About Robert DeMaria, Jr.

Robert DeMaria Jr.

Robert DeMaria, Jr. is the Henry Noble MacCracken Professor of English at Vassar College. His main area of study is eighteenth-century British Literature and, in particular, Samuel Johnson, on whose life and works he has published three books: Samuel Johnson and the Life of Reading (Johns Hopkins UP, 1997),The Life of Samuel Johnson (Blackwell, 1993), and Johnson’s Dictionary and the Language of Learning. (Clarendon Press, 1986). The General Editor and Chair of the Editorial Board of the Yale Johnson since 2007, DeMaria has also co-edited three of the twenty-three volumes in the series: with Gwin Kolb, Johnson on the English Language (2005); with O M Brack, Jr., Biographical Writings: Soldiers, Scholars, and Friends (2016) and Johnson on Demand: Reviews, Prefaces, and Ghost-Writings (in press).  In 2002 he became the editor of the Johnsonian News Letter and publishes two issues a year.

Many, though not all, of DeMaria’s other editorial projects include Samuel Johnson but are not limited to him: British Literature 1640-1789: An Anthology (Blackwell, 1996; 4th ed., 2016), an accompanying Critical Reader (1999), the Penguin edition of Gulliver’s Travels (2001), and with Robert Brown, Classical Literature and its Reception (Blackwell, 2007), an anthology of related classical and British poetry.  With Heesok Chang and Samantha Zacher, he edited the Blackwell Guide to British Literature, 4 vols. (2014). He has also published a great many scholarly articles and been invited to lecture in North America, Western Europe, and New Zealand.

DeMaria has enjoyed fellowships from the NEH, the ACLS, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (Stanford). He has also administered grants to Vassar College from the Sloan Foundation (on the history of writing technologies) and from the Mellon Foundation (on teaching with technologies). He was for six years a reader for the Andrew Mellon Fellowships in Humanistic Studies. He was a judge of the Christian Gauss Prize, awarded by Phi Beta Kappa.

DeMaria was chair of his department from 1987-90 and 2001-07 and has served on search committees for most of the senior positions in the College, including president, dean of the faculty, and head librarian.  He served for several years as recording secretary for the faculty and In 2009 he directed Vassar’s self-study in preparation for its Middle States re-accreditation review.