David A. Brewer
514 Denney Hall
164 Annie & John Glenn Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210
Areas of Expertise
- The History of the Book
- Restoration and 18th-century literature
- Theory (especially "Thing Theory" and various historicisms)
- The History of Magic and Witchcraft
- Fantasy and Science Fiction
- Film (especially American commercial film)
- PhD, University of California — Berkeley, 1999
- BA, Bennington College, 1991
David A. Brewer works on the literary, theatrical, and visual culture of the long eighteenth century, plus the history of the book more generally. He is also interested in how magic works, both historically and in fantasy. He is the author of The Afterlife of Character, 1726-1825 (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005) and a number of stand-alone essays, including the prize-winning “Rethinking Fictionality in the Eighteenth-Century Puppet Theater.” He is the recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities and of the Ronald and Deborah Ratner Distinguished Teaching Award.
In addition to his solo-authored work, he has been involved in two major collaborative projects on the history of the book: Interacting with Print: Elements of Reading in the Era of Print Saturation (University of Chicago Press, 2018) and The Book in Britain: A Historical Introduction (Wiley-Blackwell, 2019).
He has also done two editions for Broadview Press: one of Richard Brinsley Sheridan's The Rivals and George Colman the Elder's Polly Honeycombe (2012) and one of Penelope Aubin’s The Life of Madam de Beaumount and The Life of Charlotta Du Pont (2023).
His current book project, The Fate of Authors, investigates the centrality of authorial reputation to the workings of the eighteenth-century literary world.
- Penelope Aubin, The Life of Madam de Beaumount and The Life of Charlotta Du Pont, ed. David A. Brewer. Peterborough: Broadview Press, 2023.
- "Institutions without Addresses." Institutions of Literature, 1700-1900: The Development of Literary Culture and Production, edited by Jon Mee and Matthew Sangster. Cambridge University Press, 2022.
- The Book in Britain: A Historical Introduction [co-authored with Daniel Allington, Stephen Colclough, Siân Echard, and Zachary Lesser]. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2019.
- Interacting with Print: Elements of Reading in the Era of Print Saturation [a “multigraph” collectively written with twenty-one other scholars]. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2018.
- "Rethinking Fictionality in the Eighteenth-Century Puppet Theatre." The Afterlives of Eighteenth-Century Fiction, edited by Daniel Cook and Nicholas Seager. Cambridge University Press, 2015. This piece won the 2016-17 James L. Clifford Prize from the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies for “an outstanding study on some aspect of eighteenth-century culture, interesting to any eighteenth-century specialist, regardless of discipline."
- "The Tactility of Authorial Names." The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation 54.2 (2013).
- "Counting, Resonance, and Form, A Speculative Manifesto (with Notes)." Eighteenth-Century Fiction 24.2 (2012).
- Richard Brinsley Sheridan, The Rivals, and George Colman the Elder, Polly Honeycombe. Ed. David A. Brewer. Peterborough: Broadview Press, 2012.
- The Afterlife of Character, 1726-1825. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005.