Laura Heffernan

Associate Professor

English | College of Arts & Sciences

Areas of Expertise

Modernism, Disciplinary History, History of the Novel, Sociology of Expertise


University of Pennsylvania PhD 2007 (English)

University of Pennsylvania BA 1999 (English)


Laura Heffernan works on twentieth century literature and culture, with a particular focus on histories of reading and histories of literary criticism. She is currently writing, with Rachel Sagner Buurma (Swarthmore College), a new history of literary study that focuses on past classrom materials. Provisionally titled The Teaching Archive, it will be published by the University of Chicago Press. Portions of and outtakes from the book the have appeared in New Literary History, PMLA, the Modernism/Modernity "Discipline" column, and ACLS News. Dr. Heffernan received her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 2007 and taught at Tulane University and Brown University before joining the faculty here at UNF. In the English department, she teaches courses on the history of the novel, modernist literature, digital methods in literary study, and later periods of British Literature. She is coordinator of UNF's new Digital Humanities minor and is keen to talk with any students who wish to know more about this exciting program of study.


  • Ralph Cohen Essay Prize for "The Common Reader and the Archival Classroom," New Literary History, 2011
  • 2011-12 UNF Office of Research and Sponsored Programs Award of Research Excellence

Grants and Contracts Awarded

  • American Council of Learned Societies Collaborative Research Fellowship, 2012-14 for The Historicist Classroom (with Rachel Buurma, Swarthmore College)
  • Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women, Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Brown University, 2010-11
  • Harry Ransom Humanities Center Summer Research Fellow, 2008

Publications & Presentations


  • The Teaching Archive: A New History of Literary Study. co-authored with Rachel Sagner Buurma. (under contract, University of Chicago Press).
  • Laura Riding's Contemporaries and Snobs [1928], Laura Heffernan and Jane Malcolm, eds. (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2014).


  • "The Classroom and the Canon: T.S. Eliot’s Modern English Literature tutorial and The Sacred Wood.” Co-authored with Rachel Sagner Buurma. PMLA, March 2018.
  • "Abstraction and the Amateur: De-disciplining T.E. Hulme,” Modernism/modernity 21.4 (Novem- ber 2014), 881-898.
  • "Notation after 'The Reality Effect': Remaking Reference with Roland Barthes and Sheila Heti." Representations 125.1 (Winter 2014): 80-102.
  • "Interpretation, 1880 and 1980," co-authored with Rachel Buurma, Victorian Studies 55.4 (Summer 2013): 615-28.
  • "The Common Reader and the Archival Classroom: Disciplinary History for the 21st Century." with Rachel Buurma. New Literary History 43.1 (Spring 2012): 113-135.
  • "The Baffled, the secret, the true: John Rodker and late avant-garde reading." Joyce's Disciples Disciplined: A Re-Exagmination of Work in Progress. Tim Conley, ed. (Dublin: UCD Press, 2010): 94-106.
  • "Reading Modernism's Cultural Field: Rebecca West's The Strange Necessity and the aesthetic 'system of relations,'" Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature 27.2 (Fall 2008): 309-326.

HeffernanContact Information

(904) 620-2273