Neil Chudgar

Assistant Professor English
Eighteenth-century British literature; theory and criticism; modernities (early and late); objects and object-relations; ontology; ecology.

Old Main, 202
Telephone: 651-696-6641

Neil Chudgar was born near Reading, Pennsylvania.  From there he has moved gradually west-northwestward:  first to Pittsburgh (where he earned a B.A. in philosophy), then to Chicago (where he earned a Ph.D. in English), then at last to the Twin Cities, where he belongs.  In his scholarship and his teaching, Chudgar is most interested in understanding the relationships between modern people and the objects that surround us.  He is finishing a book called Modern Touch, which is about how touching figures in eighteenth-century British literature.  His next book, The Hazard of Loving the Creatures, will concern modernity, ecology, and the aesthetic category we call the cute.  Chudgar has presented papers on affection in Defoe's novels, Wordsworth and the history of kitsch, the textures of Pope's poetry, and the ethics of shaving, among other topics.  His essays have appeared in ELH and The Eighteenth Century, and in a volume of essays about the playwright Naomi Wallace.

Before coming to Macalester in 2009, Chudgar served as a preceptor in the Master of Arts Program in the Humanities at the University of Chicago.  He is the recipient of several honors and teaching fellowships, notably the Karen Dinal Award for Excellence in Teaching Academic Writing.  He was nominated for Macalester's Educator of the Year award in 2011.

Areas of Study

  • Eighteenth-century British literature
  • Theory and criticism
  • Modernities (early and late)
  • Objects and object-relations
  • Ontology
  • Ecology

2013 – 2014 Courses

  • Poetry (135-01), Fall
  • Learning to Read (294-01, crosslisted in Educational Studies), with Prof. Tina Kruse
  • Seminar: Literature and the Sense of Touch (400-01) Fall
  • Eighteenth-Century British Literature (220-01), Spring
  • Studies in Literature and the Natural World (262-01, crosslisted in Environmental Studies), Spring


  • “Slip’s Bluff,” The Innovative Theatre of Naomi Wallace: Embodied Dialogues, ed. Erica Stevens Abbitt and Scott Cummings (Palgrave, in press) 
  • “Always To Be Blest,” The Eighteenth Century 54, no. 3 (Fall 2013)
  • "Swift’s Gentleness,” ELH 78, no. 1 (Spring 2011)

Selected Papers

  • “Cute Enlightenment,” Canadian Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, London, Ontario, October 2013
  • “Yahoo Ecology,” American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ASECS), Vancouver, March 2011
  • “Enlightenment and the Resurrection of the Body,” ASECS, Albuquerque, March 2010
  • “Smooth or Rough: The Ethics of Form in Augustan Poetry,” Modern Language Association (MLA), Philadelphia, December 2009
  • “Swift’s Gentleness,” ASECS, Portland, Ore., March 2008
  • “Wordsworth as Kitsch,” International Conference on Romanticism (ICR), Towson, Md., October 2007


  • Whiting Doctoral Fellowship, Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation (2007 – 2009)
  • Norman Maclean Teaching Fellowship, University of Chicago (2006 – 2007)
  • Karen Dinal Award for Excellence in Teaching Academic Writing, University of Chicago (2004)

BA: University of Pittsburgh

PhD: University of Chicago