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Seton Hall University
Jonathan Farina 222 pic.

 

Jonathan Farina, Ph.D.
Special Advisor to the Provost and Associate Professor of English
Department of English

(973) 761-9359
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Presidents Hall
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Jonathan Farina, Ph.D.

Special Advisor to the Provost and Associate Professor of English
Department of English

Jonathan Farina serves as co-chair of the Seton Hall Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. He also serves as President of the Northeast Victorian Studies Association (NVSA). Farina teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on nineteenth-century British literature, the novel, and critical theory, as well as the Honors Colloquia on the Ancient and Early-Modern Worlds.

He writes about the history of fiction as a form of knowledge and Victorian literature, science, and culture. His first book, Everyday Words and the Character of Prose in Nineteenth-Century Britain (Cambridge University Press 2017), earned Honorable Mention for the Sonya Rudikoff Prize for the Best First Book in Victorian Studies. It describes the grammar of everyday language that underwrites what counted as knowledge for British writers, from Austen, Dickens, Eliot, and Trollope, to Ruskin, Pater, Lyell, Darwin, and Tyndall. "Characterization," it shows, was a historically specific mode of description that represented things other than fictional people and that aimed not to reproduce facts but to deviate from them—and yet still tell the truth.

Farina is working on a second book, "Aformalism: Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism and the Dispositions of Modern Knowledge," which recasts Victorian literary criticism as a rich repository of alternative, never-institutionalized forms of knowledge production rather than a mere genealogy of new criticism or other contemporary modes of interpretation. To this end, he is finishing articles on "awkwardness" as the constitutive affect of literary criticism, the problems with recognizing the "obvious" as knowledge, and the Victorian stylistic conventions of "theory".

Jonathan has delivered invited talks at Princeton, Columbia, Toronto, Rutgers, the Grad Center at CUNY, the New York Public Library, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, and elsewhere. He has presented dozens of conference papers throughout North America and the UK.