Joan Peters


My primary interest, in teaching and research, involves exploring the dynamics of narrative discourse in literature. My recent book, Feminist Metafiction and the Evolution of the British Novel (2002) examines how novels narrated by women—by Defoe, Richardson, Charlotte Brontë, Dickens, Woolf, and D. H. Lawrence—are used to perform rhetorical underarguments, entirely on the level of text, advocating new conventions of narrative for the novel. My thesis is that these gendered arguments are crucial to the historical evolution of the novel as genre. As in most of my work, I rely on Bakhtin and Kristeva as a way of exploring discourse in the narratives distinct from issues of character and story. I have taught graduate courses on metafiction, feminist narratology, and British fiction. My current research project examines cultural and ethical values as rhetorical constructs in selective "types" of American novels.

Areas of Interest

modern British and American literature, narratology, the British novel


Presidential Citation for Meritorious Teaching, 1991 College of Languages, Linguistics and Literature Excellence in Teaching Award, 2004


BA, University of Massachusetts, Boston MA, PhD, Rutgers