On Jan. 1, professor of English Helen Deutsch became the new director for UCLA's Center for 17th- and 18th-Century Studies and the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library.
Professor Deutsch joined UCLA’s English department in 1995 and was first affiliated with the Center/Clark as an Ahmanson-Getty postdoctoral fellow in 1992–93. She has served the Center/Clark in many capacities over the past 21 years, including as Clark Professor in 2005–06, as a member of the Faculty Advisory Committee for many years and as chair of that committee from 2009–11 and from 2013–15.
In addition to serving as departmental vice chair for graduate studies, she successfully spearheaded the founding of UCLA’s interdisciplinary disability studies minor, which she chaired from 2006 to 2011. Outside of Westwood, she has been a member at large of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, chair of the Division for Restoration and Early Eighteenth-Century Literature of the Modern Language Association, an advisory editor for PMLA, the association's journal, and a member of its committee on disability issues.
Deutsch teaches and researches at the crossroads of 18-century studies and disability studies, with particular emphases on questions of authorship, originality and embodiment across a variety of genres.
Her ongoing research looks into the relation of 18-century authors to classical models (in shaping literary style, authorial careers and gendered identities), the multifaceted connection between physical embodiment and literary form, and the interplay between visual and printed cults of authorship, among other areas of interest.
She is the author of "Resemblance and Disgrace: Alexander Pope and the Deformation of Culture" (Harvard University Press, 1996) and "Loving Dr. Johnson" (University of Chicago Press, 2005). With the support of a fellowship of the American Council of Learned Societies, she is currently working on a book on Jonathan Swift and Edward Said.