Manushag (Nush) Powell
Promoted to Associate Professor
Manushag (Nush) Powell earned her Ph.D. (2006) and MA (2003) in English from the University of California, Los Angeles, and her BA in English from Yale University (1999). She joined the Purdue University English department in the fall of 2007. A specialist in British literature and culture of the long eighteenth century, her research and teaching interests include the rise of the professional author in England, periodical and essay writing, British and transatlantic women writers, genre studies, the oriental tale in England, and literary pirates.
Prof. Powell’s book, Performing Authorship in Eighteenth-Century English Periodicals, was published in 2012 by Bucknell University Press. Performing Authorship argues that at the height of their popularity, essay periodicals allowed professional writers to fashion and make saleable a new kind of narrative and performative literary personality, the eidolon, and arguably birthed a new cult of authorial personality. More radically, Powell posits that the coupling of persona and genre imposes a lifespan on the periodical text; the periodicals don’t only rise and fall, but are born, and in good time, they die. Prof. Powell’s essays appear in numerous scholarly venues, including Eighteenth-Century Studies, Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature, Studies in English Literature 1500-1900, and Literature Compass. With Rivka Swenson, she has co-edited a special issue of the journal Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation, entitled “Sensational Subjects,” on literary explorations of embodied subjectivity and the senses. British Pirates in Print and Performance, a book project she is co-writing with Frederick Burwick, traces the movement of pirates through history, fiction, and on stage in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century English literary traditions (forthcoming, Palgrave).
Prof. Powell has been recognized for teaching excellence through departmental awards at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and most recently as a recipient of the College of Liberal Arts Departmental Award for Educational Excellence. While at Purdue she has taught seminars on novels, eighteenth-century culture, transatlantic writing, British drama, pirates, and Gothic writing.