Hilary Edwards Lithgow

Email:   lithgow@email.unc.edu

Administrative or staff position:  
Lecturer and Undergraduate Advisor for English


DOECL Liaison for Undergraduate Research


Ph.D. Stanford University, 2004
B.A. Trinity College, Oxford 1997
B.A. Haverford College, 1995


I specialize in Victorian and early Modernist British literature, with a focus on Victorian Prose and the literature of World War I. I am especially interested in impersonality, its effect on literary style, and its role in shaping a line of prose experimentalism from Carlyle and Pater to Hemingway and Joyce.  My current work focuses on the literature of war and the ways in which the experience of combat shapes the prose style of everyday British and American soldiers from WWI to the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Teaching Awards:
Joseph Flora Award (department) for Excellence in Teaching Literature, 2013 and 2015

Courses Taught:

  • Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century British Literature
  • Death and the Victorians (Literature & science in Huxley, Arnold, Ruskin, Dickens, Tennyson, Pater, Hardy, et al)
  • Booklist for a Desert Island (Why take a work of literature to a desert island except as kindling?)
  • Literature and the Limits of Language (Wittgenstein, Carroll, Hemingway, Woolf, Forster, Eliot and Joyce)
  • Literature of War (What might literature be able to teach us about combat that other media can’t?)
  • Writing in the Humanities; Writing in the Social Sciences


“It’s All Good”: Forms of Belief and the Limits of Irony in Finkel’s The Good Soldiers.”  War, Literature and the Arts 27 (2015): Web http://wlajournal.com/wlaarchive/27/Lithgow.pdf

“A Hard Gemlike Syntax:  Pater, Wittgenstein and the Life of Sentences.” Pater Newsletter 58/59 (Spring 2011).

“Protecting Life from Language:  John Ruskin’s Museum as Autobiography.” Biography 32.2 (Spring 2009). 297-316.

Teaching Awards

Joseph M. Flora Award for Outstanding Teaching by a Lecturer in the Department of English and Comparative Literature, UNC, 2013 and 2015