Devoney Looser

Ross-Blakley Hall 372
PO Box 871401
TEMPE Campus


Devoney Looser is Professor of English at Arizona State University. (Her name is pronounced DEV-oh-nee LOE-sir.). 

She is the author or editor of seven books on literature by women. Her most recent book is The Making of Jane Austen (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2017), which was named a Publishers Weekly Best Summer Book (Nonfiction) and received the Inside Higher Ed Reader’s Choice Award for 2017. For further information, see Devoney Looser’s website.

Looser’s public writing has appeared in The New York TimesThe AtlanticSalon, and the TLS. She writes regularly on professional issues for The Chronicle of Higher Education. She's been interviewed about Jane Austen on CNN and has been a quoted authority in the New York Times, USA Today, and the Wall Street Journal. 

She teaches ASU undergraduate and graduate courses (in person and online) in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British literature, women’s writings, and Jane Austen. She recently led a workshop on academic job market preparation for humanities PhD students.

Looser lectures on Jane Austen and on professional issues. She’s recently given keynote speeches and talks at the Jane Austen Society for North America, the Immortal Austen Conference (Adelaide), the National Library of Australia/ANU (Canberra), and the New York Public Library. Her list of upcoming events is available on The Making of Jane Austen website.

Devoney has played roller derby as Stone Cold Jane Austen and now serves as faculty adviser to the ASU Derby Devils.





Ph. D., 198993. English, with certification in Womens Studies, SUNY - Stony Brook, NY.
B. A., 198589. Summa cum laude with English Honors, Augsburg College, Minneapolis, MN.
Digital Humanities Observatory Summer School Participant, Royal Irish Academy, June 26-July 2, 2010.

Google Scholar

Research Interests

Looser's research areas include eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British literature and women's writings, Jane Austen, the history of the novel, feminist studies, age and aging studies, historiography, and women in sport. She is also faculty adviser to the ASU Derby Devils, the co-ed collegiate roller derby team.



  • The Making of Jane Austen. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2017.
  • Women Writers and Old Age in Great Britain, 17501850. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008. 
  • British Women Writers and the Writing of History, 16701820. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000, 2005. 
  • Edition of Jane West’s A Gossip’s Story (1796) (with Melinda O’Connell and Caitlin Kelly), Valancourt, 2015.
  • Cambridge Companion to Women’s Writing of the Romantic Period (editor), Cambridge University Press, 2015. 
  • Generations: Academic Feminists in Dialogue (co-editor, with E. Ann Kaplan). U of Minnesota P, 1997.
  • Jane Austen and Discourses of Feminism (editor). Palgrave Macmillan, 1995.

Recent Edited Special Issues of Scholarly Journals

  •  The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation (Special Issue: “Jane Austen Among Her Contemporaries,” Vol. 56.2 (Summer 2015)
  • Romantic Circles Pedagogies Commons (Special Issue: “Teaching Jane Austen, co-edited with Emily Friedman) April 2015. Web. 
  • Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies (Special Issue: “The Digital Turn,” co-edited with Tom DiPiero). 14.4 (2013).

Recent Refereed Journal Articles

  • “Mary Wollstonecraft, ‘Ithuriel,’ and the Rise of the Feminist Author-Ghost.” Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature, vol. 35, no. 1 (2016), pp. 59–91.
  • “British Women Writers, Big Data, and Big Biography, 1780–1830,” Women’s Writing, vol. 22, no.2 (2015), pp. 165–71.
  • “Jane Austen’s Afterlife, West Indian Madams, and the Literary Porter Family: Two New Letters from Charles Austen” (with Ruth Knezevich), Modern Philology, vol. 112, no.3 (2015), pp. 554–568.
  • “Discovering Jane Austen in Today’s College Classroom.” Persuasions On-Line, vol. 34, no. 2 (2014),
  • “Age and Aging Studies: From Cradle to Grave.” Age Culture Humanities 1 (2014).
  • “‘Her Later Works Happily Forgotten’: Frances Burney and Old Age.” Eighteenth-Century Life, vol. 37, no. 3 (2013), pp. 1-­28,

