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Beth Dolan, Professor of English at Lehigh University

Elizabeth Dolan

Professor of English

Dean of the College of Health at Lehigh

201A Drown Hall

PhD, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 1999

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Research Statement

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. 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.


Elizabeth (Beth) Dolan earned her doctorate in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and served as the Senior Fellow in Literature and Medicine at the UNC-CH Medical School. She is an interdisciplinary researcher with expertise in the expression of suffering. She is currently Dean of the College of Health at Lehigh, and is also Professor of English and of Health, Medicine, and Society. Before leading the College of Health, she served as Lehigh’s first Deputy Provost for Graduate Education, and as the Founding Director of the Health Medicine, and Society Program. She won the Junior Faculty 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.

Books & Scholarly Editions 

Placing Charlotte Smith. Co-edited with Jacqueline M. Labbe. Bethlehem, PA: Lehigh University Press, 2020. 

Seeing Suffering in Women’s Literature of the Romantic Era. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate Press, 2008; republished by Routledge, 2016. 

Anna Seward’s Life of Erasmus Darwin. Co-edited with Philip K. Wilson and Malcolm Dick. Warwickshire, UK: Brewin Books, 2010. 

Rural WalksRambles FartherMinor Morals, and A narrative of the loss of the Catharine. Vol. 12 of The Works of Charlotte Smith. Gen. ed. Stuart Curran. London: Pickering & Chatto, 2007. 

Revolutions and Watersheds: Transatlantic Dialogues 1775-1815. Co-edited with W. M. Verhoeven. Amsterdam: Rodopi Press, 1999. (as Beth Dolan Kautz). 

Selected Journal Articles and Book Chapters 

“Muhammad Kabā Saghanughu’s 1838 Arabic Address in Jamaica.” Co-written with Ahmed Idrissi Alami. In American Contact. Forthcoming with University of Pennsylvania Press, 2023. 33-45. 

“Emancipation Address as Creole Autobiography: Muhammad Kabā Saghanughu, an Enslaved Muslim in Jamaica.” Co-written with Ahmed Idrissi Alami. Slavery & Abolition 41.4 (2020): 795-815. 

“Creating Home: The Roots of Charlotte Smith’s Cosmopolitanism in Emmeline,” Placing Charlotte Smith. Eds. Elizabeth A. Dolan and Jacqueline M. Labbe. Bethlehem, PA: Lehigh University Press, 2020. 

“Charlotte Smith, 1749-1806,” With Eric Bargeron. Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism. Farmington Hills, Michigan: Gale, 2020.  

“Muhammad Kabā Saghanughu’s Arabic Address on the Occasion of Emancipation.” Co-written with Ahmed Idrissi Alami. William and Mary Quarterly 76.2 (2019): 289-312.

“Moving House and Shifting Scene,” with Jacqueline M. Labbe. Introduction to Placing Charlotte Smith. Eds. Elizabeth A. Dolan and Jacqueline M. Labbe. Bethlehem, PA: Lehigh University Press, 2020. 

“Mary Wollstonecraft’s Novels: A Methodology for Individual Expression, Mutual Recognition, and Collaborative Action.” The Wollstonecraftian Mind. Eds. Sandrine Berges, Eileen Hunt Botting, and Alan Coffee. New York: Routledge, forthcoming October 2019. 

“Lionel Smith in Barbados, 1833-36: Imperialist Ideology, Empirical Thought, and Emancipation-Era Caribbean Governance.” Slavery & Abolition 5.1 (2017): 333-56.

“Following a Ghost: ‘A Certain Mulatto Woman Slave named Phibbah.’” Journal of Literature and Trauma Studies 2.3 (2013): 63-86.

“Financial Investments vs. Moral Principles: Charlotte Smith’s Children’s Books and Slavery.” Time of Beauty, Time of Fear: The Romantic Legacy in the Literature of Childhood. Ed. James McGavran. Iowa City: Iowa University Press, 2012. 56-71.

“Collaborative Motherhood: Maternal Teachers and Dying Mothers in Charlotte Smith’s Children’s Books.” Women’s Writing 15.4 (2009): 109-25.

“A Subversive Urn and a Suicidal Bride: Strategies for Reading Across Aesthetic Difference.” Teaching Romantic Women Writers. Eds. Jeanne Moskal and Shannon Wooden. New York: Peter Lang, 2005. 74-90.

“British Romantic Melancholia: Charlotte Smith’s Elegiac Sonnets, Medical Discourse, and the Problem of Sensibility.” The Journal of European Studies 33.3/4 (2003): 237-54. Republished in Poetry Criticism. Vol. 104. Ed. Michelle Lee. Gale Press, 2010.

“Mary Wollstonecraft’s Salutary Picturesque: Curing Melancholia in the Landscape.” European Romantic Review 13.1 (2002): 35-48. (as Beth Dolan Kautz).

“Spas and Salutary Landscapes: The Geography of Health in Mary Shelley’s Rambles in Germany and Italy.” Romantic Geographies: Discourses of Travel 1775-1844. Ed. Amanda Gilroy. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 2000. 165-81. (as Beth Dolan Kautz).

“Movement, Melancholia, and Madness: American and British Health Travelers in Post- Napoleonic Europe.” Revolutions and Watersheds: Transatlantic Dialogues 1775-1815. Eds. W. M. Verhoeven and Beth Dolan Kautz. Amsterdam: Rodopi Press, 1999. 39-57. (as Beth Dolan Kautz). 

“Gynecologists, Power, and Sexuality in Modernist Texts.” The Journal of Popular Culture 28.4 (1995): 81-91. (as Beth Dolan Kautz). 

Digital Humanities

“Charlotte Smith Story Map” with Gillian Andrews in “Scholarly Resources,” Romantic Circles (May 2018) selected for inclusion in ESRI Story Maps (September 2018) 

Lyrics Editor

“The Song Cycles of Beachy Head.” Lyrics editor, in collaboration with composer Amanda Jacobs. 


“The Song Cycles of Beachy Head.” Performed with pianist Amanda Jacobs and mezzo soprano Shelley Waite. Weill Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall, NYC (2018) 

Additional performances of “The Song Cycles of Beachy Head.” at University of California- Berkeley, Davidson College, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Nebraska-Omaha, Sam Houston State University, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Sam Houston State University, Marshall University, Chawton House, UK, University of Melbourne, Australia 


Before becoming Dean of the College of Health, Dolan taught 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 taught 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. Since becoming Dean, she has co-taught “Introduction to LGBTQ2IA Health” and reflective writing to residents at Lehigh Valley Health Network. She continues to advise English doctoral students in the fields of Romanticism and Health Humanities.