Gillian Silverman

Gillian Silverman, associate professor of English and director of women’s and gender studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, has a new book, Bodies and Books, published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in June.

The publishers notes, “While theorists have long emphasized the way reading can promote a sense of abstract belonging, Bodies and Books emphasizes the intense somatic bonds that nineteenth-century subjects experienced while reading. Silverman bridges the gap between the cognitive and material effects of reading, arguing that the two worked in tandem, enabling readers to feel deep communion with objects (both human and nonhuman) in the external world,.”

Marianne Noble of American University observed, “This is a wonderful book, clearly written, well researched, and insightful. Silverman shows that reading was conceived as an embodied activity that created an intimate and potentially erotic communion with someone other than the self (the author, other readers, the dead, etc.).”

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