Ray Stephanson: Research Interests

Raymond Stephanson, Professor, studies 18th-century literature and culture, with a particular interest in the interdisciplinary aspects of literature and sexuality, science, medicine, crime, and homosocial communities. He has long had an interest in the history of the body, team-teaching graduate seminars with Larry Stewart (History) on "Cultural Studies of the Body, 1650-1815," and coordinating class visits to the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology.


His most recent work is a long essay on Alexander Pope's 2000-page correspondence. His current research project is Laurence Sterne's Tristram Shandy and the idea of conception understood in both its medical-embryological and metaphorical senses. In 2004 University of Pennsylvania Press published his book on the cultural contexts and discourses of male creativity in the Enlightenment: The Yard of Wit: Male Creativity and Sexuality, 1650-1750. He has published essays on Pope, Daniel Defoe, Henry Fielding, Samuel Richardson, Tobias Smollett, and Elizabethan prose fiction. Recent articles have investigated the rhetorical structures of 18th-century male friendship and the function of reproductive tropes for male creativity. For the last nine years he has served as Acting Director of Eighteenth-Century Studies at the University of Saskatchewan (Research Unit). He also serves as Chair of the Graduate Program in the English Department.

A List of His Published Work:

  1. "Defoe's Roxana: The Unresolved Experiment in Characterization," Studies in the Novel 12 (1980): 279-88.
  2. "John Lyly's Prose Fiction: Irony, Humor and Anti-Humanism," English Literary Renaissance 11 (1981): 3-21.
  3. "The Education of the Reader in Fielding's Joseph Andrews," Philological Quarterly 61 (1982): 243-58.
  4. "Defoe's 'Malade Imaginaire': The Historical Foundation of Mental Illness in Roxana," Huntington Library Quarterly 45 (1982): 99-118.
  5. "The Epistemological Challenge of Nashe's The Unfortunate Traveller," Studies in English Literature 23 (1983): 21-36.
  6. "'Tis a speaking Sight': Imagery as Narrative Technique in Defoe's A Journal of the Plague Year," Dalhousie Review 62 (Winter, 1982-83): 680-92.
  7. "The Plague Narratives of Defoe and Camus: Illness as Metaphor," Modern Language Quarterly 48, no. 3 (Sept., 1987): 224-41.
  8. "Richardson's 'Nerves': The Physiology of Sensibility in Clarissa," Journal of the History of Ideas 49, no. 2 (April-June, 1988): 267-85.
  9. "Fielding's 'Courts': The Legal Paradigm in Tom Jones," English Studies in Canada 14, no. 2 (June, 1988): 152-69.
  10. "The (Non)Sense of an Ending: Subversive Allusion and Thematic Discontent in Roderick Random," Eighteenth-Century Fiction 1 , no. 2 (Jan., 1989): 103-18.
  11. "The Love Song of Young Alexander Pope: Allusion and Sexual Displacement in the Pastorals," English Studies in Canada 17, no. 1 (March, 1991): 21-35.
  12. "'Silenc'd by Authority' in Joseph Andrews: Power, Submission, and Mutuality in 'The History of Two Friends,'" Studies in the Novel 24, no. 1 (1992): 1-12.
  13. "Perilous Crossings and Borders: G. S. Rousseau and the Anthropology of Eighteenth-Century Culture," University of Toronto Quarterly 62, no. 3 (Spring, 1993): 388-400.
  14. "'Epicoene Friendship': Understanding Male Friendship in the Early 18th Century, With Some Speculations About Pope," The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation 38 (1997): 151-70.
  15. "The Symbolic Structure of 18th-Century Male Creativity: Pregnant Men, Brain-Wombs, and Female Muses (With Some Comments on Pope's Dunciad)," Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture 27 (1998): 103-30.
  16. The Yard of Wit: Male Creativity and Sexuality, 1650-1750 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004).