Doryjane Birrer

Associate Professor Emerita

After completing a post-doctoral teaching fellowship, Dr. Birrer joined the English Department at the College of Charleston in 2002 and currently teaches courses in contemporary British literature and theory. Her scholarship primarily involves the interactions among literature, theory, and academic culture, as in her current book project Theoretical Fiction: British Novels of the 1980s and the "Crisis" in English Studies. She also explores the conflicts, as well as newly imagined convergences, between postmodernism and humanism.


Ph.D., English, Washington State University (specialized in twentieth-century British literature and critical and cultural theory)

Research Interests

  • The British novel post-1970
  • Metacriticism and the history of English studies
  • Postmodern narrative theory/socio-narratology
  • Literature and cognitive science/cognitive narratology
  • Ecocriticism/green studies
  • Contemporary critical approaches to the literary fantastic

Courses Taught

ENGL 360.02: Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials and the Power of Narrative

ENGL 202: British Literature since 1800

ENGL 190: Young Adult Fantasy


"A New Species of Humanities: The Marvelous Progeny of Humanism and Postmodern Theory." Journal of Narrative Theory 37.2 (Summer 2007).

"Midnight's Children and the Politics of Eng Lit: Rushdie, Thatcher, and the Immigration of New Literary-Critical Narratives." Critical Engagements 1.1 (2006).

"British Novels of the 1980s and the Crisis in English Studies." Anglistik und Englischunterricht 67 (2006): Special issue on contemporary British fiction.

"Philosophies of Good and Evil in Children's Heroic Ethical Fantasy" (co-written and presented with C of C English major Annie Kadala), 37th Annual Children's Literature Conference, Athens, GA, April 2006.

"Monstrous Progeny: A New Species of Humanities," Southeastern Medieval Association, Daytona Beach, FL, October 2005. (online at