Sarah Rivett is professor of English and American studies and an interdisciplinary scholar specializing in early American and transatlantic literature, religion, and Indigenous history. She is the author of The Science of the Soul in Colonial New England (Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture and University of North Carolina Press, 2011), which was awarded the American Society of Church History’s Brewer Prize. The Science of the Soul explores intersections between the scientific revolution and the rise of Protestantism in Anglo America. Her second book, Unscripted America: Indigenous Languages and the Origins of a Literary Nation (Oxford University Press, 2017), explores the impact of colonial language encounters between Indigenous and European populations on Enlightenment language philosophy and early American literary history from the mid-17th century through the 1820s. She is currently working on a study of the supernatural across a variety of 18th-century genres from court trials to sermons to gothic novels and ghost stories.
Rivett has also co-edited a volume of essays on Religious Transformations in the Early Modern Americas (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014). She is co-organizer of the Material Economies of Religion in the Americas project administered by the Center for the Study of Material and Visual Cultures of Religion at Yale University. Her articles have appeared in PMLA, American Literary History, Early American Literature, The William and Mary Quarterly, American Literature, and Early American Studies. Her graduate course titles include “Religion and the Rise of the Novel,” “Religion in the Early Modern Atlantic World” and “American Enlightenment.” Her undergraduate course titles include “The Supernatural in American Literature,” “American Literature to 1865,” “Religion and Poetry,” “Walt Whitman’s America,” and “Morality in America.”