications)

1980 A review of Victorian Noon, by Carl Dawson, for The South Carolina Review
1987 A review of Peter Sacks, The English Elegy and Alan Sinfield, Alfred Tennyson, for Victorian Studies 31, pp. 109-111.
1992 "Hearing Liberal Voices," a review-essay, Intellectual History Newsletter 14, pp. 68-73.
1999 Review of W. David Shaw, Alfred, Lord Tennyson: The Poet in an Age of Theory, for Victorian Studies 41, pp. 541-542.
2000 Review of Denis Donoghue, The Practice of Reading, Comparative Literature, 52, pp. 366-369.
2002 “The Polymath,” a review-essay on Ruskin, Partisan Review, 69:3, pp. 478-485.
2010 A review of Joseph Bristow, ed: Oscar Wilde and Modern Culture: The Making of a Legend, for Victorian Studies 52, pp. 339-342.

1997 “Unlazy Days of Summer,” US News and World Report, July 14, 1997

“Sending a Daughter to College,” US News and World Report, September 22, 1997

1999 “Why Are You Here?” Wellesley Magazine (rpt. Los Angeles Times, August 28, 2005; Wellesley College Orientation manual, 2000-2006)
2001-2 Monograph length commentaries on five plays by Shakespeare published and marketed on the web by Digital Learning Interactive:

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Henry IV, part 1


King Lear

The Tempest

Work in progress:

Book project: “Oscar in Earnest: Style and Substance in the Line of Wilde”

Essay project: “Love and Judgment in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

1986 NEH Summer Stipend
1991 NEH Summer Stipend
1993 NEH Research fellowship

1986-7 "John Stuart Mill and the Facts of Life," a lecture delivered to New England Historical Society, October 1986,

and to the University of California, Irvine, in January 1987,

and to the Huntington Library in January 1987
1988 "Hard Times and Modern Education," a talk to the Boston Browning Society, Spring 1988
1992 Panel chair for "Alfred Lord Tennyson: A Centennial Symposium," at the Armstrong Library of Baylor University
1995 Wellesley College English department colloquium presentation, "The Importance of Oscar Wilde"
1995 "Graduate Education and the Literature Classroom," Associated Departments of English summer seminar, University of Iowa
1999 “Making the Case for a Literary Education” keynote address, Association of Departments of English, SUNY Purchase
2002 Brandeis University Humanities Seminar:: “The Uncommon Pursuit: Literary Judgment and Contemporary Criticism”
2003 Association of Literary Scholars and Critics, Boston meeting presentation: “The Uncommon Pursuit: Literary Judgment and Contemporary Criticism”
2009 Fisher’s Island Library Lecture Series: “Erotic Antagonism: Jane Austen and the Tradition of Romantic Comedy”
2010 Boston University Conference on Twain and Tolstoy: “The Convention of

Marriage in Nineteenth Century Fiction”


Association of Literary Scholars, Critics and Writers (Treasurer, Executive Committee))

I have served as department chair on three occasions, for a total of five years; as director of the First-Year Cluster program; and on a variety of college committees, including the Committee on Faculty Appointments (twice), the Committee on Curriculum and Instruction, the Budget Advisory Committee (twice; once as Chair), the President's Advisory Committee, the Task Force on the Arts, the Reaccreditation Steering Committee, the Task Force on Academic Excellence, the Trustee-Faculty Committee on Academic Affairs, and others.

1999-2009 Dana Hall School, Board of Trustees

2004-2009 Dana Hall School, Board of Trustees, Vice-President

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