Madison Chapman

Cohort Year: 2020
Research Interests: 18th-century British Literature, British Romanticism, Gender & Sexuality Studies, Queer Theory


I am a fourth year PhD student with research and teaching interests primarily in British Romanticism and queer theory. My dissertation project examines the surprising entanglement of intimacy and absence in the works of British Romantic authors, namely Wollstonecraft, Byron, Keats, Wordsworth and Mary Shelley. In poetry, correspondence and novel forms, these authors explore the nature of intimacies marked by varied and insistent forms of absence such as death, physical distance, social barriers, and psychological obstacles. My research tracks the Romantic tendency to define intimacy alongside or through absence instead of in spite of it, revealing a growing skepticism in the period towards the reciprocity of intimacy in sexual, romantic and kinship relations.

Since coming to the University of Chicago, I have served as the Humanities Division Graduate Representative on the Library Student Advisory Group, and during the 2018-2019 school year I co-coordinated the Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Centuries Atlantic Cultures Workshop. I am originally from Sarasota, Florida and earned my B.A. in Literature from American University in Washington, D.C.


  • London Program: Surveilling London: Sexuality, Race, and Power, Instructor of Record, Fall 2019 
  • London Program: London's Water Stories: Representations of the Thames in Literature, Art and Film, Course Assistant, Fall 2019 
  • London Program: Postcolonial England: Migration, Race, Nation, Course Assistant, Fall 2019 
  • London Program: The Country and the City, Course Assistant, Fall 2019 
  • Shakespeare II: Tragedies and Romances, Course Assistant, Winter 2019