PhD Cornell University
MA Cornell University
BA Princeton University
Mark Blackwell began serving as the interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences July 1, 2022. He earned an AB in English from Princeton University, summa cum laude, and won the Class of 1859 Prize for outstanding work on the senior thesis and the departmental exam. He received his PhD from Cornell University, where he was awarded the Guilford Essay Prize for the dissertation exhibiting the highest standard of excellence in English prose. Following four years at California State University, Chico, Blackwell came to the University of Hartford in 2001, where he has been Chair of the English Department, Chair of the Department of Rhetoric and Professional Writing, Interim Chair of the Cinema Department, Director of the University Honors Program, Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and Director of the University Preceptor Program.
Blackwell teaches seventeenth-, eighteenth-, and early nineteenth-century British literature and culture, including courses on Milton, satire, Austen, and talking things. He has also led a first-year seminar entitled Castaways and Survivors, offered honors seminars entitled Gothic Thrills, Humans & Animals, and Representing Death, and directed independent studies on the graphic novel and on contemporary fiction.
Blackwell’s articles have appeared in such journals as Restoration, The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation, Eighteenth-Century Fiction, Studies in Romanticism, Philological Quarterly, and Modern Philology. His essay on live-tooth transplantation, published in Eighteenth-Century Life, won the 2004-05 James L. Clifford Prize, awarded annually by the American Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies for an outstanding study of some aspect of eighteenth-century culture. Blackwell has edited a collection of scholarly essays entitled The Secret Life of Things: Animals, Objects, and It-Narratives in Eighteenth-Century England (Bucknell University Press, 2007), and served as general editor of a four-volume edition of object and animal tales entitled British It-Narratives, 1750-1830 (Pickering & Chatto, 2012). Most recently, he contributed a chapter on the relationship between eighteenth-century it-narratives and the tradition of metafictional writing, entitled “Extraordinary Narrators: Metafiction and It-Narratives,” to The Cambridge History of the English Novel (2012) and has another chapter on “Experimental Fictions” forthcoming in the Blackwell Companion to the English Novel.