Thomas Albrecht teaches and writes about nineteenth-century British and Continental European literature, in particular narrative fiction, the novel, realism, and aestheticism. He is also interested in literary criticism and theory, Comparative Literature, aesthetic theory and philosophy, philosophical and psychological approaches to literature, and the relationship between literature and ethics.
Professor Albrecht is the author of The Medusa Effect: Representation and Epistemology in Victorian Aesthetics (SUNY Press, 2009), a study of how various nineteenth-century writers attempt to mitigate the threat of terrifying sexual, aesthetic, moral, and existential insights by means of the representations they create of those insights. The book demonstrates how the act of representation is for these writers not simply a defensive mechanism, but itself fraught with considerable ambivalence and anxiety.
Professor Albrecht has published academic journal and book-chapter articles on Freud, A.C. Swinburne, Stendhal, Louis Althusser, Walter Pater, J. Hillis Miller, and George Eliot, among others. He is the editor of Selected Writings by Sarah Kofman (Stanford University Press, 2007), an anthology of essays and book excerpts by a significant postwar French philosopher, critic, and feminist theorist. He is currently at work on a book about ethics in the writings of the Victorian novelist George Eliot.
Professor Albrecht received his B.A. in Comparative Literature from Brown University and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of California at Irvine. He has also studied at universities in Paris, France, and Rostock, Germany.