Wendy Raphael Roberts

Wendy Raphael Roberts

Associate Professor


Humanities 341

PhD, Northwestern University

Wendy Roberts

Early American and transatlantic literature, especially poetry and evangelical literature; secular studies; eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Native American literature

Professor Roberts joined the faculty in 2013 after receiving her Ph.D. in English from Northwestern University and her Masters in English from the University of Arizona. She researches and teaches within the field of early American literature with a focus on poetry, evangelical culture, Native American writing, and conceptions of the secular. 

Professor Wendy Raphael Roberts’s research and teaching interests include early American literature and culture, early evangelical culture, and the intersections of religion and historical poetics. Her first book, Awakening Verse: The Poetics of Early American Evangelicalism (Oxford UP, 2020), demonstrates how a vibrant and popular revival poetics exercised a substantial effect on the landscape of American religion, literature, and culture. Her current projects focus on the poetic world of Phillis Wheatley and on the evangelical long poem’s relationship to Native American poetics. Her essays can be accessed here.

Recent Awards

Provost’s Research Grant. Smith Reynolds Library at Wake Forest University. 2013-2014

Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship. The Woodrow Wilson National

     Fellowship Foundation. 2009-2010

E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Fellow in Early American Religious Studies. The McNeil

     Center for Early American Studies. University of Pennsylvania, 2010

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship. The Huntington Library. Summer 2010

Kate B. and Hall J. Peterson Fellowship. American Antiquarian Society. April 2009

Lipking-Newberry Fellowship. The Newberry Library. Fall 2008


Recent Publications

Forthcoming: “Phillis Wheatley’s Sarah Moorhead: An Initial Inquiry.” Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America

“Demand My Voice: Hearing God in Eighteenth-Century American Poetry.” Early American Literature. Special Issue: “Methods for the Study of Religion in Early American Literature.” 45.1 (2010). 119-44

“Charles Sheldon’s In His Steps in the Context of Regionalist Fiction.” Rocky Mountain E-Review of Language and Literature. 61.2 (2007) 

 “Gnosis in Aemilia Lanyer's Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum.” The Rocky Mountain Review of Language and Literature. 59.2 (2005). 11-28


Recent Talks & Lectures

“Revival Poetry and Race, 1740-1770.” Poetry and Print in Early America Symposium held at the American Antiquarian Society and sponsored by the Bibliographical Society of America. Worcester, MA. September 2012

“Poetic Conversion and Evangelical Revision in the Life of the Rev. James Ireland.” The McNeil Center for Early American Studies. University of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia, PA. April 2011


Recent Undergraduate Seminars

At UAlbany:

Early American Poetry (Spring 2014)

The Literature of Evangelicalism and Enlightenment (Spring 2014)

First Contact (Fall 2013)

At Northwestern:

Evangelicals and Politics (Spring 2013)

Shakespeare’s Power (Spring 2013)

The Noble, The Savage, The Vanished, and Other Myths (Winter 2013)

Shakespeare in Love (Fall 2012)