Prof. Tita Chico specializes in Restoration and 18th-century British literature and culture, literature and science, critical theory, and cultural studies.
Her first book, Designing Women: The Dressing Room in Eighteenth-Century English Literature and Culture (2005), considers the prevalence of what seems to be a most ordinary image in eighteenth-century literature, the lady's dressing room, and argues that its development and circulation reflect a variety of key literary and cultural transformations, for it is linked to the eroticism and theatricality of the playhouse tiring-room and to the learning and privilege of the gentleman's closet. As a symbol of both progressive and retrograde versions of feminity, the dressing room trope redefines the gendered constitution of private spaces and offers a corrective to the literary history of satire and the novel.
With Toni Bowers (University of Pennsylvania), Prof. Chico published Atlantic Worlds in the Long Eighteenth Century: Seduction and Sentiment (2012), which models new ways to understand the unexpected roles that seduction stories and sentimental narratives played for readers struggling to negotiate previously unimagined differences between and among people, institutions, and ideas.
Prof. Chico is finishing a book, The Experimental Imagination: Literary Knowledge and Science in the British Enlightenment, that studies literary celebrations of and alternatives to the epistemology of experimental philosophy. She argues that late seventeenth- and eighteenth-century literature allowed writers and their readers to imagine new possibilities for individuals and the worlds they inhabit by specifically addressing the structures of authority and objectivity that practitioners and advocates of early science were beginning to formulate. Since 2005, Prof. Chico has published numerous pieces concerning literature and science in journals and books such as Configurations, A Companion to British Literature, Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture, Philological Quarterly, Comparative Drama, and Mosaic.
Prof. Chico's new book, The Technologies of Wonder, considers wonder as a heuristic in the disciplinary emergence of literature and science in the long eighteenth century.
For over fifteen years, Prof. Chico has been Editor of The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation, a quarterly published by the University of Pennsylvania Press.
At the University of Maryland, Prof. Chico has served in several administrative positions, including Associate Dean for Fellowships and Awards in the Graduate School, Faculty Coordinator of the College of Arts and Humanities's Critical Theory Certificate Program, Associate Director of Graduate Studies, and Director of Placement in the English Department.
Ph.D, New York
A. B., Vassar
Designing Women: The Dressing Room in Eighteenth-Century English Literature and Culture (2005)
Atlantic Worlds of the Long Eighteenth Century: Seduction and Sentiment, co-edited with Toni Bowers (2012)
Editor, The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation
Configurations, Philological Quarterly, Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture, Comparative Drama, Mosaic: A Journal for the Interdisciplinary Study of Literature, Eighteenth-Century Studies, Eighteenth-Century Fiction, The Johnsonian News Letter, Cultural Critique, Eighteenth-Century Life, Persuasions: The Jane Austen Journal, Narrative Beginnings: Theories and Practices, Dirty Words: A Literary Anthology of Sex, Monstrous Dreams of Reason: Cultural Politics, Enlightenment Ideologies
Senior Research Fellow, Queen Mary's University (UK)
Visiting Fellowship, Chawton House Library (UK)
College of Arts and Humanities ADVANCING Scholarship Initiative Funding
Visiting Research Fellowship, Institute of English Studies, School for Advanced Study at the University of London (UK)
Research and Scholarship Award
The Kandice Chuh Mentorship Award-Graduate English Organization
General Research Board Semester Award
ASECS/The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship, Harry Ransom Center
General Research Board Summer Award
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation/National Humanities Center Summer Literary Institute
Mellon Postdoctoral Research Fellowship
Ford Foundation Scholar