Jason S. Farr (Ph.D., University of California, San Diego, 2013) researches British literature and culture of the long eighteenth century, disability studies, health humanities, gender and sexuality studies, queer theory, and sound studies. His book, Novel Bodies: Disability and Sexuality in Eighteenth-Century British Literature (Bucknell UP 2019), examines how fictional representations of physical disability, deafness, and chronic illness shape the literary history of sexuality. Novel Bodies shows that Enlightenment-era authors imagine queer and disabled characters in their fiction to intervene in debates ranging from courtship to education, from feminism to medicine, and from kinship to chattel slavery. At the same time, these novelists offer keen insight into the lived experiences of disability and non-normative genders and sexualities in the eighteenth century. Farr’s research has also appeared in Eighteenth-Century Fiction, Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies, The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation, Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture, and The Rambling.
Currently, Farr is at work on two book projects. The first, Mute Subjects: Nonverbal Characters in Eighteenth-Century British Literature, offers a literary history of nonverbal characters who are deaf, neurodivergent, and/or intellectually disabled. Mute Subjects brings together insights from disability/queer studies, the history of medicine, and sound studies to examine how the domains of gesture, auditory variability, and resonance–a key Enlightenment concept concerning vibration and relationality–helped to define the literature and culture of British sensibility. The other project is a creative biography, Literary Lives, which narrates the life of Farr’s deceased uncle, Joe LeSueur, an author and poet who was the lover, friend, and roommate of the celebrated New York School poet, Frank O’Hara. LeSueur was also intimate with the likes of Andy Warhol, Joan Mitchell, Joe Brainard, Amiri Baraka, and many others. Literary Lives details Farr’s pursuit to learn about LeSueur (whom he only met once as a child) from the writing LeSueur left behind, and to narrate the glamorous midcentury Manhattan circles in which he moved. The book ultimately showcases the value of literature and writing for reimagining kinship bonds and histories that are erased by homophobia.
Before arriving to Marquette, Dr. Farr was assistant professor of English at Texas A&M University—Corpus Christi in South Texas (2014-18), and prior to that, he taught in the Literature Department at the University of California, San Diego. His courses routinely challenge students to think transhistorically about intersections of disability, sexuality, gender, and race. He currently serves as an advisory board member for Bucknell University Press’s Transits Series. A deaf teacher-scholar, Farr writes about accessibility at conferences and in classrooms with the goal of establishing more inclusive communities.
- Eighteenth-Century Fiction
- Gothic Fiction and Film
- Disability and Literature
- LGBTQ+ Literature and Culture
- Gender and Sexuality Studies
- First-Year Honors Seminar
- Literary Studies
- Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Studies
- Disability Studies
- Queer Studies
- Health Humanities
- Sound Studies
- “Disability as Metaphor and Lived Experience in Samuel Richardson's Pamela and Sarah Scott's Millenium Hall,” Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture. Vol 50 (2021): 309-12
- “The Queer Kinship of Our Literary Lives: A Tribute to My Uncle Joe LeSueur (and Frank O’Hara),” The Rambling. Issue 5, 2019.
- Novel Bodies: Disability and Sexuality in Eighteenth-Century British Literature, Bucknell University Press (Transits Series: Literature, Thought & Culture, 1650-1850) 2019.
- “Crip Gothic: Affiliations of Disability and Queerness in Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto (1764),” in The Routledge Companion to Literature and Disability, 2020.
- “My Novel Body,” Bucknell UP Blog, American University Presses Blog Tour, Read. Think. Act, 2019.
- “Toward a More Accessible Conference Presentation,” co-authored with Dr. Travis Chi Wing Lau, Profession, Spring Issue, 2019.
- “Colonizing Gestures: Crusoe, the Signing Sovereign,” Eighteenth-Century Fiction. 29.4 (2017): 537-562.
- “Libertine Sexuality and Queer-Crip Embodiment in Eighteenth-Century Britain,” in “New Queer Readings.” Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies. 16.4 (2016): 96-118.
- “Homosexuality,” Encyclopedia of British Literature: 1660-1789, eds. Gary Day and Jack Lynch (Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell): 601-604, 2015.
- “Sharp Minds/Twisted Bodies: Intellect, Disability, and Female Education in Burney’s Camilla (1796),” The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation. 55.1 (2014): 1-17.
- “Attractive Deformity: Enabling the ‘Shocking Monster’ from Sarah Scott’s Agreeable Ugliness,” in The Idea of Disability in the Eighteenth Century (Bucknell UP): 181-201, 2014.
- Review of “Queer Friendship: Male Intimacy in the English Literary Tradition” by George Haggerty, Eighteenth-Century Fiction. 32.2 (2019): 355-357.