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Tim Carens

Professor and Director of the British Studies Program

Address: 72 George Street, Room 202
Office Hours: Tuesday 2:00-3:00, Wednesday 3:00-5:00

Tim Carens has been teaching at the College of Charleston since 1998. He specializes on British literature and culture of the nineteenth century, teaching courses on the Victorian period and the Victorian novel as well as the second half of the survey of British literature and academic writing. He enjoys directing independent studies on particular topics or individual writers such as Dickens, Hardy, and the Brontës. His research has focused on the intersection of literature and imperial rhetoric. Most recently he has turned to studying the representation of the English professor in contemporary American films and television programs.


1998 - Ph.D., English, New York University

1992 - M.A., English, New York University

1987 - A.B., History and Literature, Harvard College

Research Interests

  • Victorian Literature and Culture
  • British imperial studies and postcolonial theory
  • Nineteenth-century novels
  • Charleston and the representation of its history
  • The English professor in popular culture


“Irish Colonial Marriage in Diana of the Crossways.” Victorians Institute Journal 39 (2011): 171-201.

“Serpents in the Garden: English Professors in Contemporary American Films.”  College English 73.1 (Sept. 2010): 9-27.

“Breaking the Idol of the Marriage Plot in Yeast and Villette.”  Victorian Literature and Culture 38.2 (2010): 337-53.

“Bleak House, Africa, and the Condition of England.”  Approaches to Teaching Dickens’s Bleak House.   Ed. John O. Jordan and Gordon Bigelow.  New York: Modern Language Association, 2008.  38-44.

Outlandish English Subjects in the Victorian Domestic Novel.  New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005.

“Outlandish English Subjects in The Moonstone.”  Reality’s Dark Light: The Sensational Wilkie Collins.  Ed. Maria K. Bachman and Don Richard Cox.  Knoxville: U of Tennessee P, 2003.  239-65.

“Colonial Male Authority in George Meredith’s Lord Ormont and His Aminta.” Studies in
English Literature 41 (2001): 805-26. 

“The Civilizing Mission at Home: Empire, Gender, and National Reform in Bleak House.” Dickens Studies Annual 26 (1998): 121-45.

“Restyling the Secret of the Opium Den in The Picture of Dorian Gray.”  Reading Wilde, Querying Spaces. New York: Fales Library, 1995.  45-55.