Elaine Freedgood, a professor of English at New York University, is working on the general problem of facts in fiction. Theoretically, her work encompasses recent debates on fictionality and reference, on denotation, and on reading and naming.
Freedgood is completing the research and a substantial amount of the writing for “Worlds Enough: Fictionality and Reference in the 19th-Century Novel.” Her research includes reading many novels, studying the idea of reference in semantics and in ordinary language philosophy, and translating those ideas into literary terms. Freedgood’s questions are How have facts become naturalized in fiction? Why do we accept the presence of Napoleon, World War II, Miami, or a stock market crash in the world of the novel?
Freedgood received a PhD with distinction from Columbia University in 1996, with the help of an Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in Humanistic Studies. She has benefited from an American Fellowship from the American Association of University Women and research fellowships from Swarthmore College and the University of Pennsylvania. More recently, Freedgood was part of a Leverhulme Trust research group with participants from NYU, King’s College London, and Jadavpur University, in Kolkata.