Gretchen Braun

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 Standard Research Grant, 2024
  • 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 and Edwardian fiction responds to Darwin's evolutionary theory as a scientific and technological event that de-centers the human subject, with implications for questions of genre. Her first book, Narrating Trauma: Victorian Novels and Modern Stress Disorders (The Ohio State University Press, 2022) traces the prehistory of psychic and somatic responses now classified as PTSD as they influence novel form in the Victorian era. Dr. Braun's publications have also appeared in journals including ELH, Genre: Forms of Discourse and Culture, and Studies in the Novel.

Representative Publications

  • Narrating Trauma: Victorian Novels and Modern Stress Disorders. The Ohio State University Press, June 8, 2022 (Spring list), 238 pages.
  • “Anthropocentrism and Inheritance in Our Mutual Friend: Return, Recognition, Reanimation.” Victorians Institute Journal. Forthcoming vol. 51, Fall 2024 (accepted February 20, 2024).
  • “Creatures of Empire in Le Fanu’s Uncle Silas.” Genre: Forms of Discourse and Culture, vol. 56, no. 2, July 2023, pp. 145-178.
  • “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, pp. 499-522.
  • “‘The Natural Company of Such As I Am’: Corruption, Purification, and Dickens’s Feminine Thames.” Victorians: A Journal of Culture and Literature, vol. 129, Spring 2016, pp. 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. Rowman & Littlefield, January 2016, pp. 157-172.
  • “Horrors at Home: From Sensation Scandal to Gothic Melodrama.” Genre: Forms of Discourse and Culture, vol. 48, no.1, April 2015, pp. 73-98.
  • “‘Untarnished Purity’: Ethics, Agency, and the Victorian Fallen Woman.” Women’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, vol. 44, no. 3, April 2015): pp. 342-367.
  • “‘A Great Break in the Common Course of Confession’: Narrating Loss in Charlotte Brontë’s Villette.” ELH, vol 78, no.1, Spring 2011, pp. 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. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2011, pp. 50-73.
  • “‘Paragon’ and ‘Mad Wife’: Emily Jolly’s Fiction of Agency.” Pacific Coast Philology, vol. 43, 2008, pp. 36-54.

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.