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Elizabeth Maddock Dillon

Headshot of Elizabeth Maddock Dillon

Distinguished Professor of English

Elizabeth Maddock Dillon teaches courses in the fields of early American literature, Atlantic theatre and performance, and transatlantic print culture. She is the author of New World Drama: The Performative Commons in the Atlantic World, 1649-1849 (Duke University Press, 2014), which won the Barnard Hewitt Award for Outstanding Research in Theatre History from the American Society for Theatre Research, and The Gender of Freedom: Fictions of Liberalism and the Literary Public Sphere (Stanford University Press, 2004), which won the Heyman Prize for Outstanding Publication in the Humanities at Yale University. She is co-editor with Michael Drexler of The Haitian Revolution and the Early U.S.: Histories, Geographies, Textualities (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016). She has published widely in journals on topics from aesthetics, to the novel and performance in the early Atlantic world, to Barbary pirates and zombies. She is the Co-director of the Futures of American Studies Institute at Dartmouth College and the former the chair of the American Literature Section of the Modern Language Association. She currently serves on the editorial boards of CA: Journal of Cultural Analytics and the Women Writers Project and has served on the editorial boards of Early American Literature and American Literature and the advisory board of PMLA. She is the founder of the award-winning crowd-sourced digital archive Our Marathon: The Boston Bombing Digital Archive, and the co-founder and co-director of the Early Caribbean Digital Archive.

View CV
  • The Barnard Hewitt Award for Outstanding Research in Theatre History, American Society for Theatre Research, 2014 for New World Drama: The Performative Commons in the Atlantic World, 1649-1849
  • Finalist mention, 2015 John Hope Franklin Prize, American Studies Association for New World Drama: The Performative Commons in the Atlantic World, 1649-1849
  • Stanton Avery Distinguished Fellow at the Huntington Library, San Marino, CA (award offered, expected date of residence, 2018-2019)
  • University Excellence in Research and Creativity Award, Northeastern University, 2015
  • Charles Warren Center Fellow, Harvard University, Spring 2015
  • Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Advanced Research Collaborative, the Graduate Center, City University of New York, Fall 2014
  • American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Digital Innovation Fellowship, 2014-2015
  • Co-PI, Mellon Foundation Grant for Proteus Project, Exploring Big Data in the Humanities, 2014-2015
  • “Best Digital Humanities Project for Public Audiences” for Our Marathon: The Boston Bombing Digital Archive, with Ryan Cordell, David DeCamp, Kristi Girdharry, James McGrath, and Alicia Peaker, Digital Humanities Awards 2013, awarded February 2014
  • Digital Humanities Award from the Digital Library of the Caribbean for the Early Caribbean Digital Archive project, June 2013 with Nicole N. Aljoe
  • Co-Project Director, “Uncovering Reprinting Networks in Nineteenth-Century American Newspapers,” National Endowment for the Humanities, Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant, 2013-2014
  • Jay Fliegelman Excellence in Mentorship Award 2010-2011, awarded by the Graduate Caucus of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ASECS)
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship at the American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, MA, 2010-2011
  • Center for New World Comparative Studies Fellowship, John Carter Brown Library, Brown University, 2009
  • Society of Early Americanists Annual Essay Award, 2005 for “Republican Theatricality and Transatlantic Empire”
  • Samuel and Ronnie Heyman Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Publication in the Humanities, Yale University, 2003 for The Gender of Freedom: Fictions of Liberalism and the Literary Public Sphere


Related Schools & Departments

  • Education

    PhD in Comparative Literature, 1995, University of California, Berkeley

  • Contact

  • Address

    413 Nightingale Hall
    360 Huntington Avenue
    Boston, MA 02115

  • Office Hours

    Fri. 12-1 p.m. and by appointment


Course catalog
  • Boston in Literature

    ENGL/AFAM 2690

    Each semester, the course focuses on a different aspect of Boston in literature, such as representations of Boston’s different communities, different historical eras, particular genres or concepts associated with the city, and so forth. Offers students an opportunity to build upon their readings about the city by experiencing independent site visits, class field trips, guest speakers, and other activities.

  • Offers a seminar designed to introduce students to the rich archival holdings in the greater Boston area and to offer training in the materials and methods of primary source research. Primary materials include a wide range of resources, including books, manuscripts, letters, pamphlets, broadsides, journals, maps, illustrations, photographs, etc., from the seventeenth through the twentieth centuries.