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Arielle Zibrak

ZibrakAssociate Professor of English

Hoyt Hall 216,


Arielle Zibrak is an Associate Professor of English and Gender and Women's Studies and Director of the English Honors Program.

She is the author of Avidly Reads Guilty Pleasures (NYU Press, 2021) and the editor of Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence: New Centenary Essays (Bloomsbury, 2019). Current book projects include a monograph on the nineteenth-century rise of Anglo-American realist novels of reform and the various ways in which this literature was resisted on aesthetic grounds as well as a public-facing work tentatively titled In the Image of Our Own Desires, on the relationship between the New Thought and Arts & Crafts movements of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and their impact on the popular literature of the period. Other interests include American women writers, gender & sexuality studies, the fin de siècle, aesthetic theory, and the relationship between art and politics more broadly.

She began teaching at the University of Wyoming in 2014 and received the University of Wyoming College of Arts and Sciences Extraordinary Merit in Teaching Award in 2017. She has also served on the Executive Board of The Edith Wharton Society and the advisory board of the Complete Works of Rebecca Harding Davis Online:


Ph.D., English, Boston University

M.A., English,  Boston University

B.A., English, University of Rochester

Recent and Upcoming Courses

ENGL 5320: Realism & Naturalism

ENGL 5530: Modern Critical Theory and Practice

ENGL 3500: 19th-Century American Literature

ENGL 3600: 20th-Century American Literature

ENGL 5000: The Fiction of Reform

ENGL 4640/WMST 4500: American Women Writers

ENGL 4450: African American Novel

Selected Publications

Avidly Reads Guilty Pleasures (NYU Press, 2021)

Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence: New Centenary Essays (Bloomsbury, 2019)

“Kissing a Photograph: Reproductive Panic in Kate Chopin and Thomas Hardy,” Criticism: A Quarterly for Literature and the Arts 58.3 (2016): 355-374.

“The Woman Who Hated Sex: Undine Spragg and the Trouble with ‘Bother,’” Edith Wharton Review 32.1-2 (2016): 1-19.

“Writing Behind a Curtain: Rebecca Harding Davis and Celebrity Reform,” ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance 60.4  (2014): 522-556.

“Intolerance, a Survival Guide: Heteronormative Culture Formation in Cormac McCarthy’s The Road.” Arizona Quarterly 68.3(2012): 103-128.

Selected Journalism & Reviews

“The Progressive Era’s New Optimists,” American Literary History, Volume 32, Issue 2, Summer 2020, Pages 376–384,

“On the Mat We’re Briefly Perfect: On Netflix’s ‘Cheer,’” (Jan 22, 2020)

“Sexy Beasts,” LA Review of Books’ Avidly (Nov 14, 2018)

“Seeing Both Sides of the Shield: On Rebecca Harding Davis,” Review of Rebecca Harding Davis: A Life Among Writers, Sharon Harris. Los Angeles Review of Books (21 July 2018)

“Big-League Bluster: A Politics of the Adjective” (co-authored with Marissa Gemma) The Baffler (28 April 2017)

“Malia’s Tears” Los Angeles Review of Books (29 Jan 2017).

“How to Tell if You Are in A Henry James Novel,” The Toast (14 Jan 2015).

“‘A Second Life’: Rebecca Harding Davis and The Pleasures of Misogyny,” The Toast, (19 Nov 2014).

Research Interests

Nineteenth and Twentieth-Century American Literature, Literary Realism and Naturalism, The Fin de Siècle, Social Reform, Victorian Literature, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Feminism, Aesthetic Theory

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