Mark Vareschi

Position title: Associate Professor of English



Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Literature and Culture, Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Drama, Aesthetics, Digital Studies, Surveillance Studies, Media Theory, Philosophy and Literature, Literary Theory, Gender and Sexuality

Degrees and Institutions

  • PhD, English, Rutgers University, 2011
  • MA, English, Rutgers University, 2007
  • BA, English, Ithaca College, 2003

Selected Publications

Intermediate Horizons: Book History and Digital Humanities, coedited with Heather Wacha. University of Wisconsin Press, 2022.
Everywhere and Nowhere: Anonymity and Mediation in Eighteenth-Century England. University of Minnesota Press, 2018.


“Intention” in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Literary Theory, ed. John Frow. Oxford University Press (2022): 458-469.
“Lockean Persons, Data Bodies: Metaphor and Dataveillance,” Philological Quarterly, 100.3 (2021): 371-391.
“Introduction: Intention and the Eighteenth-Century Text” with Jess Keiser. Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture, 47 (2018): 209-11.
“Surveillance Studies and Literature of the Long Eighteenth Century.” Literature Compass, 14.12 (2017): 1-7.
“Intention and the Eighteenth-Century Text,” with Jess Keiser. Introduction and collected essays. Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture 47 (2017).
“Objects, Numbers, Meaning: The Eighteenth-Century Playbill at Scale” with Mattie Burkert Theatre Journal, 68.4 (2016): 597-613.
“Anonymity, Intention, Motive, and Evelina” English Literary History, 82.4 (2015): 1135-1158.
“Reading (And Not Reading) Anonymity: Daniel Defoe, An Essay on the Regulation of the Press and A Vindication of the Press.” Authorship, 4.1 (2015).
“Attribution and Repetition: The Case of Daniel Defoe and the Circulating Library.” Eighteenth-Century Life 36.2 (2012): 36-59.

Current Projects

My current book project, Figures of Surveillance, considers technologies of surveillance and the metaphors that underpin them. Metaphor is at the core of surveillance. The most obvious example is that of the Jeremy Bentham’s Panopticon (1787) which, via Michel Foucault, becomes the dominant metaphor for understanding televisual surveillance in modernity. My argument in this book is that much like the panopticon and the term surveillance itself, which enters into the English language near the end of the eighteenth century, what makes those metaphors functional in our current moment find their origins in eighteenth-century thought.


At UW-Madison I teach undergraduate courses on Restoration and eighteenth-century literature and culture including courses on the eighteenth-century novel, the gothic novel, eighteenth-century drama, gender and sexuality in Restoration and eighteenth-century literature. I also teach digital studies courses on artificial intelligence and digital surveillance. Topics of my graduate courses include: media theory, surveillance studies, 18th-century visual culture, bibliography and digital textuality, and aesthetics.