Tamar Heller

Tamar T Heller

Assoc Professor

Associate Professor

Professional Summary

Tamar Heller teaches Victorian literature, with an emphasis on gender issues and on the genres of Gothic and sensation fiction; she also teaches a large-enrollment class on the Harry Potter novels. The author of Dead Secrets: Wilkie Collins and the Female Gothic (1992), she has co-edited two essay collections: Approaches to Teaching Gothic Fiction: The British and American Traditions (MLA, 2003) and Scenes of the Apple: Food and the Female Body in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Women’s Writing (SUNY, 2003). The editor of Rhoda Broughton’s 1867 sensation novel Cometh Up as a Flower for Pickering and Chatto’s Varieties of Women’s Sensation Fiction series (2004), she is currently preparing an edition of Broughton’s Not Wisely but Too Well for Valancourt Press, and is working on a book-length study of Broughton’s fiction entitled A Plot of Her Own: Rhoda Broughton and English Fiction.


B.A. summa cum laude: Mount Holyoke College 1981

M.A., M.Phil, Ph.D.: Yale University 1988

Research and Practice Interests

Victorian literature, women's literature, the Gothic, sensation fiction, children's fantasy, especially Harry Potter novels and the fiction of Lloyd Alexander.

Abbreviated Publications

Book Chapter

"Disposing of the Body: Literary Authority, Female Desire, and the Reverse Kunstlerroman of Rhoda Broughton's A Fool in her Folly." New Woman Writers, Authority and the Body.  Ed. Melissa Purdue and Stacey Floyd. Cambridge Scholars Press, 2009, 139-57.

"The Unbearable Hybridity of Female Sexuality: Racial Ambiguity and the Gothic in Rider Haggard's She." Horrifying Sex: Essays on Sexual Difference in Gothic Literature. Ed. Ruth Bienstock Anolik. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2007. 55-66.

"'That Muddy, Polluted Flood of Earthly Love': Ambivalence about the Body in Rhoda Broughton's Not Wisely but Too Well." Victorian Sensations. Ed. Richard Fantina and Kimberly Harrison. Columbus, OH: The Ohio State University Press, 2006. 87, 101.

"Haunted Bodies: The Female Gothic of Wuthering Heights." Approaches to Teaching Wuthering Heights. Ed. Sue Lonoff and Terri A. Hasseler. New York, NY: Modern Language Association Press, 2006. 67-74.

"Masterpiece Theatre and Ezra Jennings's Hair: Some Reflections on Where We've come, and Where We're Going in Collins Studies." Reality's Dark Light: The Sensational Wilkie Collins. Ed. Don Richard Cox and Maria Bachman. Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee Press, 2003. 361-70.

"Hearts of Darkness: Teaching Race, Gender, and Imperialism in Victorian Gothic." Approaches to Teaching Gothic Fiction. Ed. Diane Long Hoeveler and Tamar Heller. New York, NY: Modern Language Association Press, 2003. 159-67.

"The Vampire in the House: Hysteria, Female Sexuality, and Female Knowledge in J. S. Le Fanu's `Carmilla'." The New Nineteenth Century: Feminist Readings of Underread Victorian Fiction. Ed. Barbara Harman and Susan Meyer, Wellesley Studies in Literature and Culture. New York, NY: Garland Press, 1996. 77-95.

"Jane Eyre, Bertha, and the Female Gothic." Approaches to Teaching Bronte's Jane Eyre. Ed. Diane Long Hoeveler and Beth Lau. New York, NY: Modern Language Association Press, 1993. 49-55.

"Rhoda Broughton."  A Companion to Sensation Fiction.  Ed. Pamela K. Gilbert.  Blackwell, 2011, 281-92.

Work in Progress

Editor, Rhoda Broughton. Not Wisely but Too Well. Valancourt Press.


Editor, Rhoda Broughton. Cometh Up as a Flower, vol. 4b in Varities of Women's Sensation Fiction. London: Pickering and Chatto, 2004.

Co-Editor, with Diane Long Hoeveler. Approaches to Teaching Gothic Fiction, volume in Approaches to Teaching World Literature. New York, NY: Modern Language Association Press, 2003.

Co-Editor, with Patricia Moran. Scenes of the Apple: Food and the Female Body in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Women's Writing. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2003.

Dead Secrets: Wilkie Collins and the Female Gothic. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1992.

Peer Reviewed Publications

"Having It All: Consumption and Ideological Tension in an Innovative Romance Novel." Genre (1997): 243-64.

"Flagellating Feminine Desire: Lesbians, Old Maids, and New Women in `Miss Coote's Confession,' a Victorian Pornographic Narrative." The Victorian Newsletter (1997): 9-15.

"Victorian Sensationalism and the Silence of Maternal Sexuality in Edith Wharton's The Mother's Recompense." Narrative (1997): 135-42.

"`No Longer Innocent': Sensationalism, Sexuality, and the Allegory of the Woman Writer in Margaret Oliphant's Salem Chapel." Nineteenth Century Studies (1997): 95-108.

"Textual Seductions: Women's Reading and Writing in Margaret Oliphant's `The Library Window'." Victorian Literature and Culture (1996): 23-37.

"Rewriting Corinne:  Sensation and the Tragedy of the Exceptional Woman in Rhoda Broughton's Good-bye, Sweetheart!Critical Survey 23.1 (2011):  58-74.

Courses Taught

15-ENGB-300 INTRO: STUDY OF LIT Level:Undergraduate






15-ENGL-203 TOPCS IN LITERATURE The Magic of Harry Potter Level:Undergraduate

Contact Information