Ruth Perry

Extension: x3-8876
Office: 14N-415
Department: Literature

Ruth Perry, an internationally acclaimed authority on eighteenth-century English literature and culture, women's writing, and feminist theory, has lectured all over the world on these subjects. The author of numerous books and articles, she has written on such canonical figures as Pope, Sterne, Richardson, and Austen as well as on contemporary women writers such as Grace Paley and Mary Gordon. Elected president of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies in 2000, she has also served on the Advisory Board of the PMLA (Publications of the Modern Language Association), The Women's Review of Books and Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature. She is a professor of Literature at MIT where she founded the Women's Studies program in 1984 and the Boston Graduate Consortium in Women's Studies in 1992. She has been awarded grants by the NEH and the NSF for projects on the social context of science, and has held the prestigious Woodrow Wilson fellowship as well as fellowships from the Bunting Institute, the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Rockefeller Foundation at Bellagio. Her books include Women, Letters, and the Novel; Mothering the Mind: Twelve Studies of Writers and Their Silent Partners; an edition of George Ballard's 1752 Several Ladies of Great Britain; The Celebrated Mary Astell; and Novel Relations: The Transformation of Kinship in English Culture and Literature 1748-1818. She has edited a modern edition of Charlotte Lennox's Henrietta for the University of Kentucky press, a novel first published in 1758, and is completing a volume of essays on Jane Austen. A singer of ballads, her current research and teaching interests include the history of collecting, preserving, and performing folk music -- particularly in eighteenth-century Scotland. She has edited a double issue on "Ballads and Songs in the Eighteenth Century" for The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation and has begun work on a biography of Anna Gordon Brown, an eighteenth-century singer of traditional ballads.