Elizabeth A. Dolan

Professor of English
(610) 758-3317
201A Drown Hall
Ph.D. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1999

Elizabeth Dolan earned her doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and served as the Senior Fellow in Literature & Medicine at the UNC-CH medical school. At Lehigh, she is Professor of English, and of Health, Medicine, and Society. Specializing in British Romantic-era literature and Health Humanities, Dolan is an interdisciplinary researcher with expertise in the expression of suffering, the history of medicine, children’s literature, and women’s writing in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. She has been described as “the foremost authority on Charlotte Smith’s children’s literature” (Adrianne Wadewitz, in Beyond Sense and Sensibility, 2015), and as a “Romantic women’s scholar-de-force” (review of Placing Charlotte Smith in ABO, 2022).

She is the author of Seeing Suffering in Women’s Literature of the Romantic Era (Ashgate 2008), editor of the children’s literature volume of The Works of Charlotte Smith (Pickering & Chatto 2007), and co-editor of Anna Seward’s Memoirs of Erasmus Darwin (Brewin Books 2010). She has co-edited two volumes of essays: Revolutions and Watersheds: Transatlantic Dialogues 1775-1815 (Rodopi 1999), and Placing Charlotte Smith (Lehigh, 2021). In addition, Dolan has published articles on Mary Wollstonecraft, Charlotte Smith, Mary Shelley, Felicia Hemans, post-Napoleonic travel writers, and the literature of abolition and slavery.

In addition to traditional publications, Dolan’s research has extended to both musical and digital forms. In 2014, she was awarded a fellowship to conduct research at the Chawton House Library in the UK, where she collaborated with composer Amanda Jacobs to set Charlotte Smith’s poem Beachy Head to music. They performed the resulting “Song Cycles of Beachy Head” in England, Australia, and across the U.S., including a debut at Carnegie Hall in November 2018. A studio recording of the piece is available on most streaming services. Branching into digital humanities, Dolan co-created The Charlotte Smith Story Map with Gillian Andrews. Her current book project is Charlotte Smith’s Children: A Family History in the British Empire.

Dolan teaches undergraduate English courses in writing and Romantic-era literature as well as graduate courses in Romanticism on topics such as the Gothic, the body, children’s literature, the literature of slavery and abolition, and British women writers and the French Revolution. She also teaches courses cross-listed with the Health, Medicine, and Society program, including “The Literature of Contagion”, “Medical Humanities”, and “The Afterlives of Frankenstein: Science, Bioethics, and Literature,” a class that co-hosted Frankenreads. She co-taught “Introduction to LGBTQ2IA Health” for the College of Health. She won the Junior Teaching Award in 2003; was named to a Frank Hook Assistant Professorship for academic years 2003-05; and won the Hillman Faculty Award for contributions in Administration in 2014 for contributions in Administration.

Dolan served as book review editor of the Keats-Shelley Journal, as a board member of the Keats-Shelley Association of America, and as Founding Chair of the PA Medical Humanities Association. She was the founding director of the Health Medicine and Society Program, co-led the committee that won a cluster hire proposal in Community Health Research, and co-led the committee that proposed and designed Lehigh’s Center for Community Engagement. Dolan was both a faculty harassment investigator and a university ombuds. She was the inaugural Deputy Provost for Graduate Education at Lehigh, and is currently the interim Dean of Lehigh’s new College of Health.

Research Interests: 
British Romanticism, Women's Writing, Health Humanities