Jessica Richard

Dr. Jessica Richard

Associate Professor of English




PhD Princeton University (2002)

BA Goucher College (1996)

Areas of Interest

I specialize in eighteenth-century British fiction.  I have published on gambling in eighteenth-century British culture, Jane Austen, Samuel Johnson, and polar exploration.  My current book project is on forms of knowledge in Jane Austen’s works.  I am a co-editor of the Maria Edgeworth Letters Project.  I am the founder and co-editor of The 18th-Century Common, a public humanities web project sponsored by the WFU Humanities Institute.


NEH Humanities Collections and Reference Resources Foundations Grant, $60,000, Principal Investigator, 2022.  Maria Edgeworth Letters Project.

WFU Humanities Institute Digital Humanities Summer Stipend, 2021.

Faculty Development Grant for Maria Edgeworth Letters Project, Fall 2019, Summer 2019.

College Collaborations Grant, WFU Humanities Institute, for ASECS presentation with Emma Skeels ’16, Spring 2015.

Reid-Doyle Prize for Excellence in Teaching, WFU, 2011.

Selected Publications

The Romance of Gambling in the Eighteenth-Century British Novel.  Palgrave. 2011.

Editor, The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia by Samuel Johnson. Broadview Editions, 2008.

“Education” in The Oxford Handbook of Samuel Johnson.  Edited by Jack Lynch.  Oxford University Press.

“Cultivating Virtue by Reading Jane Austen” in Cultivating Virtue in the University: Perspectives from History, Literature, Philosophy, Theology, and the Social Sciences.  Edited by Michael Lamb and Jonathan Brant. Oxford University Press, 2022.  213-225.

“’Putting to Hazard a Certainty’: Lotteries and the Romance of Gambling in Eighteenth-Century England.”  Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture.  40 (2011): 179-201.

“‘Games of Chance’: Belinda, Education, and Empire.” An Uncomfortable Authority: Maria Edgeworth and Her Contexts. Ed. H. Kaufman and C. Fauske. University of Delaware Press, 2004. 192-211.

“‘I am equally weary of confinement’: Women Writers and Rasselas from Dinarbas to Jane Eyre.” Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature. 22.2(2003):335-356.

“‘A Paradise of My Own Creation’: Frankenstein and the Improbable Romance of the North Pole.” Nineteenth-Century Contexts. 25.4(2003):295-314.

Frances Burney’s “Love and Fashion”: Introduction and Electronic Text. British Women Playwrights Around 1800. April 15, 2000.

Courses Taught at Wake Forest

FYS 100 Pursuits of Happiness

WRI 111: Gambling/Writing

WRI 111: Writing About Jane Austen on Film

ENG 160: Introduction to British Literature 

ENG 165: Studies in Major British Authors 

ENG 190: Introduction to the Novel

ENG 300: Jane Austen’s Eighteenth-Century Contexts

ENG 300: The Age of Johnson

ENG 301/601: Jane Austen: Critical Contexts

ENG 335/635: Eighteenth-Century British Fiction

ENG 337/637: Studies in Eighteenth-Century British Literature: Slavery, Abolition, and Emancipation in Eighteenth-Century British Literature 

ENG 700: Teaching Internship

ENG 733: Eighteenth-Century British Fiction: The Oriental Tale

ENG 733: Eighteenth-Century British Fiction: The Body, The Letter, The Novel

ENG 737: Education in Eighteenth-Century British Literature


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