Martha Bohrer

Professor of English, Emerita



+1 630 637 5273

Martha L. Bohrer specializes in the study of British literature in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, teaching courses in Romantic Period poetry, the Eighteenth-century novel, and the novels of Jane Austen.   She also teaches in the Environmental Studies program and has long contributed to interdisciplinary freshman seminars.  Her teaching and scholarship are shaped by her undergraduate study of geology and environmental studies, her early work as a water resources planner and her experience living in the rural Midwest and working in the meat packing industry.  Her scholarship in eco-criticism and science and literature examines the representation of locales in the Romantic period in the context of the burgeoning science of natural history which was enormously popular in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. She has published essays about the naturalist Gilbert White, the poet George Crabbe, and the novelists Maria Edgeworth and John Galt in Modern Philology, The Cambridge Companion to Fiction of the Romantic Period, and John Galt: Observations and Conjectures on Literature, History, and Society.  Her current scholarly project is an edited edition of John Galt's 1821 novella Annals of the Parish. Bohrer is currently Chair of the Department of English Studies.  Past leadership roles include helping found the minor in Environmental Studies and serving as its first Coordinator, Cochair of one of five Strategic Planning subcommittees, and serving as an elected member-at-large on the Faculty Personnel Committee.

Selected Scholarship

·         "Thinking Locally: Novelistic Worlds in Provincial Fiction, in The Cambridge Companion to Fiction of the Romantic Period, ed. Richard Maxwell and Katie Trumpener.   


"Tales of Locale: The Natural History of Selborne & Castle Rackrent" in Modern Philology, Vol. 100, Centenary Issue on the Novel.


"John Galt's Annals of the Parish and the Narrative Strategies of Tales of Locale," in John Galt: Observations & Conjectures on Literature, History, and Society, ed. Regina Hewitt.

Courses Taught

ENG 205: The Eighteenth Century (British & American Literature)

ENG 303: Studies in British Literature (Romantic Poetry and Nature)

ENG 407: Seminar in Selected Authors (The Works of Jane Austen)

ENG 403: Seminar in Fiction (The Eighteenth-Century Novel)

ENG 245: Literature, Science, and Culture

ENV 120: People and Nature

ENG 196: Reading Literature