Sarah Winter

Co-Director, Research Program on Humanitarianism

Professor, English

Sarah Winter (Ph.D. Comparative Literature, Yale University) is a professor of English and comparative literary and cultural studies. Her recent publications on human rights in history and literature have appeared in the journals Comparative Literature Studies and NOVEL; and in the Routledge Companion to Literature and Human Rights; the MLA volume on Teaching Human Rights in Literary and Cultural Studies; and the forthcoming Cambridge Companion to Literature and Human Rights. A scholar of nineteenth-century British literature and the history of the modern disciplines, she has published two books, The Pleasures of Memory: Learning to Read with Charles Dickens (2011) and Freud and the Institution of Psychoanalytic Knowledge (1999). Her current book project, “The Right to a Remedy: Habeas Corpus and Human Rights,” was supported by an HRI Faculty Fellowship in 2012 and an NEH University Faculty Fellowship in 2016-17. Investigating how common-law courts across the world, a legacy of the British Empire, have contributed since the eighteenth century to the international law of human rights, the project focuses on legal cases involving the use of the writ of habeas corpus to free fugitive slaves and to enable refugees and asylum seekers to cross borders and seek protection, and on fictional narratives that adapt the habeas corpus process in order to contest the legal impunity of the state and its agents for rights violations. A forthcoming collection of essays, From Political Economy to Economics through Nineteenth-Century Literature: Reclaiming the Social, co-edited with Elaine Hadley and Audrey Jaffe, studies how critiques of political economy found in nineteenth-century literature and social commentary can assist us in reorienting the present-day field of economics toward questions of economic inequality and social justice.