Vanessa Ryan has research interests in nineteenth-century British literature and culture, cognitive science and the arts, and theories of knowledge in and outside of the humanities. She is currently serving as Associate Dean of the Graduate School.

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Vanessa Ryan is Associate Dean of the Graduate School and Assistant Professor of English, specializing in 19th-century British literature and culture. Her work centers on debates over the status of literature and humanistic inquiry in relation to other forms of knowledge. Ryan's book Thinking without Thinking in the Victorian Novel (Johns Hopkins, 2012) examines the pivotal role played by fiction in mid-nineteenth-century debates about the new sciences of the mind. She has published articles on George Eliot, Thomas Carlyle, Arthur Hugh Clough, G. Bernard Shaw, and Edmund Burke in RES: Review of English Studies, Victorian Poetry, SHAW, The Journal of the History of Ideas, Literature and Medicine, and Critical Inquiry. Before coming to Brown in 2007, Ryan was a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows. For Spring 2009, she was Research Forum Mellon Foundation Visiting Professor at The Courtauld Institute of Art, London. For the last three years, she has been a Fellow at the National Forum for the Future of Liberal Education, an initiative sponsored by the Teagle Foundation, where she was engaged in considering the significance and future of the liberal arts in higher education today. Most recently, she has been awarded a Henry Merritt Wriston Fellowship for 2013-2014. She also coordinated TEDxBrownUniversity: Life, Learning, and Liberal Education in October 2012. She began as Associate Dean of the Graduate school in 2014.

Curricum Vitae

Download Vanessa Ryan's Curriculum Vitae in PDF Format

VANESSA RYAN, Ph.D. Yale University, 2004; A.B. Harvard College, 1997
Assistant Professor of English; Associate Dean, Graduate School
Phone: +1 401 863 5874
Phone 2: +1 401 863 3434

Vanessa Ryan's Brown Research URL:

On The Web:
Brown English Department
Brown Science and Technology Studies
Alumna Profile, St. Mark's Magazine
TEDxBrownU 2012
TEDxBrownU 2012 in Brown Daily Herald
Ryan Named Associate Dean

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