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Faculty Profiles

Faculty Profile Variant

Jeffrey Galbraith, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of English

On Faculty since 2011
630.752.5234



Dr. Galbraith writes on the literature of controversy in the Enlightenment, with the goal of telling a more robust story about the relation between religion and literature. His research provides insight into the complexities of cultural engagement, along with a deeper understanding of the category of the secular. His research interests make him as apt to discuss Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses, or the latest publication of The Onion, as the work of Jonathan Swift.

Dr. Galbraith has published on satire, print culture, the rhetoric of slavery, post-Restoration drama, Jonathan Swift, and John Dryden. His current project, which examines the phenomenon of “explosion,” shows how literary authors engaged with the new freedom to critique religion in the early Enlightenment. The phenomenon of explosion, which is based on the frequent critical claim “to explode” an opponent’s beliefs or arguments, provides a fascinating window onto the era. Whereas critics often framed particular beliefs as relics from an earlier, pre-modern age, Dr. Galbraith shows how literature served to sustain exploded beliefs, endowing them with a potentially powerful afterlife. By drawing attention to the conflicts among options or positions, explosion in this way registered the reflexive pluralism that recent scholars have associated with the predicament of the secular.

Dr. Galbraith’s scholarly work has appeared in Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture, Restoration, Christianity and Literature, The Games of War in British and American Literature, 1600-1830, and Invoking Slavery in the Eighteenth-Century British Imagination. He is also the author of a book of poetry, Painstaker: Poems. His book reviews and creative work have appeared in Yemassee, Rock & Sling, Southern Humanities Review, Religion in the Age of Enlightenment, RHINO, The Cresset, Eleven Eleven, Harvard Review, Indiana Review, Sensucht: The C.S. Lewis Journal, Relief: A Journal of Art & Faith, Florida Review, and AGNI.

Ph.D., English, Indiana University, Bloomington, 2009

M.A., Creative Writing/English, Boston University, 1997

Folger Institute, “Ballads, Broadsides, and Eighteenth-Century Culture,” Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D.C., 2005

  • English Literature
  • Print Culture
  • Satire

Upper-Division
Seventeenth-Century Literature
Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Literature
Genre: Satire

General Education
Modern Global Literature: Medical Humanities
Classics of Western Literature: Shakespeare

The article “Laughing at Belief: The Risks and Rewards of Satire in the Classroom” has been accepted for the volume MLA Options for Teaching Comic Texts.

 Leader, Faculty Learning Community, Academic Technology Grant, 2020

 “Defoe, Wesley, and Equiano.” Evangelism Initiative Grant, 2019

 “Speaking Truth with Grace," Faculty Seminar, Center for Applied Christian Ethics (CACE), 2019 (Wheaton College)

NEH Summer Scholar, “Postsecular Studies and the Rise of the English Novel, 1719-1897,” 2016, seminar leaders: Lori Branch and Mark Knight (University of Iowa)

“Old Testament/New Testament,” Faculty Faith and Learning Seminar, 2016-2017, leaders: John Walton and Amy Peeler (Wheaton College)

“Theater as a Way of Knowing,” Faculty Seminar, Center for Applied Christian Ethics (CACE), 2016 (Wheaton College)

“Good News: An Evangelical Introduction to Christian Theology,” Faculty Faith and Learning Seminar, 2014, leader: Daniel Treier (Wheaton College)

“Engaging the Secular,” Faculty Seminar, Center for Applied Christian Ethics (CACE), 2012 (Wheaton College)

Faking the News: How Satire Can Improve Class Discussion
Celebrating Language Arts: Social Justice and Literature, Wheaton North High School, 2020

Defoe, Belief, and the Problem of Communication
Defoe Society Conference. University of York, 2019

Reading the Explosion
Roundtable: The Post-Critical Eighteenth Century. American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. Orlando, FL, 2018

Sacred Celebrity
Panel Organizer, with Alex Hernandez, American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Orlando, FL, 2018

 The “Ruin” of Toleration: Daniel Defoe, John Howe, and the Occasional Conformity Controversy
Sermon Studies Conference. Marshall University, WV, 2017

“The Spirit of Martyrdom Is Over” Daniel Defoe’s The Shortest Way with Dissenters (1702)
Humanities Colloquium, Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL.

The Effects of Toleration in Matthew Prior’s Dialogues of the Dead (1721)
Biennial Defoe Society Conference, New Haven, CT.

Defoe’s Secular Faith
American Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies, Minneapolis, MN, 2017.

Every Modern Is a Queen: Anne Finch and the Fable “Man Bitten by Fleas.”
Midwest Modern Language Association, St. Louis, MO, 2016

Caliban’s Legacy: Ian McEwan, Frank Bidart, and the Empathy of the Curse
Shakespeare Association of America, New Orleans, LA, 2016

Bodies Speaking: Redefining the Sacred in DeLillo’s Falling Man
Midwest Modern Language Association, Detroit, MI, 2015.

