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Dr. Thomas Manganaro
Assistant Professor of English
Thomas Salem Manganaro specializes in eighteenth-century and Romantic-era British literature. His research especially focuses on the various ways “literature” and “philosophy” compete as forms of knowledge and explanation during these periods.

He is currently developing a book project, entitled Failing Doing: Procrastination, Akrasia, and Literary Form in the Long Eighteenth Century. The book focuses on cases in literature in which individuals know they ought to do something, and yet fail to get themselves to do it. Philosophy tends to call such instances cases of “akrasia” or “weakness of will,” but they also manifest in literature as indolence or procrastination. The book focuses on the enigmatic qualities of such cases and the ways they thwart the rationalistic explanatory models of eighteenth-century philosophy while also motivating rich experimental writing within literature of the same period. Portions of the project have been (or will soon to be) published in The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation and Studies in Romanticism.

Manganaro also maintains intellectual and personal interests in the Arab world and its relations to the European Enlightenment as well as to contemporary American culture.

“Free Indirect Discourse and the Problem of the Will in Two Novels by William Godwin.” 31 pp. Studies in Romanticism vol. 57.2 (Summer 2018, forthcoming).

“Incoherent Intentions and the Need for Narrative.” 5 pp. Invited contribution to forum “Intention and the Eighteenth-Century Text” in Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture, vol. 47 (forthcoming).

 “Akrasia and the Explanation of Action in Rousseau and Sterne.” 28 pp. The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation, vol. 58.1 (Spring 2017).


Book Review. Sean Silver, The Mind Is a Collection: Case Studies in Eighteenth-Century Thought (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015). 7 pp. Configurations, vol. 25.1 (Winter 2017).

Ph.D., Duke University 2016
A.B., University of Chicago 2009
Contact Information
313 Ryland Hall
(804) 289-8289
Areas of Expertise
18th-century and Romantic literature
Literature in relation to intellectual history and ethics
Literature and science
The novel
Arab-American literature and culture