Geoffrey Baker

Humanities (Literature)

Associate Professor


View Curriculum Vitae

Associate Professor Geoffrey Baker was born in Los Angeles and raised in California, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Fiji. He earned Bachelors degrees in English Literature and French Studies from Brigham Young University before going on to study at the Freie Universität in Berlin and Rutgers University, where he received his PhD in Comparative Literature in 2006. In his spare time, he plays the guitar, writes songs and occasional poetry, and enjoys playing and watching soccer and basketball.

Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Literature (especially British, French, German)
Realism and Naturalism
Political Aesthetics
Fiction and the Supernatural
Imperialism in Literature
Literature and the Law (Evidence, Empiricism)
The Bildungsroman
The History and Theory of the Novel


The Aesthetics of Clarity and Confusion: Literature and Engagement since Nietzsche and the Naturalists (Palgrave Studies in Modern European Literature, Palgrave Macmillan, 2016, forthcoming)

Realism’s Empire: Empiricism and Enchantment in the Nineteenth-Century Novel (Ohio State UP, 2009).

Reviewed in: Comparative Literature 64.2; German Quarterly 84.1; Nineteenth-Century French Studies 39.3/4; Victorian Studies 53.1; Choice Feb. 2010. [Chapter 6, “Global London and The Way We Live Now,” reprinted in Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism, vol. 274. Gale, 2013. 329-41. Print.]

Realism’s Others, ed., with Eva Aldea (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010)

Articles and Book Chapters:

“Legal Others: The Knowledge of National Community in Nineteenth-Century British Legal Theory and Wilkie Collins’s Man and Wife.” Nineteenth-Century Contexts, forthcoming 2018.

“The Use and Abuse of Romance: Realist Revisions of Walter Scott in England, France, and Germany,” in Romantic Legacies, ed. Shun-liang Chao and John Corrigan, forthcoming from Routledge.

“‘I know the man’: Evidence, Belief, and Character in Victorian Fiction.” Genre 50.1 (April 2017): 39-57.

“Preachers, Gangsters, Pranksters: MC Solaar and Hip-Hop as Overt and Covert Revolt.” The Journal of Popular Culture 44.2 (2011): 233-255.

“Making a Spectacle of Ourselves: The Unpolitical Ending of Thomas Mann’s Mario und der Zauberer.” Seminar: A Journal of Germanic Studies 45.4 (2009): 353-68. [Reprinted in Short Story Criticism, vol. 172. Gale, 2013. 244-253. Print.]

“The Limits of Sympathy: J.M. Coetzee’s Evolving Ethics of Engagement.” ARIEL 36.1-2 (2005, special issue on Postcoloniality and Politics): 27-49.

“Empiricism and Empire: Orientalist Antiquing in Balzac’s Peau de chagrin.” Yearbook of Comparative and General Literature 51 (2003-04): 167-74.

“Pressing Engagement: Sartre’s Littérature, Beauvoir’s Literature, and the Lingering Uncertainty of Literary Activism.” Dalhousie French Studies 63 (2003): 70-85.

“Nietzsche, Artaud, and Tragic Politics.” Comparative Literature 55.1 (2003): 1-23. [Reprinted in Nietzsche and the Rebirth of the Tragic. Ed. Mary Ann Frese Witt. Madison, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson UP, 2007. 159-85.]

“Other Capital: Investment, Return, Alterity and The Merchant of Venice.” The Upstart Crow 22 (2002, special issue on “Shakespeare and the Market”): 21-37.

“The Predication of Violence, the Violence of Predication: Reconstructing Hiroshima with Duras and Resnais.” Dialectical Anthropology 24:3/4 (1999): 387-406.

Literature and Humanities I and II
Proseminar in Literary Studies
Capstone Seminar (Literature)
Novel Evidence: 19th-Century British Fiction and the Law
Literary Activism: Texts, Aesthetics, Politics
Fiction and the Supernatural