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Laura Engel, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts

College Hall 632A
Phone: 412.396.1425


Ph.D., English, Columbia University, 2001
M. Phil., English, Columbia University, 1995
M.A., English, Columbia University, 1992
B.A., English, Bryn Mawr College, 1990

Laura Engel specializes in eighteenth-century British literature, with a focus on drama, gender studies, performance studies, and theater history. She is the author of Fashioning Celebrity: Eighteenth-Century British Actresses and Strategies for Image Making (Ohio State University Press, 2011) and articles on actresses, fashion, and celebrity culture. She is also the Director of the Women's and Gender Studies Program at Duquesne.


Recent Publications

Actresses, Accessories, and Austen: Much Ado About Muffs. (Forthcoming, Palgrave Pivot Series, 2015).

Laura Engel and Elaine McGirr eds. Stage Mothers: Women, Work, and the Theater. (Forthcoming, Bucknell UP, 2014)

"The Secret Life of Archives: Sally Siddons, Sir Thomas Lawrence, and The Material of Memory," ABO: Interactive Journal for Women in the Arts, 1640-1830: Vol. 4: Iss. 1, Article 2.

Fashioning Celebrity: Eighteenth-Century British Actresses and Strategies for Image Making(Columbus, Ohio State University Press, May 2011). 

Editor, The Public's Open to Us All: Essays on Women and Performance in Eighteenth-Century England. (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009).

"Representations of Women in Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Drama" for The Encyclopedia of British Literature 1660-1789 edited by Gary Day and Jack Lynch (Forthcoming from Wiley Blackwell 2014).

"Close Encounters: Frances Burney, Actresses, and Models for Female Celebrity" in The Burney Journal, Volume 12, 2014, 7-27.

"The Muff Affair: Fashioning Celebrity in the Portraits of Late Eighteenth-Century Actresses" in Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body & Culture. Volume 13, Issue 3, September, 2009, 278-298. 

"The Personating of Queens: Lady Macbeth, Sarah Siddons, and the Creation of Female Celebrity in the Late Eighteenth Century" in Macbeth: New Critical Studies, Nicholas Moschovakis ed. (New York: Routledge Press, 2008) 240-249.

"Notorious Celebrity: Mary Wells, Madness and Theatricality" in Eighteenth-Century Women, Volume V, 2008 181-205. Reprint in The English Malady: Enabling and Disabling Fictions, Glen Colburn ed. (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2008) 305-325. 


Women, Work, and Clothes in the Eighteenth-Century Novel by Chloe Wigston Smith (Cambridge UP, 2013) in Women's Writing, Volume 21, Issue 2, May 2014.

Sarah Siddons Audio Files: Romanticism and the Lost Voice, by Judith Pascoe (University of Michigan Press, 2011) Women's Writing, Vol. 20, Number 2, 283-285, May 2013.

Bettymania and the Birth of Celebrity Culture, by Jeffrey Kahan (Lehigh University Press, 2010) (forthcoming in 1650-1850: Ideas, Aesthetics, And Inquiries in the Early Modern Era) 

Rival Queens: Actresses, Performance, and The Eighteenth-Century British Theatre, by Felicity Nussbaum (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010) in Women's Writing Vol. 18, No. 4 November 2011, pp. 568-571


Recent Courses Taught



ENG 561-29: Engendering the Self: Eighteenth-Century Diaries and Letters

ENG 561-29: Sensation Literature

ENG 561-29: Staging Gender in the Eighteenth-Century Theater

ENG 561-29: Gothic Bodies

ENG 568-29: Contemporary American and British Drama



ENG 450W-01: Restoration Women Writers

ENG 418W-01: Eighteenth-Century Women Playwrights

ENG 418W-01: Jane Austen

ENG 450W-02: The Libertine

ENG 300W-01: Critical Issues in Literary Studies

ENG IHP 104: Freshman Honors Seminar

ENG 201-01: Introduction to Drama