Alexandra Socarides

Alexandra Socarides
Associate Professor; Chair
114M Tate
(573) 882-4483
Areas of Study: 
American Literature to 1914
Women's and Gender Studies in English
Research and Teaching: 

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

Alexandra Socarides is the author of 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). She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on nineteenth-century American literature and poetics. She was a 2016 Kemper Fellow, and is currently the department Chair.

In Dickinson Unbound: Paper, Process, Poetics (Oxford University Press, 2012), Prof. Socarides 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. Here she considers both the possibilities and limitations of manuscript study and textual scholarship for the study of poetry. She has recently completed a book about the conventions of nineteenth-century American women's poetry, titled Everywhere and Nowhere: Nineteenth-Century American Women's Poetry and the Problem of Literary History. This book investigates the reasons for this poetry's erasure from literary history, while at the same time delving deep into the conventions that allowed it to be well published, well circulated, and well known at the time time. She has  received fellowships from the American Antiquarian Society, the Huntington Library, and Winterthur Library to work on this project.

Prof. Socarides is the co-editor (with Prof. Jennifer Putzi of William and Mary College) of A History of Nineteenth-Century American Women's Poetry (Cambridge University Press, 2016), which is a collection of 25 groundbreaking essays by scholars in the field. She is also the co-editor (with Prof. Michael Cohen of UCLA) of The Poetry of Charles Brockden Brown (forthcoming in 2018). She currently sits on the editorial boards of the Emily Dickinson Journal and Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers.



PhD 2007, Rutgers University

MFA 1999, Sarah Lawrence College

BA 1996, Bates College


Select Publications: 
  • 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.
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