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Julianne Werlin

Bacca Foundation Associate Professor of Rhetoric, Culture and Society


I am an early modernist with two major areas of interest: sociological and demographic approaches to literary history, and poetry and poetics. I am currently working on a project entitled English Authors, 1500-1700: A Demographic History. This is a prosopographic study of approximately 600 early modern literary authors, situating them within demographic and economic trends including life expectancy, nuptiality, urbanization, and class mobility. It seeks to establish the major patterns in writers' birthplace, class background, lifespan, education, profession, and other characteristics across the period. 

My work also examines connections between economic and literary history. My first book, Writing at the Origin of Capitalism (Oxford) attempted to synthesize the findings of book history and early modern English economic history to show how market centralization shaped the production and circulation of books and manuscripts. I have an ongoing interest in the intersection of book history and the economy, including price history, the market for popular and elite literature (ballads versus folios), and the relationship between class and genre.

In my scholarship and teaching on poetry and poetics, I am currently particularly interested in prosody, rhyme, and metaphor. We badly need new taxonomies of formal and stylistic elements that will allow us to draw more precise discriminations between the use of different devices. I also enjoy considering long literary histories, from the ancient world to the present, and welcome conversations with students at any level who share that interest.

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Bacca Foundation Associate Professor of Rhetoric, Culture and Society · 2023 - Present English, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
Associate Professor of English · 2023 - Present English, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences

Education, Training & Certifications

Princeton University · 2012 Ph.D.