Recent Book Chapters

  • “The Good Enough Academic Mother sat Mid-Career.” Staging Women's Lives: Gendered Life Stages in Language and Literature Workplaces. Edited by Michelle Massé and Nan Bauer Maglin. State U of New York P, 2017, pp. 161-74.
  • “Age and Aging,” Cambridge Companion to Women’s Writing of the Romantic Period. Edited by Devoney Looser, Cambridge UP, 2015, pp. 169-82.
  • “The Blues Gone Grey: Portraits of Bluestocking Women in Old Age.” Bluestockings Displayed: Portraiture, Patronage and Performance, 1750–1830. Edited by Elizabeth Eger, Cambridge UP, 2013, pp. 100–20.
  • “The Cult of Pride and Prejudice and Its Author.” Cambridge Companion to Pride and Prejudice. Edited by Janet Todd. Cambridge UP, 2013, pp. 174–85.
  • “Why I’m Still Writing Women’s Literary History” (reprint). The Critical Pulse: 36 Critics Give Their Credos. Edited by Jeffrey Williams and Heather Steffen. Columbia UP, 2012, pp. 217–25.


Research Activity

Recent Work in Popular Media


Interviewed by Zain Asher on CNN Quest Means Business (18 July 2017) (3 min.)

Interviewed by Rosemary Church on CNN International (18 July 2017) (3 min.)

ANU TV conversation with Prof. Will Christie (18 July 2017) (15 min.)

Book Trailer for The Making of Jane Austen (ASU Office for Knowledge and Enterprise Development / Research) (March 2017) (4 min.)

Video Interview on Cambridge University Press Author Hub (Cambridge Academic Books YouTube Channel) for The Cambridge Companion to Women’s Writing in the Romantic Period (9 March 2016). (3 min.)


Radio interview on Jane Austen: Books and Arts, with Sharon Kosalski (ABC Radio, National) (18 July 2017)

Radio interview on Jane Austen: Genevieve Jacobs Morning Show (ABC Radio, Canberra) (17 July 2017)

Radio interview on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, KJZZ-Steve Goldstein (June 2017)

Radio interview on the future of print in academic libraries, KJZZ-The Show, Phoenix (23 March 2017).

Popular Periodicals

“Emma Woodhouse is Your Friend,” Outlook (India) (6 November 2017).

 “The Making of a Public Intellectual,” The Chronicle of Higher Education (1 Oct 2017).

 “Adapt and Adaptability,” The Big Issue (North) (24 July 2017).

 “Queering the Work of Jane Austen is Nothing New,” The Atlantic (21 July 2017).

 “Five Jane Austen Books to Read in Honor of the 200th Anniversary of Her Death,” PBS News Hour (21 July 2017).

 “What Does Jane Austen Mean to You” (symposium) TLS (19 July 2017).

 “The Alternative Jane Austen” (interview) (18 July 2017).

 “Fifty Shades of Mr. Darcy,” Salon (16 July 2017).

 “Jane Austen Wasn’t Shy,” The New York Times (15 July 2017).

“Darcy on Screen: New Evidence Emerges of a Lost Prewar Film of Pride & Prejudice,” Jane Austen’s Regency World Magazine 88 (July/August 2017): 35–38.

“Why I Teach Online,” The Chronicle of Higher Education (20 March 2017).

 “Cutting-Edge Austen: Whatever Her Persuasion,” TLS (20 Jan 2017): 3–4. (Cover Story)



Fall 2017
Course Number Course Title
ENG 535 Study 18/19th Cent Britsh Lit
ENG 635 Advanced Studies British Lit
Spring 2017
Course Number Course Title
ENG 535 Study 18/19th Cent Britsh Lit
Fall 2016
Course Number Course Title
ENG 535 Study 18/19th Cent Britsh Lit
Fall 2015
Course Number Course Title
ENG 791 Seminar
Spring 2015
Course Number Course Title
ENG 364 Women and Literature
MAS 590 Reading and Conference
Spring 2014
Course Number Course Title
ENG 364 Women and Literature
Fall 2013
Course Number Course Title
ENG 635 Advanced Studies British Lit