Joel Sodano

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Joel Sodano is currently a Future Faculty Fellow at the University at Albany’s Institute for Teaching, Learning and Academic Leadership. He recently defended his dissertation, “Novel Passions: Re-reading English Fiction Through the History of Emotion, 1698-1751” and will receive his Ph.D. in May 2017. He specializes in 18th-century British literature and culture with an emphasis on the intersection of the rise of the novel and the history of emotion and has experience teaching a wide array early English literature including works by Austen, Pope, Milton, Shakespeare, Chaucer and Anglo-Saxon writers in translation.

“Novel Passions” demonstrates the role that affective experience played in shaping the development of the early English novel and how that development, in turn, interrogated emergent structures of epistemology. While extant research tends to present the novel as a didactic answer to the social problem of ungoverned passions, this work poses the intense emotions of sensibility as valuable in their own right. By reading against the grain of affective normativity, it exposes the theoretical and political salience of aesthetic expressions of intensity in works by Steele, Haywood, Richardson and Cleland.


Ph.D. in English, University at Albany, SUNY. Dissertation defended September 2016.
Dissertation: “Novel Passions: Re-Reading English Fiction Through the History of Emotion, 1689-1751.”
Committee Members: Richard Barney (Chair), Mike Hill, and James Lilley
M.A. with Honors in English, California State University, Sacramento, January 2007.
B.A. in English, University of Vermont, May 2001.


Future Faculty Fellow Institute for Teaching, Learning August 2016 – May 2017 & Academic Leadership (ITLAL)
University at Albany
Lecturer Department of English August 2012 – May 2016
University at Albany


Peer Reviewed Journal Articles
“Uneasy Passions: The Spectator’s Divergent Interpretations of Locke’s Theory of Emotion” Forthcoming in The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation. The article is scheduled to appear in ECTI vol. 58, no. 4 (Winter 2017).
Book Chapters
“Semblances of Affect in the Eighteenth-Century Novel: Sterne, Richardson, Austen,” selected for inclusion in A Feel for the Text: Affect Theory and Literary Critical Practice, edited by Stephen Ahern. Under contract and forthcoming with Palgrave Macmillan Press.
Book Reviews
The Oxford Handbook of British Philosophy in the Eighteenth Century, edited by Richard Sher for Eighteenth-Century Scotland, Vol. 29, Spring 2015.


2015 Graduate Student Travel Grant, Eighteenth-Century Scottish Studies Society
2014 Richard Thorns Dissertation Fellowship, Department of English, University at Albany.


Introduction to Writing in English Studies--Sp 2016
Living Literature: English Literary Classics & Digital Adaptations--F 2015
Reading Literature--Sp 2015
Media, Technology and Culture--F 2013, Sp F 2014, Sp 2016
Literature of the Restoration and the 18th C. Enlightenment--Su 2012, Sp 2013
British Literary Traditions I: Anglo-Saxon to Milton--Sp 2012
Satire--F 2009, 2010, 2011
The Early British Gothic Novel and its Modern Mutations--Sp 2011
Growing Up in America--Sp 2010, F 2012, Sp 2013
Introduction to Analytical Writing--Su 2010


