Wendy Anne Lee is the newly appointed Sarai Ribicoff Assistant Professor of English. Her appointment is effective immediately through June 30, 2015.
Lee studies and teaches 18th-century British literature, in particular, the history of the novel. Other interests include Enlightenment philosophy, theories of emotions, Asian-American literature, and animal studies.
Lee received her B.A. from Columbia University, her M.Phil. from Cambridge University, and her Ph.D. from Princeton University. She joined the Yale faculty in 2010 as assistant professor of English. Her courses have included “Major English Poets,” “18th-Century British Novel,” “Jane Austen,” and the freshman writing course “On Violence.”
Lee’s book-in-progress, “Failures of Feeling: Insensibility and the Novel,” investigates the philosophical problem of unfeeling in narrative literature, from amatory fiction in the early 18th century to the novels of Jane Austen. In the emergence of what we call psychological fiction, Lee argues, we can see earlier and clearer ways of understanding emotions. The persistence of insensibility in this tradition both signals and puts under pressure the fundamental idea that feelings are the beginnings of human action, she notes.
Lee’s awards include the Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship in Religion and Ethics, the Charlotte Elizabeth Procter Dissertation Fellowship, the McCosh Prize for Distinguished Teaching (at Princeton), and the Euretta Jane Kellett Fellowship.
Lee has presented lectures at several conferences including those at Cambridge, Princeton, and Rutgers universities, and Yonsei University (Seoul, Korea). Her essays appear in the journals English Literary History and Eighteenth-Century Fiction.