Welcome to the professional website of Dr. Courtney A. Hoffman.
I am currently a Marion L. Brittain Postdoctoral Fellow in and Assistant Director of the Writing and Communication Program in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
I specialize in British literature of the long eighteenth-century, with a primary research focus on the epistolary. I am especially interested in letters, correspondence networks, and the use of the epistolary across genres, particularly the way that women writers incorporated letters into their texts and corresponded with each other. My secondary research concerns include sensibility and affect theory, temporality, bodily materiality, and modern depictions of eighteenth-century literature and culture. I have written about these issues for several publications, including a recent chapter on performance of violent masculinity on stage in the 2011 National Theatre production of Nick Dear’s Frankenstein.
My current book project, titled Pathetic Temporality: Time and Emotion in the Eighteenth-Century Women’s Epistolary Novel, considers how the rhetoric of emotion affects the ways characters present their understanding of time passing between the writing and reading of letters in epistolary novels after Samuel Richardson publishes Pamela (widely considered the first epistolary novel) in 1740. I have also conducted preliminary research on a project engaging with the poetic verse epistle form, considering how the gender and race of the poet influence their use of the form, building on scholarship discussing the impact of class on the verse epistle. A separate project engages with Anne Grant’s correspondence, which has the potential to identify locations where Enlightenment thought occurred in Scotland outside of the metropoles of Edinburgh and Glasgow. In other my work, I have explored the potential for data visualization as a tool for textual analysis of eighteenth-century texts, and I am working with a Georgia Tech doctoral student in the School of Interactive Computing who is designing AI driven software for allowing non-experts to choose the most helpful types of data visualization for their research questions. I also plan to design a digital archive for a collections of eighteenth-century women’s correspondence, including the letters of Anne Grant and of Lady Louisa Stuart, among others. My research statement is available on my Publications page.
Teaching is an integral part of my academic life. First year composition courses I’ve designed range in topic from biomedical innovation to an in-depth consideration of objects in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series to bodies in the eighteenth century. I also have experience teaching principles of academic writing to STEM-focused graduate students. In all of my classes, I make concerted efforts in my pedagogy to include a diverse range of authors and texts on my syllabi and to promote a classroom environment that is open to all perspectives, allowing students to feel able to participate without judgement or prejudice. For more information about my teaching philosophy and previous courses, please visit my Teaching Portfolio page.
This semester (Fall 2019), I am teaching:
ENGL 1102 – Did We Print Enough Pamphlets for the Revolution?: The Rhetoric of Social Justice from the 18th Century to Today
CETL 8721 – Graduate Academic Writing
Outside of the classroom, I enjoy cooking, baking, crocheting, and spending time with my family.