Arizona State University
School of Letters Science Poly
Mail Code: 0180
Sören Hammerschmidt received his PhD in English from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and also holds a Bachelor and a Master’s degree in English Literature from the University of Edinburgh. His research focuses on eighteenth-century and Romantic British literature, with particular interests in epistolarity, book history and the history of reading, actor-network theory, visual and material culture, and Scottish literature.
Sören is currently completing a book-length project, Correspondence, Print, and Mediation: Ecologies of Character, 1735-1810. In this book he studies the pivotal role that the publication of familiar correspondence (letters between family members and friends) played in the formulation and dissemination of social identities in eighteenth-century and Romantic Britain. He argues that the printing of familiar letters can serve as a model for the formulation and circulation of “character” – a mix of personal qualities, public stature, and moral reputation – in this period more generally. The goal is to open new avenues through which the nexus of writing, reading, and print out of which identities emerged in eighteenth-century and Romantic Britain can be explored.
In addition, Sören is beginning to gather research for two other projects: first, a study of familiar letters, social authorship, and manuscript publication; and second, an investigation of the link between eighteenth-century attributions of character, biographies, and social economies to non-human animals on the one hand and the intensifying differentiation between human and non-human animals on the other hand. His work has previously appeared or is forthcoming in Eighteenth-Century Fiction, Word & Image, Women’s Writing, the Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies, and The Edinburgh History of Scottish Literature.