Maxwell Sater


Ph.D., Literatures in English, Rutgers University, October 2020

Dissertation: “From Novel to Criticism: Narrative Knowing in the Nineteenth Century”

Committee: David Kurnick (chair), John Kucich, Carolyn Williams, Nicholas Dames (Columbia University)

M.A., Literatures in English, Rutgers University, 2017

B.A., English Literature, University of Maryland, 2013


“Hardy’s Trees: Ecological Acknowledgement in The Woodlanders,” invited to revise and resubmit to Nineteenth-Century Literature

“Why Write? Toward a Style for Climate Change,” forthcoming in Public Books

“The Novel’s Promise: George Eliot’s Skepticism,” Studies in the Novel 52.3 (Fall 2020), 269-87

Fellowships and Awards

Raritan Dissertation Fellowship, 2019-2020

Rutgers English Fifth Year Fellowship, 2018-2019

Pre-Dissertation Award, 2017. Grant to conduct research at Huntington Library

Honorable mention, Rutgers English Catherine Moynahan Award for best essay on a literary topic: “On Truth in Fiction: Middlemarch and Empiricism,” 2017

Summer Mellon Grant, 2015

Honorable mention, Rutgers English Marius Bewley Award for best essay written during graduate coursework: “A Critique of Detachment: Moral Epistemology and the Problem of Realism in Oliver Twist,” 2015

Rutgers English First Year Fellowship, 2014-2015

Conference Presentations

“Toward a Theory of Narrative as Acknowledgement,” North American Victorian Studies Association, upcoming 2021

“The Skeptical Grotesque: Cavell, Montaigne, and Literary Criticism,” American Comparative Literature Association, 2020. Seminar organizer and presenter. Conference canceled due to COVID-19

“Hardy’s Trees: Scalar Difference in The Woodlanders,” Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies, 2020

“Natural History, Human History, and the Novel in Thomas Hardy,” North American Victorian Studies Association, 2019

“George Eliot’s Skeptical Humanism,” Northeast Modern Language Association, 2019

“Tess’s Histories,” Princeton-Rutgers Victorian Symposium, 2019

“Vision, Empiricism, and Skepticism in the Works of George Eliot,” North American Victorian Studies Association, 2018

“The Self Divided: Sympathetic Judgment in Hume and Smith,” Rutgers Long Eighteenth-Century Transatlantic Studies Group Conference, 2016

“Ruskin’s Art-Critical Ethos,” Princeton-Rutgers Victorian Symposium, 2016

“Evolutionary Psychology and Sociology in Our Mutual Friend, Princeton-Rutgers Victorian Symposium, 2015

Teaching and Research Areas

Victorian Literature and Culture, Literary Criticism, The History of Science, Ecocriticism, Theory and History of the Novel, Narrative Theory, Ordinary Language Philosophy, Composition


“Expository Writing,” Fall 2017, two sections

“Introduction to the Principles of Literary Analysis: Prose Fiction,” Spring 2017

“Introduction to the Principles of Literary Analysis: Prose Fiction,” mentored teaching assistant to David Kurnick, Fall 2016

“Expository Writing,” Spring 2016

“Expository Writing,” Fall 2015

Academic Service

Co-organizer, Nineteenth-Century Studies Group, Rutgers English Department, 2017-18

Co-President, Natura: The Science and Epistemology Working Group, Rutgers University, 2015-2016