About Robert DeMaria, Jr.

Robert DeMaria Jr.

Robert DeMaria, Jr. is the Henry Noble MacCracken Professor of English at Vassar College. His main area of study is eighteenth-century British Literature and, in particular, Samuel Johnson, on whose life and works he has published three books: Samuel Johnson and the Life of Reading (Johns Hopkins UP, 1997),The Life of Samuel Johnson (Blackwell, 1993), and Johnson's Dictionary and the Language of Learning. (Clarendon Press, 1986). DeMaria's editorial projects include Samuel Johnson but are not limited to him: British Literature 1640-1789: An Anthology (Blackwell, 1996; 3d ed., 2008), an accompanying Critical Reader (1999), the Penguin edition of Gulliver's Travels (2001), and, with Gwin Kolb, Johnson on the English Language, a volume in The Yale Edition of the Works of Samuel Johnson. DeMaria is the General Editor and Chair of the Editorial Board of the Yale Johnson. Most recently, with Robert Brown, DeMaria published Classical Literature and its Reception (Blackwell, 2007), an anthology of related classical and British poetry. In 2002 he became the editor of the Johnsonian News Letter and publishes two issues a year. DeMaria has lectured widely in the United States and the United Kingdom as well as several times in Italy and once in Sweden.

In addition to seventeenth and eighteenth-century literature DeMaria has taught the History of English, Old English, freshman English, The Book as Medium, a course in the history of printed books, and a course in the Classics department based on his recent anthology with Robert Brown.

DeMaria was chair of his department from 1987-90 and 2001-07. In 1992-93 he was a Guggenheim Fellow and a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (Stanford). In 1980-81, he was a visiting member of the Senior Commons Room at New College, Oxford. He has had many lesser grants and awards, and he has administered grants to the College from the Sloan Foundation (on the history of writing technologies) and from the Mellon Foundation (on teaching with technologies). He was for six years a reader for the Andrew Mellon Fellowships in Humanistic Studies. He is currently a judge of the Christian Gauss Prize, awarded by Phi Beta Kappa. DeMaria is also currently directing Vassar's self-study in preparation for Middle States re-accreditation in 2009.