Juliette Wells

ProfessorEnglish Literature

Juliette Wells is Elizabeth Conolly Todd Distinguished Professor of English in the Center for the Humanities at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland. She is the author most recently of "Reading Austen in America" (2017), a vivid account of how an appreciative audience for Austen’s novels originated and developed in America, and how American readers contributed to the rise of Austen’s international fame. Her earlier book "Everybody's Jane: Austen in the Popular Imagination" (2011) explored the importance of Austen to readers and fans today. Both these books highlight Goucher’s exceptional Jane Austen collection and its creator, alumna Alberta H. Burke. For Penguin Classics, Dr. Wells created reader-friendly 200th-anniversary editions of Austen’s novels "Persuasion" (2017) and "Emma" (2015). Beyond Austen, her writings include a coedited book, "The Brontës in the World of the Arts" (2008) and numerous articles on topics ranging from George Eliot to chick lit. An acclaimed speaker to popular and scholarly audiences, she serves on the editorial board of "Persuasions," the journal of the Jane Austen Society of North America. 

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Research, Scholarship, Creative Work in Progress

Several articles and book chapters on Austen’s authorship and legacy, and on literary collecting.


  • Reading Austen in America (Bloomsbury Academic, 2017)
  • (editor) Jane Austen, Persuasion (Penguin Classics, 2017)
  • “The 1816 Philadelphia Emma: A Forgotten Edition and Its Readers,” Persuasions 38 (2016)
  • (editor) Jane Austen, Emma (Penguin Classics, 2015)
  • “New Approaches to Austen and the Popular Reader,” in Uses of Austen: Jane’s Afterlives, ed. Gillian Dow and Clare Hansen (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012)

External Awards, Honors, Grants

  • Isabel Dalhousie Fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh: 2016
  • Hagley Library Exploratory Fellowship: 2015
  • Jane Austen Society of North America Traveling Lecturer, Eastern Region: 2010–2011
  • International Visitor Program fellowship, Jane Austen Society of North America: 2009

Conference Papers & Panel Participation

  • “Austen in America, 1816-1871,” “Reputations, Legacies, Futures: Austen, Staël & contemporaries, 1817–2017” conference, Chawton House Library, UK: July 2017
  • “Restoring an Avid Reader to Canadian Book History and Austen Reception: Christian, Countess of Dalhousie," Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing, University of Victoria, BC: June 2017
  • “‘A Likeness Pleases Every Body’: Portraiture, Ekphrasis, and the Accomplished Woman in Emma,” Jane Austen and the Arts conference, SUNY Plattsburgh: March 2017
  • Panelist, “Austen in Public” roundtable, American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Pittsburgh, PA: April 2016
  • “Jane Austen’s Emma in America: Histories of Books, Collectors, and Readers,” Women’s History in the Digital World 2015, Bryn Mawr College, PA: May 2015

Invited Talks

  • Plenary speaker, “The 1816 Philadelphia Emma: A Forgotten Edition and Its Readers,” Jane Austen Society of North America Annual General Meeting, Washington, DC: October 2016
  • “The 1816 Philadelphia Emma and Its Readers,” The Isabel Dalhousie Lecture, National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh: June 2016
  • “Dressing Emma: Editions and Illustrations,” invited lecture for symposium on “Emma at 200: Fiction, Fashion, Feminism,” The New School, NY: October 2015
  • “Jane Austen’s Emma at 200,” The Wendy Shadwell ’63 Program Endowed Lecture in British Literature, University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, VA: October 2015
  • Plenary speaker, “Reading Pride and Prejudice from Afar: Alberta H. Burke and the American Reception of Austen” and “The Afterlives of Mary Bennet,” Jane Austen Society of Australia conference on Pride and Prejudice, Canberra: July 2013

Academic or Professional Associations

  • Modern Language Association
  • American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies
  • Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing
  • Jane Austen Society of North America

Other Professional or Scholarly Activity

  • Member, Jane Austen Society of North America Board, 2013–present
  • Member, editorial board, Persuasions: The Jane Austen Journal: 2011–present