Gretchen Braun

Gretchen Braun

Associate Professor, English and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

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Gretchen Braun came to Furman University in 2010, after receiving her M.A. in English from Stanford University and her Ph.D. in English from the University of California at Davis, where she also briefly taught as a lecturer. Her teaching interests include Victorian literature, gender studies, and dialogues between literature and scientific culture. She was Co-Chair of Furman’s Program in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Fall 2018 through Spring 2021 and currently serves on the program’s Oversight Committee. She also teaches in the Medicine, Health, and Culture interdisciplinary minor.

Honors & Awards

  • Furman University Engaged Living Service Award, 2015
  • Furman University Sigma Tau Delta Teacher of the Year, 2013


  • Ph.D., University of California - Davis
  • M.A., Stanford University
  • B.A., Boston University

Research Interests

Dr. Braun’s research interests focus on intersections between Victorian fiction and scientific accounts of human subjectivity. Her current project explores how Victorian fiction responds to Darwin's evolutionary theory and more broadly, considers scientific and technological events, nineteenth-century and contemporary, that de-center the human subject. Her first book, Narrating Trauma: Victorian Novels and Modern Stress Disorders (The Ohio State University Press, May 19 2022) traces the prehistory of psychic and somatic responses now classified as PTSD as they influence novel form in the Victorian era. Her publications have appeared in journals including ELH, Genre: Forms of Discourse and Culture, and Studies in the Novel.

Representative Publications

  • “Empathy, Anxiety, and the Boundaries of Humanity: Vivisection Discourse and The Island of Doctor Moreau.” Studies in the Novel. vol. 51 no.4 (Winter 2019): 499-522.
  • ‘The Natural Company of Such As I Am’: Corruption, Purification, and Dickens’s Feminine Thames.” Victorians: A Journal of Culture and Literature. 129 (Spring 2016): 6-29.
  • “Narrating the Job Crisis: Self-Development or Collective Action?” Working in Class: Recognizing How Social Class Shapes Our Academic Work. Edited Allison Hurst and Sandi Nenga. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, January 2016: 157-172.
  • “Horrors at Home: From Sensation Scandal to Gothic Melodrama.” Genre: Forms of Discourse and Culture 48.1 (April 2015): 73-98.
  • “‘Untarnished Purity’: Ethics, Agency, and the Victorian Fallen Woman.” Women’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal 44.3 (April 2015): 342-367.
  • “‘A Great Break in the Common Course of Confession’: Narrating Loss in Charlotte Brontë’s Villette.” ELH 78.1 (Spring 2011): 189-212.
  • “Feminine Duty and Desire: Revising the Cultural Narrative in Gissing’s The Odd Women.” Women and Work: The Labors of Self-Fashioning. Edited by Christine Mower and Susanne Weil. Newcastle Upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Spring 2011: 50-73.
  • “‘Paragon’ and ‘Mad Wife’: Emily Jolly’s Fiction of Agency.” Pacific Coast Philology 43 (Fall 2008): 36-54.REVIEW ARTICLES
  • Review of Traumatic Tales: British Nationhood and National Trauma in Nineteenth-Century Literature edited by Lisa Kasmer and Postcolonial George Eliot by Oliver Lovesey. Victorian Studies 61.3 (Spring
    2019): 477-480.
  • “Fitly Disordered.” Review of Shock, Memory, and the Unconscious in Victorian Fiction by Jill Matus and War Trauma and English Modernism: T.S. Eliot and D. H. Lawrence by Carl Krockel. Essays in Criticism 62.2 (Spring 2012): 205-214.

Additional Professional Activity

Dr. Braun is passionate about serving as an undergraduate research mentor and bringing archival research into the classroom. She edits Furman Humanities Review, the university’s humanities undergraduate research journal. In 2021, she was reelected for a second three-year term as Council on Undergraduate Research Councilor in the Humanities Division. She has also served in various leadership roles in the Victorians Institute, a professional organization for Victorian Studies scholars in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.

Capitalizing on her interest in intersections between science and humanities, Dr. Braun serves as program faculty for Engaged Living Healthcare Today, a learning community for first-year students interested in health professions.