Adela Pinch is a professor at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She is a specialist in 19th-century British literature, with a particular focus on the relations between literature and philosophy. She is the author of two books, Strange Fits of Passion: Epistemologies of Emotion, Hume to Austen (Stanford University Press, 1996) and Thinking about Other People in Nineteenth-Century British Writing (Cambridge University Press, 2010), as well as numerous articles on 18th- and 19th-century British literature and culture.
Pinch’s current research project is “Victorian Fiction and the Location of Experience.” This book investigates the writings of the Brontë sisters, George Eliot, Elizabeth Gaskell, and Margaret Oliphant as test cases for theories of literary realism, focusing above all on the ways in which realism may more properly be explored as an affective, psychological structure than as an imitation of life. It brings together formal analysis, philosophy, and psychology in order to demonstrate that these women authors’ attunement to what they identified as moments when experience seems to shift from one domain to another captured best their era’s dilemmas about how to categorize the feeling of living.
Pinch earned a PhD in English literature from Cornell University. She has been awarded fellowships from the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.