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David A. Brewer

David A. Brewer

David A. Brewer

Associate Professor


514 Denney Hall
164 Annie & John Glenn Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210

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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.

In 2014, Lynn Festa and he taught the summer seminar in the history of the book at the American Antiquarian Society.

He was editor of Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture from 2020 to 2024.

Selected Publications

Curriculum Vitae


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