Mark Vareschi

Position title: Associate Professor


6105 Helen C. White

Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Literature and Culture, Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Drama, Digital Humanities, History of Authorship, History of the Book, Intellectual Property, Philosophy and Literature, Literary Theory, Gender and Sexuality
Mark Vareschi

Degrees and Institutions

  • PhD, English, Rutgers University, 2011
  • MA, English, Rutgers University, 2007
  • BA, English, Ithaca College, 2003

Selected Publications

Everywhere and Nowhere: Anonymity and Mediation in Eighteenth-Century England. University of Minnesota Press, 2018.

“Surveillance Studies and Literature of the Long Eighteenth Century.” Literature Compass, 14.12 (2017): 1-7.

“Intention and the Eighteenth-Century Text,” with Jess Keiser. Introduction and collected essays. Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture 47 (2017).

“Objects, Numbers, Meaning: The Eighteenth-Century Playbill at Scale” with Mattie Burkert Theatre Journal, 68.4 (2016): 597-613.

“Anonymity, Intention, Motive, and Evelina” English Literary History, 82.4 (2015): 1135-1158.

“Reading (And Not Reading) Anonymity: Daniel Defoe, An Essay on the Regulation of the Press and A Vindication of the Press.” Authorship, 4.1 (2015).

“Attribution and Repetition: The Case of Daniel Defoe and the Circulating Library.” Eighteenth-Century Life 36.2 (2012): 36-59.

Current Projects

My current book project considers anonymity and anonymous publication in the British eighteenth century. Far from being an anomaly, my project shows the typicality of anonymous publication in the period and argues that attention to the anonymous status of texts was largely contingent upon the mediated nature of the text. My work seeks to intervene in the story we tell about the emergence of literature as a discrete category and to chart a method for historical literary criticism in the absence of pre-determined categories like author and work.


At UW-Madison I teach undergraduate courses on Restoration and eighteenth-century literature and culture including the recent “Mediating Eighteenth-Century Literature” and “Daniel Defoe.” I also teach courses on the eighteenth-century novel, eighteenth-century drama, gender and sexuality in Restoration and eighteenth-century literature, animals in eighteenth-century Britain, and literary theory. My graduate courses in eighteenth-century literature consider the material conditions of textual production.

Recent Books

  • Vareschi, Mark.“Everywhere and Nowhere.” 2018: n. pag. Print.

    A fascinating analysis of anonymous publication centuries before the digital age

    Everywhere and Nowhere considers the ubiquity of anonymity and mediation in the publication and circulation of eighteenth-century British literature—before the Romantic creation of the “author”—and what this means for literary criticism. Drawing on quantitative analysis and robust archival work, it reveals the long history of print anonymity so central to the risks and benefits of the digital culture.

    Literary critics, asked to summarize their research, are often asked, ‘Who are your authors?’ Everywhere and Nowhere cleverly baffles this question and turns our attention to anonymity. Bracketing out the author, Mark Vareschi brings into sight other features of publication: namely, networks of writing and reception and a complex of print and performance. He works impressively with bibliographic records, booksellers’ catalogs, advertisements, and paratextual material, like tables of contents. His careful bibliometric work establishes changing percentages of anonymous publication across decades and genres. This is fresh, compelling, detail-rich scholarship and essential reading.

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