Peter J. Capuano

Assistant Professor's Profile Image
Assistant Professor (402) 472-1858 220 Andrews Hall
University of Virginia, PhD
Holy Cross, BA
Areas of Specialty
Victorian Literature and Culture
Dickens Studies (Dickens Project Faculty)
Science and Literature
History and Theory of the Novel
Body Studies
Digital Humanities
Courses Regularly Taught
Victorian Literature
Charles Dickens Seminar
The Victorian Novel
The English Novel 1700-1900
Race and the Nineteenth-Century Novel
Nineteenth-Century Science and Literature
Prosthetic People: Literature, Film, and the Body
Gender Criticisms and Theory
Cover image of Changing Hands by Peter J. Capuano; links to University of Michigan Press page


Changing Hands: Industry, Evolution, and the Reconfiguration of the Victorian Body
(University of Michigan Press. Hardback and paperback release June 2015.)

Selected Publications

"Networked Manufacture in Charlotte Brontë's Shirley." Victorian Studies 55:2 (Winter 2013): 231-242.

"On Charles Bell's 1833 Bridgewater Treatise The Hand." BRANCH: Britain, Representation, and Nineteenth-Century History.

"Biography of William Makepeace Thackeray." Critical Insights: Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray, Ed. Sheldon Goldfarb: Hackensack: Salem Press/EBSCO, 2011. 16-21.

"Handling the Perceptual Politics of Identity in Great Expectations," Dickens Quarterly 27: 3 (September 2010):185-208.

"At the Hands of Becky Sharp: (In)Visible Manipulation and Vanity Fair,"Victorians Institute Journal  38: 1 (2008): 167-191.

"An Objective Aural-Relative in Middlemarch," SEL: Studies in English Literature 1500-1900 47: 4 (Autumn 2007): 921-941.

"Truth in Timbre: Morrison's Extension of Slave Narrative Song in Beloved,"  African American Review 37:1 (Spring 2003): 95-103.  Reprinted in Contemporary Literary Criticism (Gale) 194: 1 (2005): 237-242.

Recent Papers

"The Manual Turn in Victorian Studies." Panel Organiser with Pamela K. Gilbert and Sue Zemka
North American Victorian Studies Association.  Honolulu 2015.

"Computational Contexts and Dickensian Depths." MLA. Vancouver 2015.

"Hands and the History of Nineteenth-Century Embodiment." Nineteenth-Century Studies Association.  Boston 2015.

"Classifying Dickensian Classes by Hand" North American Victorian Studies Association. London, ON 2014.

"Novel Handwriting."  North American Victorian Studies Association. Pasadena 2013.

"Surface Reading by Hand: The Manual Turn in Nineteenth-Century British Literature." Special Session. MLA. Boston 2013.

"Networked Manufacture in Shirley."  North American Victorian Studies Association. Madison 2012.

"Puppetry and Play in Vanity Fair." North American Victorian Studies Association. Nashville 2011.

"Prophetic Vision in Daniel Deronda." Victorian Futures Conference. The Dickens Universe. Santa Cruz 2011.

"Wuthering Heights and 21st-Century Undergraduates." The Brontë Festival. Joslyn Castle and Joslyn Art Museum Trust. Omaha 2011.

"(In)Visible Manipulation in Vanity Fair." Invited speaker to the annual meeting of the Victorian Studies Association of Ontario: Victorian Variations on Hands, Handling, and Underhanded Behaviour. Toronto 2011.

"Sacred Kinship: The Hand and Banner in George Eliot," Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies Association.  Austin 2010.

"Handling Animality in Dickens,"  The Dickens Symposium.  Providence 2009. 

"Embodiment in George Eliot's Realist Aesthetic," NeMLA.  Boston 2009.

"Judaism, Kabbalah, and the Tensility of Sympathy in Daniel Deronda,"  International Conference on Narrative.  Austin 2008.

"The Material Thackeray" (Panel Co-organizer) North American Victorian Studies Association 2007.

Awards and Honors

Digital Textual Studies Seminar/Grant. National Humanities Center. 2015-16
College of Arts and Sciences ENHANCE Research Grant, University of Nebraska 2014
NINES Fellowship to Digital Humanities Summer Institute 2011
Edgar F. Shannon Post-Doctoral Fellowship, University of Virginia 2009-2010
Thomas Griffis Prize for Literary Criticism, University of Virginia 2009
Presidential Doctoral Fellowship, University of Virginia 2001-2006
Wylie and Lucy Sypher Scholarship, Bread Loaf School of English 2000

College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Teaching Award 2015 (University of Nebraska)
Dr. Frank Finger All-University Award for Teaching, University of Virginia 2006
Seven Society Honoree for Classroom Excellence, University of Virginia 2005
Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award, University of Virginia 2005-2006

Modern Language Association
North American Victorian Studies Association
Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies Association
NINES (Networked Infrastructure for Nineteenth-Century Electronic Scholarship)
Digital Humanities Summer Institute (University of Victoria)
The Dickens Project and Universe
Peer Review Service

Nineteenth-Century Contexts
Manuscript Reviewer for Routledge
Victorians Institute Journal