Melinda Rabb

Professor of English

Research Interests

literature and culture of the long 18th century
war trauma and literature
early modern women's writing


Melinda Rabb is the author of Satire and Secrecy in English Literature 1650-1750 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007) and Literature, Cognition, and Small-Scale Culture 1650-1765: Beyond Lilliput Cambridge University Press, 2018). Her chapters and articles on eighteenth-century novels, satire, drama, and poetry, and on authors including Swift, Manley, Pope, Richardson, Fielding, Sterne, Godwin, and Defoe, have appeared in books such as Cutting Edges: Postmodern Critical Essays on  Eighteenth-Century Satire (University of Tennessee Press, 1995), A Companion to Early Modern Women's Writing (Wiley, 2002), A Companion to Satire: Ancient and Modern (Blackwell, 2006), Reading Swift (Wilhelm Fink, 2008), and The Cambridge Companion to Women's Writing in Britain, 1660–1789 (Cambridge University Press, 2015),and in journals such as Modern Language Studies, Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture, PLL, SEL, ECS, and ELH. She has edited Lucius: The First Christian King of England for The Broadview Anthology of Restoration and Early Eighteenth-Century Drama, ed. Douglas Canfield (Broadview Press, 2000) and a special issue of Modern Language Studies titled “Making and Rethinking the Canon: The Eighteenth Century” (XCIII: 1, 1988). Before joining Brown's faculty, she taught in the Humanities department at MIT. Her most recent publications draw on new research on embodiment, masculinity, and the effects of the mid-seventeenth-century civil wars on eighteenth-century literature.