Alexandra Socarides

Professor; Associate Provost for Academic Programs
114 Jesse Hall

PhD 2007, Rutgers University

MFA 1999, Sarah Lawrence College

BA 1996, Bates College

Research and Teaching

Nineteenth-century American literature and culture, poetry and poetics, women's literature

Alexandra Socarides is the author of two books -- In Plain Sight: Nineteenth-Century American Women's Poetry and the Problem of Literary History (Oxford University Press, 2020) and Dickinson Unbound: Paper, Process, Poetics (Oxford University Press, 2012) -- and the co-editor of A History of Nineteenth-Century American Women's Poetry (Cambridge University Press, 2016).

In Plain Sight tells the story of the erasure of nineteenth-century American women's poetry from literary history by tracking the conventions that this poetry most often took up. Looking closely at a variety of textual and paratextual conventions employed by women poets of the time, this book argues that their future invisibility was built into those very conventions. Dickinson Unbound explores the material history of Emily Dickinson's poems and situates her process for making these poems in relation to other nineteenth-century compositional practices. In doing so, this study considers both the possibilities and limitations of manuscript study and textual scholarship for the study of poetry. A History of Nineteenth-Century American Women's Poetry is a collection of 25 groundbreaking essays by scholars in the field of nineteenth-century American women's poetry.

She is the recipient of a number of fellowships and grants, including ones from the American Antiquarian Society, the Huntington Library, Winterthur Library, and the Maine Women's Writers Collection. She currently sits or sat sat on a number of editorial boards, including American Literature, J19, Legacy, and the Emily Dickinson Journal.

She teaches a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses on nineteenth-century American literature and poetics. She was the recipient of a 2016 Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence.

She is currently the Associate Provost.

Awards and Honors

W. T. Kemper Fellow for Excellence in Teaching. 2016

Huntington Library Short Term Fellowship, 2013-2014

Winterthur Library Fellowship, 2013-2014

Last Fellow in American Visual Culture, American Antiquarian Society, 2011-2012

Provost’s Outstanding Junior Faculty Teaching Award, 2011

Maine Women Writers Collection Research Grant, 2011

Outstanding Graduate Faculty Award, 2009

Gold Chalk Award, Graduate Professional Council, 2009

National Humanities Center Summer Fellowship, 2008

Scholar-in-Amherst Award, Emily Dickinson International Society, 2006

Stephen Botein Fellowship, American Antiquarian Society, 2004-2005

Selected Publications

In Plain Sight: Nineteenth-Century American Women's Poetry and the Problem of Literary History. Oxford University Press. 2020. 

Dickinson Unbound: Paper, Process, Poetics. Oxford University Press. 2012.

Co-Editor (with Jennifer Putzi), A History of Nineteenth-Century American Women's Poetry. Cambridge University Press. 2016.

“What Happens When We Don’t Read Ballads Closely Enough: The Cautionary Tale of the American Woman Poet and the Ballad." Nineteenth-Century Literature (Fall 2016).

“Making and Unmaking a Canon: American Women’s Poetry and the Nineteenth-Century Anthology,” A History of Nineteenth-Century American Women’s Poetry. Eds. Jennifer Putzi and Alexandra Socarides. Cambridge University Press. 2016.

“Introduction: Making History: Thinking about Nineteenth-Century American Women’s Poetry,” A History of Nineteenth-Century American Women’s Poetry. Eds. Jennifer Putzi and Alexandra Socarides. Cambridge University Press. 2016.

“Managing Multiple Contexts: Dickinson, Genre, and the Circulation of Fascicle 1,” Dickinson's Fascicles: A Spectrum of Possibilities. Eds. Paul Crumbley and Eleanor Heginbotham. Ohio State University Press. 2015.

Review of The Gorgeous Nothings by Marta Werner and Jen Bervin. Emily Dickinson Journal vol 23, no 2 (Fall 2014): 107-110.

“Editorial History II: 1955 to the Present.” Dickinson in Context. Cambridge University Press. Ed. Eliza Richards. 2013.

"The Poems (We Think) We Know" (April 2013 - June 2014), Los Angeles Review of Books,

“Books that Made Us: Little House in the Big Woods.” Los Angeles Review of Books. October 2013.

“For Emily, Wherever I May Find Her: On Paul Legault's Emily Dickinson.” Los Angeles Review of Books. October 2012.

“Figure Ground Reversal.” Contextual Practice: Assemblage and the Erotic in Postwar Poetry and Art by Stephen Fredman. Twentieth-Century Literature 57. 1 (Spring 2011) 551-558.

“Bringing History to the Table.” Twentieth-Century Literature 55.2 (Summer 2009) 255-261.

“The Poetics of Interruption: Dickinson, Death, and the Fascicles." A Companion to Emily Dickinson Eds. Mary Loeffelholz and Martha Nell Smith. Blackwell's Publishing, 2008. 309-333.

“Rethinking the Fascicles: Dickinson’s Writing, Copying, and Binding Practices.” Emily Dickinson Journal 15.2 (2006): 69-94.