Chaired Panels
2016 “Passion and Eighteenth-Century Aesthetics,” American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Conference, Pittsburgh, PA. Co-chair with Aleksondra Hultquist.
2014 “Anti-fascist Poetics,” for “Affinities: Aesthetics, Ethics, and Politics,” conference hosted by the English Department and the Liberal Studies Program, University at Albany.
2010 “Writing Empire, Writing History,” Northeastern American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Buffalo, NY.
Select Conference Presentations
2016 “Evelina on Facebook: Adaptation as a Tool for Student Engagement” Northeast Modern Language Association, Hartford, CT.
“Henry Mackenzie’s The Man of the World and the Unsentimental Self” Eighteenth-Century Scottish Studies Society, Pittsburgh, PA.
2015 “Fanny Hill’s Sensitive Soul.” Northeast American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Hartford, CT.
“Sensitive Souls: The Passionate Deaths of Henry Mackenzie’s Sentimental Protagonists.” Eighteenth-Century Scottish Studies Society, Rotterdam, Netherlands.
“Sovereignty of the Crowd: Moral Economy and the State of Exception.” American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Los Angeles, CA.
“‘What’s Love Got to Do with It?’: Pamela and the History of the Passions.” Southeast American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Gainesville, FL.
2014 “Revolutions and Counter-Revolutions of Happiness in Scottish Moral Philosophy: Adam Smith's Rejection of Francis Hutcheson's Concept of Universal Benevolence.” Eighteenth-Century Scottish Studies Society, Montreal.
2013 “The Passionate Precursors of Affect: Eighteenth-Century Negotiations of Intensity.” Symposium: The Politics and Poetics of Affect: The Enlightenment and its Aftermath. University at Albany.
“Francis Hutcheson’s Moral Philosophy and the Modern Conception of Happiness” Eighteenth-Century Scottish Studies Society, Paris.
“Samuel Johnson’s Definition of ‘Passion’: What it Reveals about Eighteenth-Century Empiricism” Dictionary Society of North America, Athens, GA.
2012 “‘All these Passions Are Moved by Things’: Lord Kames and Eighteenth-Century Epistemologies of Emotion.” Eighteenth-Century Scottish Studies Society, Columbia, SC.
2010 “Justice, Beneficence, and the Sovereign Exception in Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments: A Schmittian Critique.” Northeast American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Conference, Buffalo, NY.


2015-2017 Affiliate Website Editor, Studies in the Novel, two-year term.
2014-2016 Member-at-Large, Eighteenth-Century Scottish Studies Society, two-year term.


Invited Panelist
2016 Engaging with the ACRL Information Literacy Framework. Faculty Panel: Seminal and Threshold Concepts. University Libraries, University at Albany.
2013 Instructional Leadership Academy: Team-Based Learning. ITLAL, University at Albany.
Conferences / Symposia
2016 Chair, “Intersectionality and the Academic Job Market,” a faculty panel conversation. Future Faculty Leadership Council, University at Albany.
MC, “College Teaching Symposium-Adopting a Growth Mindset.” Future Faculty Leadership Council, University at Albany.
2015 Co-organizer, “Rethinking Sovereignty,” English Department and Liberal Studies Program, University at Albany.
2014 Co-organizer, “Affinities: Aesthetics, Ethics, and Politics,” English Department and Liberal Studies Program, University at Albany.
2012 Member, “WASTE,” English Graduate Student Organization, University at Albany.
Leadership and Committee Work
2016-2017 Director, Future Faculty Leadership Council, University at Albany
2011-2012 Chair, English Graduate Student Organization Outreach Committee
2010-2011 President, English Graduate Student Organization
2009-2011 Representative, Graduate Advisory Committee, English Dept.
2009-2010 Secretary, English Graduate Student Organization


Courses Completed
2014 Online Course Development. Information Technology Services and Summer Sessions, University at Albany.
2012 Becoming a Reflective Teacher (Building a Teaching Portfolio). Institute for Teaching, Learning and Academic Leadership (ITLAL), University at Albany.
Workshops Taught
2016 Teaching Portfolios for Future Faculty, ITLAL, University at Albany.
Writing a Statement of Teaching Philosophy, ITLAL, University at Albany.
Academic Job Market Boot Camp, ITLAL, University at Albany.
2012 Team-Based Learning Academy, ITLAL, University at Albany.
Workshops Attended
2014 Using Groups in Blackboard. ITS, University at Albany.
2012 Teach and Still Get Your Research Done. ITLAL, University at Albany.
2011 Team-Based Learning Academy. ITLAL, University at Albany.
2011 Critical Thinking 2.0. ITLAL, University at Albany.


American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. October 2010-present.
Northeastern American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. October 2010-present.
Eighteenth-Century Scottish Studies Society. April 2012-present.
Modern Language Association. September 2013-present.