Dr. Lauren Hoffer

Hoffer pic Assistant Professor of Victorian Literature

255 Library (Hilton Head Gateway)
843-208-8229 phone; 843-208-8289 fax

Ph.D., M.A., Vanderbilt University, 2009, 2005
B.A., The University of Alabama, 2004

Dr. Hoffer specializes in Victorian Literature and Culture and the British Novel; at USCB, she teaches courses on Gothic Literature, Romanticism, the Victorian Period, 20th century British Literature, Women Writers, and Composition.  Her other teaching interests include Women’s and Gender Studies, Fantasy and Science Fiction, and Contemporary Fiction. Her current book project explores the literary and cultural significance of the paid female companion and manipulations of sympathy in the Victorian novel. She sponsors our chapter of Sigma Tau Delta.


  • "Employment Relations and the Failure of Sympathy in Hardy's Desperate Remedies and The Mayor of Casterbridge. Victorians Institute Journal (forthcoming).
  • "Lapdogs and Moral Shepherd’s Dogs: Canine and Human Companions in Jane Austen's Mansfield Park." In The Psychology of the Human-Animal Bond. Ed. Chris Blazina, Güler Boyra, and David Shen-Miller. Springer, 2011.
  • "'She brings everything to a grindstone':  Sympathy and the Paid Female Companion’s Critical Work in David Copperfield." Dickens Studies Annual 41 (June 2010): 191-213.
  • "Wilkie Collins’s Companion Novels: Manipulating Sympathy in Poor Miss Finch and The New Magdalen."(under review)


  • "Converging Networks: Remarriage and the Victorian Blended Family." North American Victorian Studies Association. Madison, WI. September 2012.
  • "The Lady’s Companion, Sympathy, and Narrative Play in Collins’s Poor Miss Finch." International Conference on Narrative. Las Vegas, NV. March 2012.
  • "The Lady’s Companion and Domestic Life as Spectacle." North American Victorian Studies Association. Nashville, TN. November 2011.
  • "Performing Sympathy: The Paid Female Companion in Vanity Fair and David Copperfield." Nineteenth Century Studies Association. Tampa, FL. March 2010.
  • "'I was at work in your house as a detective': The Companion and the Secrets of the House in Lady Audley's Secret and Anne Hereford." Victorians Institute. The University of South Carolina, Columbia. October 2008. 
  • "''They claim to be nothing else': The Collection and Presentation of Knowledge and Experience in Pickwick Papers." International Conference on Narrative. Washington, DC. March 2007.
  • "Revitalizing the System: Nostalgia, the Navy, and the Estate in Jane Austen's Persuasion." Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century British Women Writers Conference. University of Louisiana at Lafayette. April 2005.