Welcome to the professional website of Dr. Courtney A. Hoffman.
I am currently a Marion L. Brittain Postdoctoral Fellow in and Assistant Director of the Writing and Communication Program in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
I specialize in British literature of the long eighteenth-century, with a primary research focus on the epistolary. I am especially interested in letters, correspondence networks, and the use of the epistolary across genres, particularly the way that women writers incorporated letters into their texts and corresponded with each other. My secondary research concerns include sensibility and affect theory, temporality, bodily materiality, and modern depictions of eighteenth-century literature and culture. I have written about these topics for several publications, including a recent chapter on performance of violent masculinity on stage in the 2011 National Theatre production of Nick Dear’s Frankenstein.
My current book project, titled Pathetic Temporality: Time and Emotion in the Eighteenth-Century Women’s Epistolary Novel, considers how the rhetoric of emotion affects the ways characters present their understanding of time passing between the writing and reading of letters in epistolary novels after Samuel Richardson publishes Pamela (widely considered the first epistolary novel) in 1740. I have also conducted preliminary research on a project engaging with the poetic verse epistle form, considering how the gender and race of the poet influence their use of the form, building on scholarship discussing the impact of class on the verse epistle. A separate project engages with Anne Grant’s correspondence, which has the potential to identify locations where Enlightenment thought occurred in Scotland outside of the metropoles of Edinburgh and Glasgow. In other my work, I have explored the potential for data visualization as a tool for textual analysis of eighteenth-century texts, and I have worked with a Georgia Tech doctoral student in the School of Interactive Computing who is designing AI driven software for allowing non-experts to choose the most helpful types of data visualization for their research questions. I also plan to design a digital archive for a collections of eighteenth-century women’s correspondence, including the letters of Anne Grant and of Lady Louisa Stuart, among others. My research statement is available on my Publications page.
Teaching is an integral part of my academic and scholarly life. First-year composition courses I’ve designed range in topic from biomedical innovation and ethics to an in-depth consideration of objects in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series to representations of bodies from the eighteenth century and today. In addition, I have taught principles of academic writing to STEM-focused graduate students and technical/professional communication to upper-level undergraduate students majoring in Computer Science. In all of my classes, I make concerted efforts in my pedagogy to include a diverse range of authors and texts on my syllabi. Attention to social justice and cultural critique underpins many of my courses’ thematic structures and has led to my interest in SOTL. I have an essay titled “On the Shoulders of Giants: Natural Philosophy in First-Year Composition,” forthcoming in Writing STEAM: Composition, STEM, and a New Humanities (Routledge). I argue that 18th-century science texts can serve as models for transdisciplinary thinking in first year writing as a vehicle for multimodal communication. I am also currently working on an essay advocating for designing first-year writing and technical communication classes around issues of social justice. For more information about my teaching philosophy and previous courses, please visit my Teaching Portfolio page.
This semester (Fall 2020), I am teaching:
LMC 3403 – Technical Communication and Social Justice
Outside of the classroom, I enjoy cooking, baking, crocheting, and spending time with my family.