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Chris Gabbard

Associate Professor

English | College of Arts & Sciences

Areas of Expertise

  • Disability Studies in the Humanities
  • Restoration and eighteenth-century British literature
  • Creative Nonfiction
  • Narrative Medicine


Ph.D. -- Stanford University 1999

BA and MA -- San Francisco State University


Chris Gabbard grew up in Palo Alto, California, and for a long period worked in and then ran a retail irrigation-supply business owned by his family. From 1983 to 1989 he was the publisher and chief editor of The Short Story Review, the first journal to publish work by Chinese-American writer Amy Tan. He married Ilene Chazan in 1992, and in 1999 he earned a Ph.D. at Stanford University in English literature. He now teaches English at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. In 2012 he won the Disability Resource Center Professor Empowerment Award, and in 2017 he garnered the Sigma Tau Delta Faculty Appreciation Award, in recognition of his Outstanding Commitment and Dedication to the Art of Teaching.


It was while wrapping up his doctoral dissertation at Stanford in 1999 that his son August was born with significant and multiple impairments. The event sparked his interest in Disability Studies in the Humanities. His memoir A Life Beyond Reason: A Father's Memoir grew out of an essay published in 2010 in The Chronicle of Higher Education. August died in 2013; video and pictures of him can be seen at A Boy Named August . Chris and Ilene have one surviving child, Clio. He uses the music site Augustslist to fundraise for the DLC: Nurse & Learn in Jacksonville, Florida.


  • Sabbatical semester, 2011
  • Disability Resource Center Professor Empowerment Award, 2012
  • The Sigma Tau Delta Faculty Appreciation Award, in recognition of his Outstanding Commitment and Dedication to the Art of Teaching, 2017


  • American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ASECS)
  • Southeastern Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (SEASECS)
  • Society for Disability Studies (SDS)
  • Modern Language Association (MLA)

Grants and Contracts Awarded

  • Summer Scholarship Grant, Univ. North Florida, 2010, 2009, 2007, 2004
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Stanford University, 1999-2000

Publications & Presentations


  • Disability and Medicine in the Literature of the British Enlightenment, Literature and the History of Medicine, vol. 1, edited by Clark Lawlor, Cambridge UP, 2019(?).
  • From Changelings to Libtards: Intellectual Disability in the Eighteenth Century and Beyond. Routledge Companion to Literature and Disability, edited by Alice Hall, Routledge, 2019(?).
  • Disability in the Long Eighteenth Century, a 10,000-word introduction written with Susannah Mintz for The Cultural History of Disability in the Long Eighteenth Century, vol. 4 of a 6-volume set, edited by D. Christopher Gabbard and Susannah Mintz, Bloomsbury, October 2019.
  • Co-editior (with Susannah Mintz) of The Cultural History of Disability in the Long Eighteenth Century, an 8-chapter volume plus introduction; see item immediately above.
  • A Life Beyond Reason: A Fathers Memoir. Beacon Press, May 2019.



  • A Defect in the Mind: Cognitive Ableism in Swifts Gullivers Travels, in Intellectual Disability: A Conceptual History 1200-1900, edited by Patrick McDonagh, Christopher Goodey, and Thomas Stainton, Manchester UP, 2018, 104-127.
  • Human, in Keywords For Disability Studies, edited by Rachel Adams, Benjamin Reiss, and David Serlin, NYU Press, 2015, 98-102.
  • From Custodial Care to Caring Labor: The Discourse of Who Cares in Jane Eyre, in The Madwoman and the Blindman: Jane Eyre, Discourse, Disability, edited by David Bolt, Julia Miele Rodas, and Elizabeth J. Donaldson, Ohio State UP, 2012, 91-110.
  • Disability Studies and the British Long Eighteenth Century and accompanying Teaching Guide, Literature Compass 8.2 (Feb. 2011): 80 - 94.
  • Odd Quirks: The Story of My Son, in Papa, PhD: Essays on Fatherhood by Men in the Academy, edited by Mary Ruth Marotte, Paige Martin Reynolds, and Ralph JamesSavarese, Rutgers UP, 2010, 217-223.
  • A Life beyond Reason, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 12 Nov. 2010, B13+ <>.
  • From Idiot Beast to Idiot Sublime: Mental Disability in John Clelands Fanny Hill, in PMLA: Publications of the Modern Language Association of America 123.2 (March 2008): 375-389.
  • What He Found Not Monsters, He Made So: The I-word and The Bathos of Exclusion, in the Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies 2.1 (Winter 2008).
  • Clashing Masculinities in Aphra Behns The Dutch Lover, in SEL (Studies in English Literature 1500-1900) 47.3 (Summer 2007): 557-572.
  • The Dutch Wives Good Husbandry: Defoes Roxana and Financial Self-Fashioning, in Eighteenth-Century Studies 37.2 (2004), 237-251.
  • Gender Stereotyping in Early Modern Travel Writing on Holland, in SEL (Studies in English Literature 1500-1900) 43.1 (2003), 83-101.
  • Sirens without a Song: Gender Stereotyping in Marvells The Character of Holland, in ELN (English Language Notes) 40.1 (2002): 61-76.
  • The She-Tyrant Reigns: Mary II and the Tullia Poems, in Restoration: Studies in English Literary Culture, 1660-1700  25.2 (2001): 103-116.



Gabbard is currently assembling a collection of scholarly essays tentatively titled: Representations of Care / Ethics of Care.

Contact Information

(904) 620-2273


Office Hours

Bldg 8, rm 2215, times vary according to semester