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Barri J. Gold

Chair of the Department of English
Associate Professor of English

Tel. 484-664-3313
Fax 484-664-3633
Office: Center for the Arts 270       
Email: gold@muhlenberg.edu


  • 1995: PhD, English Language and Literature, University of Chicago
  • 1990: MA, English Language and Literature, University of Chicago
  • 1988: BS, Physics, M.I.T.

Select Awards, Publications and Presentations:

Robert C. Williams Prize for Junior Faculty, 2002.

ThermoPoetics: Energy in Victorian Literature and Science, M.I.T. Press, 2010.

“The Consolation of Physics: Tennyson’s Thermodynamic Solution.” PMLA (May 2002).

“Reproducing Empire: Moreau and Others.” Nineteenth-Century Studies 14 (2000).

“The Domination of Dorian Gray.” Victorian Newsletter (1997).

“Embracing the Corpse: Discursive Recycling in Rider Haggard’s She.”
English Literature in Transition (1995).


Dr. Gold’s primary field is Victorian British Literature and Science, but she is also a scholar in Gender Studies and Ecocriticism. With the publication of her book ThermoPoetics, she has been acknowledged internationally as leading scholar on nineteenth-century literature and physics. This work enables her to bring to Muhlenberg classes that are taught nowhere else, such as The Death of the Sun, which explores the literary development of energy concepts. As a long time reader of the sensation fiction and speculative fiction, she also teaches such courses as Gender, Sensation and the Novel and Science Fiction and Fantasy. Her interest in gender studies and women's fiction has recently has inspired her to teach a first-year seminar on transformations of the novel Jane Eyre as well as Reading Austen, which explores Jane Austen's novels in her time and in ours. Her current work in Victorian ecocriticism has been inspired by teaching such courses as Literature and the Environment and a recent Senior Seminar entitled Our Planets, Ourselves.