Carolyn Lesjak

Chair; Professor

Areas of interest

Carolyn Lesjak specializes in 19th-century British literature and culture, Marxist and feminist theory, and theories of the novel.


  • BA (Swarthmore College)
  • MA, PhD (Duke)


Carolyn Lesjak is the author of Working Fictions: A Genealogy of the Victorian Novel (Duke UP) as well as numerous articles and contributions to literary encyclopedias and studies of the Victorian novel, such as the Blackwell Encyclopedia of the Novel, and The Blackwell Companion to George Eliot. Her work has appeared in journals such as ELH, Novel: A Forum on Fiction, Victorian Literature and Culture, Criticism, and Historical Materialism, and in a number of collected volumes, including On Jameson: From Postmodernism to Globalization, Literary Materialisms, The Bloomsbury Companion to Marx, and The SAGE Handbook of Frankfurt School Critical Theory.

Her new book, The Afterlife of Enclosure: British Realism, Character, and the Commons (Stanford UP, 2021) examines the material basis of character in Victorian literature and culture and its relationship to the enclosure movement and notions of the commons. Other projects include work on the status of theory and the university within the current neoliberal moment, new developments within the environmental humanities, and involvement in the recent TRC calls to Indigenize or decolonize the university. She is currently Chair of the English Department and is an associate member of the Labour Studies Program at SFU.


Summer 2024

This instructor is currently not teaching any courses.