Robert Paul Fletcher

 Associate Professor and Graduate Coordinator

Department of English
 West Chester University
 West Chester, PA 19383
   (610) 436-2745



1992:  Ph.D., English, Univ. of California, Los Angeles
            Dissertation: "Thackeray and Pragmatism," Director: Alexander Welsh
1989:  M.A., English, Univ. of California, Los Angeles
1983:  B.A., English, Univ. of California, Los Angeles


Book Chapter
"`I leave a page half writ´: Narrative Discoherence in Michael Field's Underneath the Bough."  Gender and Genre: Essays on Women's Poetry, Late Romantics to Late Victorians, 1830-1900Eds. Isobel Armstrong and Virginia Blain.  London: Macmillan, 1999.  164-182.

Articles in Refereed Journals
"'Heir of All the Universe': Evolutionary Epistemology in Mathilde Blind's Birds of Passage: Songs of the Occident and Orient."  Victorian Poetry 43.4 (Winter 2005): 435-54.

"Convent Thoughts:  Augusta Webster and the Body Politics of the Victorian Cloister."  Victorian Literature and Culture 31.1 (March 2003): 295-313.

"`Visual Thinking´ and the Picture Story in The History of Henry Esmond." PMLA 113, 3 (May 1998): 379-94.

"`Proving a thing even while you contradict it´: Fictions, Beliefs, and Legitimation in The Memoirs of Barry Lyndon, Esq.."   Studies in the Novel 27, 4 (Winter 1995): 493-514.

"`The Foolishest of Existing Mortals´: Thackeray, `Gurlyle and the Character(s) of Fiction."  CLIO: A Journal of Literature, History, Philosophy of History 24 (Winter 1995): 113-125.

"`Mere Outer Works´ and `Fleeting Effects´:  Thackeray's Novelistic Art and the Art of the Novel."  JEGP 91 (January 1992): 43-64.

"The Dandy and the Fogy:  Thackeray and the Aesthetics/Ethics of the Literary Pragmatist."  ELH 58 (Summer 1991): 383-404.

Encyclopedia Articles
Entry on "Violet Fane" (Mary Montgomerie Lamb, Lady Currie).
  An Encyclopedia of British Women Writers.  Eds. Paul and June Schleuter  2nd ed.  Rutgers UP, 1999. 186-87.

Updated entry on Emily Brontë.  An Encyclopedia of British Women Writers. Eds. Paul and June Schleuter. 2nd ed. Rutgers UP, 1999. 89.

Book Review

Review of Ruth Bernard Yeazell's Harems of the Mind: Passages of Western Art and Literature (Yale UP, 2000).  Victorians Institute Journal 30 (2002): 228-233.

Internet Essay
"William Makepeace Thackeray: A Brief Biography."  The Victorian Web (April 1996). Administered by George Landow (Brown University). URL:   http 

Panels and Presentations

“Puppets, Automatons and Avatars: Automating the Reader-Player in Electronic Literature and Computer Game.”  To be presented at “Playing the Past: Nostalgia in Video Games and Electronic Literature.” The 1st Annual University of Florida Game Studies Conference.  Gainesville, FL.  March 19, 2005.


“The Post-Cyberpunk ‘Heterotopia’ of Cory Doctorow’s Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom.”  Presented at “Haunted by the Future,” the Central New York Conference on Language and Literature.  SUNY Cortland.  October 29, 2004. 


"'Recreant Longings': Monastic Sequestration and Sexual Dissidence in Augusta Webster's Dramatic Lyrics. "  Presented at the  2004 18th- and 19th-Century British Women Writers Conference.  University of Georgia, Athens.  March 27, 2004.


“Community, Dissent, and the Teaching of English in a Time of War.”  Organized and chaired panel for English Association of the Pennsylvania State Universities Conference.  West Chester University, October 24, 2003.


“Gender, Mysticism, and the Disruption of Mind-Body Dualism in Augusta Webster’s ‘Sister Annunciata.’”  Presented at the 2003 18th- and 19th-Century British Women Writers Conference.  Texas Christian UniversityMarch 20-23, 2003.


"'Heir of All the Universe': Evolutionary Epistemology in the Colonialist Poetry of Mathilde Blind."  Presented at the 2002 18th- and 19th-Century British Women Writers Conference.  University of Wisconsin-Madison.  April 18-21, 2002.

"'Soul-Drift': Mathilde Blind and the Passage to Egypt."  Presented at The 2001 Victorians Institute.  University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. October 19-20, 2001.

"'A Commonwealth in Flight': Solidarity and Otherness in Mathilde Blind's Birds of Passage: Songs of the Occident and Orient."  Presented at "The Victorian World: Britain, the Empire, and the United States in the Nineteenth Century." Sixth Annual Conference of the Victorian Interdisciplinary Studies Association of the Western United States.  UCLA.  October 25, 2001.

"WebTech Meets the BritLit Survey."  Co-presented (with LuAnn McCracken Fletcher) at the 2000 English Association of the Pennsylvania State Universities Conference.  East Stroudsburg University, October, 2000.

"Reframing an 'unmitigated guidebook': Michael Field, Yeats, Berenson, and the Sexual Politics of the Picture-Poem."  The 1999 Victorians Institute. Virginia Commonwealth University. 15-16 October, 1999.

