Rosenberg, Jordana

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Associate Professor, Department of English
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English Language and Literature
Jordana Rosenberg received an MA and PhD from Cornell University, and a BA from Wesleyan University. She is the recipient of an Ahmanson-Getty Fellowship from the Center for Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Studies at UCLA (2009- 2010), as well as a Marion and Jasper Whiting Foundation Award, the Catherine Macaulay Prize, and a William Andrews Clark Memorial Library Joint Fellowship Award. Professor Rosenberg's fields of research and teaching include eighteenth-century transatlantic literature and poetry, moral philosophy, political theory, early modern materialism, Marxism, and secularization.
Professor Rosenberg is the author of Critical Enthusiasm: Capital Accumulation and the Transformation of Religious Passion. Critical Enthusiasm argues that the Atlantic world of the long eighteenth century was characterized by two major, interrelated phenomena: the onset of capital accumulation and the infusion of traditions of radical enthusiastic rapture into Enlightenment discourses of aesthetics, jurisprudence, and political philosophy. In exploring these cross-pollinations, Critical Enthusiasm shows that debates around religious radicalism are bound to the advent of capitalism at its very root: as legal precedent, as financial rhetoric, and as aesthetic form. As a result, Rosenberg argues, we must not only contextualize histories of religion in terms of the economic landscape of early modernity, but also recast the question of secularization in terms of the contradictions of capitalism.

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  • Publication
    The Bosom of the Bourgeoisie: Edgeworth's Belinda
    (2003-07-01) Rosenberg, Jordana
    Recent work in eighteenth-century studies has been notoriously preoccupied by what seem to be striking metaphorical resonances between economic and aesthetic 'spheres of practice,' but, as I argue in my paper, it is the confounding of these analogies that may be most salient. Although Edgeworth's Belinda has been frequently read as demystifying aristocratic codes by replacing sharp sociality with good-natured bourgeois instruction, I show that this text imagines the difference between bourgeois and gift economies not as the substitution of humor's instructive mirth for wit's arch conceits, but as a spectacular encounter between the two.