Professor of English
Director, Film Studies Program
Ross Hamilton specializes in metahistorical patterns from the Reformation to Romanticism, as well as the shift from natural philosophy to early modern science. He is also interested in the Annales historians and their influence. He was a prize teaching fellow at Yale, and held a post-doctorate fellowship at Johns Hopkins University.
His first book, Accident: A Literary and Philosophical History (University of Chicago Press, 2008), traces the transformations and mutations of Aristotle's notion of the accidental or inessential from Sophocles to late 20th century film. It won the Harry Levin Prize from the ACLA for best work of literary history in 2007-8. A second book, Falling: Literature, Science and Social Change, explores literary analogues to the paradigm shift from natural philosophy to early modern science described by Thomas Kuhn, among others.
In addition to editing Tom Jones, he has written articles on Wordsworth, Erasmus Darwin, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the eighteenth century culture of gambling, theater and the rise of the novel, and the paintings of Pieter Bruegel the Elder.
Accident: A Literary and Philosophical History (University of Chicago Press, 2008).
Falling: Literature, Science and Social Change (forthcoming).
Literature and philosophy