"Learning By Doing: Using the Web, a MOO, and an Electronic Bulletin Board in ‘Introduction to Literature'."  Creative Computing Across the Curriculum Conference.  Shippensburg University, May 1998.  Electronic Conference Proceedings:

"`To see things from their own centre´: `Ekphrastic Hope´ in Michael Field's Sight and Song.  Presented at the 1997 Northeast Modern Language Association conference, Philadelphia, PA, April 4-5, 1997.

"`I leave a page half-writ´: Narrative Discoherence in Michael Field's Underneath the Bough."  Presented at an international conference on "Rethinking Women's Poetry 1730-1930," Birkbeck College, University of London, sponsored by the Centre for English Studies, School of Advanced Study, and Routledge (July 20-22, 1995) and at the NEMLA conference, Boston, MA (April 1, 1995).

"`The Foolishest of Existing Mortals´: Thackeray, `Gurlyle and the Character(s) of Fiction."  Presented at the NEMLA conference, Philadelphia, March 24, 1993.

"Thackeray's Art Criticism and his Art of the Novel."  Presented at the Dickens Project Winter Conference, UC Riverside, February 24, 1990.

"Visions and Revisions of Victorian Women in Painting and Poetry."  Presented for WCU Honors Program.  February 27, 1996.

Discussions of Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea. "Books Bridge the Gap" Program.  Presented at Upper Merion Township Library, King of Prussia, PA, January 19 and February 2, 1997.

Work in Progress

Article on Augusta Webster's constructions of masculinity in her dramatic monologues.


Article on Cory Doctorow’s science fiction novel Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom.


Conference presentation on the figure of the automaton in selected electronic literature and video games.


Teaching Assignments at West Chester (Fall 1992-Fall 2004)


Eng 120: Effective Writing I (3 sections)

Eng 121: Effective Writing II (3 sections, including one themed around “Researching and Writing Cyberspace”)

Lit 165: Introduction to Literature (30 sections)

Lit 168: Conventions of Reading (7 sections)

Lit 231: English Literature II (4 sections)

Lit 340: The Romantic Movement (1 section)

Lit 341: The Nineteenth-Century British Novel (5 sections)

Lit 342: Victorian Literature (7 sections)

Lit 400: Irony, Ethics, and the British Novel (1 section)
Lit 400: Gender Politics/Victorian Poetics; retitled as Gender and Sexuality in Victorian Poetry (2 sections)
Lit 400: Dickens and Thackeray (1 section)
Lit 400: Victorian Literature on the Internet (1 section)
Lit 400: Murder, Mystery, and Mayhem in Victorian Popular Fiction (1 section)

Lit 400: Reading Cyberliterature, From Print to the WWW (2 sections)

Lit 400: Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning: Beyond the Love Story (1 section)

Lit 400: Victorian Women Writers (1 section)

Eng 500: Introduction to the Profession (5 sections)
Eng 534: Victorian Poetry (3 sections)
Eng 536: Nineteenth-Century British Novel (2 sections)
Eng 615: Special Topics--Victorian Women Writers (1 section)
Eng 620: MA Essay (5 sections)

University Service

Standing Committees

Ad Hoc Committee

Departmental Service

Standing Committees

Ad Hoc Committees

Professional Development

Attendance at the Electronic Literature Symposium: The State of the Arts.  UCLA.  April 4-6, 2002.

Internet and Text-Encoding Workshop Series. Sponsored by the Center for Electronic Texts in the Humanities.  Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ (Oct. 1996, Dec. 1996, Jan. 1997)

Attendance at Mid-Atlantic Association for Computers and Writing Conference, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA (Spring 1996)

Faculty Development Seminar on Curriculum Integration (Spring 1995)

WCU-funded (Faculty Development Grant) attendance at the University of Virginia's Rare Book School.  Enrolled in "Descriptive Bibliography" as preparation for teaching Eng 500: Introduction to the Profession (Summer 1993).

Academic Awards

Spring 2004 PT3 Grant.  Funded scholarly study of digital poetry and training in Macromedia Flash.


Fall 2001-Spring 2002 PT3 (Preparing Tomorrow's Teachers with Technology) Grant.  $1500.  To fund the development of an electronic literature course for the general education curriculum.

Sabbatical 2000-2001 (Competitive).

Spring 2001 CASSDA Grant.  Funded archival research at the British Library, London.

Spring 1999.  USETECH Grant.  Supported incorporation of technology into the teaching of Lit 231: English Literature II to facilitate collaborative work with a class run at Cedar Crest College.

1995 Grant for Travel to International Meetings Abroad.  American Council of Learned Societies.

1995 WCU CASSDA Grant  for "`I leave a page half writ´."  Funding supported research in the British Library, London, on the journals of poets Katherine Bradley and Edith Cooper ("Michael Field").

Recipient, 1991-1992 Bradford A. Booth/ Majl Ewing Dissertation Fellowship, UCLA

Teaching Assistant, Associate, and Fellow, UCLA 1984-1991

Professional Memberships

Electronic Literature Organization
Modern Language Association
Northeast Modern Language Association
Victorians Institute