Bio


Rebecca (Becky) Richardson is a Lecturer in PWR. She attended Mount Holyoke College and holds a Ph.D. in English from Stanford University. Her research interests include the rhetoric of inspiration and self-help, nineteenth-century literature, the history of economics, environmental studies, and the medical humanities; these interests coalesce in Material Ambitions: Self-Help and Victorian Literature (JHUP, 2021). In her PWR1 course, "In Another's Shoes: The Rhetoric of Empathy," she is especially interested in encouraging students to think about the relationship between writing, expression, empathy, and identity. Her PWR2 course, "Re-Make It Anew: The Rhetoric of Adapting, Rebooting, and Remaking," is inspired by her interest in adaptations of 19th-century literature and critical approaches including "strategic presentism" that trace the work stories do across times and cultures.

Academic Appointments


  • Lecturer, Writing and Rhetoric Studies

Current Research and Scholarly Interests


SPECIALIZATION: The Rhetoric of Inspiration and Self-Help; Nineteenth-Century Literature; Environmental Studies; History of Political Economy; The Medical Humanities; Expressive Writing and Self-Reflection

All Publications


  • Material Ambitions: Self-Help and Victorian Literature Richardson, R. Johns Hopkins University Press. 2021
  • Becky Sharp, Gender, and Likability: Adapting Thackeray’s Vanity Fair after 2016 and #MeToo Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies Richardson, R. 2020; 16 (2)
  • Imagining Environmental and Economic Systems in Harriet Martineau’s Illustrations of Political Economy Nineteenth-Century Prose Richardson, R. 2020; 47 (2)
  • The Environmental Uncanny: Imagining the Anthropocene in Mary Shelley's The Last Man ISLE-INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES IN LITERATURE AND ENVIRONMENT Richardson, R. 2019; 26 (4): 1062-1083
  • "Sent Here For Her Health": Accounting for Sanditon's Economies STUDIES IN ROMANTICISM Richardson, R. 2017; 56 (2): 203-222
  • DRAMATIZING INTIMACY: CONFESSIONS AND FREE INDIRECT DISCOURSE IN SENSE AND SENSIBILITY ELH Richardson, R. 2014; 81 (1): 225-244
  • Bradley Headstone’s Bad Example of Self-Help: Dickens and the Problem with Ambition Dickens Studies Annual Richardson, R. 2013; 44
  • A Competitive World: Ambition and Self-Help in Trollope’s An Autobiography and The Three Clerks Richardson, R. The Fortnightly Review. 2012