Translating Religion in Eighteenth-Century England
Midwest Conference on Christianity and Literature. Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL, 2014

Charles Wesley and the Politics of Hymn-WritingReligion and Literature in the Long Nineteenth Century. Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL, 2012

The Significance of the ‘Exploded’ Gospel: Sacrament and Satire in the Augustan Age.
Southwest Conference on Christianity and Literature. Oklahoma Christian University, 2012.

Tragedy and Party: Politics, Feminization, and the Revival of Nicholas Rowe’s Tamerlane American Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies. Richmond, VA, 2009

Journal Articles/Book Chapters
“Critique and Its Explosions.” Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture 49 (2020): 303-307.

“Time-Server, Hostile Reprints, and Severed Limbs: Considering the Conflict of a Paper War.” The Games of War in British and American Literature, 1600-1830. Ed. Holly Faith Nelson and Jim Daems, 212-243. MIP University Press / Arc Humanities Press.

“Sacheverell’s ‘Exploded’ Obedience: Restoration and Performance in the Early Eighteenth Century.” Restoration: Studies in English Literary Culture, 1660-1700 42.1 (2018): 5-30. (in press).

“Satire, Sincerity, and Swift’s ‘Exploded’ Gospel.” Christianity and Literature. 67:1 (2017): 139-162.

“Slavery and Obedience in Restoration and Early 18th-Century Drama.” In Invoking Slavery in the Eighteenth-Century British Imagination. Ed. Srividhya Swaminathan and Adam R. Beach, 77–92. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2013.

“The Performance of ‘Pious Fraud’: Reading Passive Obedience in Dryden’s Don Sebastian (1689).” Restoration: Studies in English Literary Culture, 1660-1700 36.1 (2012): 23-40.

Editorial
“Foreword.” Extravagant Rescues by Brett Foster. Triquarterly/Northwestern Press (2019).

Encyclopedia Entries
“Mary Kinzie” and “Andrew Hudgins” in the Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Poetry  (2006).

Book Reviews
Rev. of Anglican Enlightenment: Orientalism, Religion and Politics in England and Its Empire, 1648-1715 (2015) by William J. Bulman. Studies in Religion in the Enlightenment 1:2 (2019).

Rev. of John Wesley’s Pneumatology: Perceptible Inspiration, by Joseph W. Cunningham. Studies in Religion in the Enlightenment 1:1 (2018).

“What May Come from the Grief of Illness.” Rev. of From Nothing by Anya Krugovoy Silver. The Cresset 80.5 (2017): 51-53.

“A Life Made of Prayer.” Rev. of A Short Trip to the Edge by Scott Cairns. Englewood Review.

“Marci Rae Johnson: Poet Beyond Irony.” Rev. of Basis Disaster Supplies Kit by Marci Rae Johnson (Steel Toe Books 2015). Henry Center for Theological Understanding, February 26, 2016.

“Revisiting the Cavalier: The Roundheads’ Foes.” Rev. of Reprobates: The Cavaliers of the English Civil War by John Stubbs. Books and Culture 19.1 (2013): 38.

“Loyalty: Exploring the Vexing Virtue.” Rev. of Loyalty: The Vexing Virtue by Eric Felten. Books and Culture, March 27, 2012.

“What Marvell Believed: Portrait of a Chameleon.” Rev. of Andrew Marvell: The Chameleon by Nigel Smith. Books and Culture 17:5 (2011).

Rev. of Trauma and Transformation: The Political Progress of John Bunyan (2008), ed. Vera J. Camden, Religion in the Age of Enlightenment Vol. 2 (2010).

Creative Non-Fiction
“Inflatable Youth,” The Cresset, Vol. LXXVII, No. 2 (2013): 22-27.

Book: Poetry
Painstaker: Poems. Eugene, OR: Resource Publications, 2017.

Individual Poems
“Gary Burritos.” Rock & Sling 12.2 (2018): 1.

“God the Gorilla or Wolf.” The Cresset 80.4 (2017): 31.

“Lobster through the Heavens.” Relief Magazine: A Journal of Art and Faith (2017).

“Pugnacious Salon” (with Brett Foster). Eleven Eleven. October 2016.

“Prayer.” Sensucht: C.S. Lewis Journal. December 2016.

“Early Christian Advice Column.” Windhover: A Christian Journal of the Arts Vol. 19 (2015): 52.

“Record of Persons Whose Names Have Changed.” Southern Humanities Review, Vol. 7, No. 2 (2013).

“Day of the Dead, Michoacán.” The Cresset 76.1 (2012): 44.

“When Matt’s Dad Lost His Hand.” Yemassee 19.2 (2012): 63.

“Fields a Green Wave.” RHINO. Evanston, IL: Poetry Forum, 2012.

“New Life, Lake Scituate.” The Cresset 75:4 (2012): 30.