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Stephen Cox

Ph.D. (UCLA)

Professor of English Literature
Distinguished Professor
Faculty Fellow, Revelle College

Primary Office: GH 182
Primary Phone: (858) 534-3311
Secondary Office: LIT 444
Secondary Phone: Contact Department
Quarterly Office Hours

Director, Humanities Program

In academic life one does many things at the same time, and one research or teaching interest may develop into many others. I have been fortunate to have found an audience for a great variety of work, little of which I ever predicted I would do. One thing led to another. I plan to keep on in this way, in the hope that what I write will continue to be read.

Selected Research Interests:

Eighteenth-century and romantic literature

Cultural history of individualism

History of Christianity

Literature of the New Testament

Culture and history of prisons

The Titanic: history and myth

Libertarianism: history and ideas

Selected Publications:


“The Stranger Within Thee”: Concepts of the Self in Late-Eighteenth-Century Literature.  Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1980.

Love and Logic: The Evolution of Blake’s Thought.  Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1992.

The God of the Machine, by Isabel Paterson.  New Brunswick NJ: Transaction Publishers, 1993. Edition.

The Titanic Story: Hard Choices, Dangerous Decisions.  Chicago: Open Court, 1999.

The Woman and the Dynamo: Isabel Paterson and the Idea of America.  New Brunswick NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2004.

The New Testament and Literature: A Guide to Literary Patterns.  Chicago: Open Court, 2006.

Literature and the Economics of Liberty: Spontaneous Order in Culture.  Co-edited with Paul A. Cantor.  Auburn AL:  Mises Institute, 2009.

The Big House: Image and Reality of the American Prison.  New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009.

Changing and Remaining: A History of All Saints' Church.  Bloomington IN: Xlibris, 2011.

American Christianity: The Continuing Revolution.  Austin: University of Texas Press, 2014.

Culture and Liberty: Writings of Isabel Paterson.  New Brunswick NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2015.  Edition.

Book Chapters:

“The Literary Aesthetic of Thomas Jefferson.”  Essays in Early Virginia Literature Honoring Richard Beale Davis.  Ed. J. A. Leo Lemay.  New York: Burt Franklin, 1977.  Pp. 235-56.

“Methods and Limitations.”  Critical Paths: Blake and the Argument of Method.  Ed. Dan Miller, Mark Bracher, and Donald Ault.  Durham NC: Duke University Press, 1987.  Pp. 19-40, 331-34.

“Taking Risks in Teaching Songs.”  Approaches to Teaching Blake’s “Songs of Innocence and of Experience.”  Ed. Robert F. Gleckner and Mark L. Greenberg.  New York: Modern Language Association, 1989.  Pp. 88-92.

“Sensibility as Argument.”  Sensibility in Transformation: Creative Resistance to Sentiment from the Augustans to the Romantics.  Ed. Syndy McMillen Conger.  Rutherford NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1990.  Pp. 63-82.

“Ayn Rand.”  American Philosophers, 1950-2000.  Ed. Philip B. Dematteis and Leemon B. McHenry.  Detroit: Gale - Bruccoli Clark Layman, 2003.  Pp. 255-72.

“The Literary Achievement of The Fountainhead.”  The Literary Art of Ayn Rand. Ed. William Thomas.  Poughkeepsie NY: Objectivist Center, 2005.   Pp. 39-53. 

Atlas and ‘the Bible’: Rand’s Debt to Isabel Paterson.”  Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged”: A Philosophical and Literary Companion. Ed. Edward W. Younkins.  Aldershot, Hampshire: Ashgate, 2007.  Pp. 351-60.

“Willa Cather.”  Literary Genius. Ed. Joseph Epstein.  Philadelphia: Paul Dry Books, 2007.  Pp. 192-98. 

“The Biblical Icon.”  Sacred History, Sacred Literature: Essays on the Bible, Ancient Israel, and Religion in Honor of Richard E. Friedman. Ed. Shawna Dolansky.  Winona Lake IN:  Eisenbrauns, 2008.  Pp. 293-313.

“Cather’s Capitalism.”  Literature and the Economics of Liberty (above).  Pp. 323-70.

“Conrad’s Praxeology.”  Literature and the Economics of Liberty (above).  Pp. 371-432.

“The Panic of ’93: The Literary Response.”  Capitalism and Commerce in Imaginative Literature.  Ed. Edward W. Younkins.  Lanham MD: Lexington Books, 2015.  Pp. 203-27.


“Public Virtue and Private Vitality in Shadwell’s Comedies.”  Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Theatre Research 16 (1977) 11-22.

“Berkeley, Blake, and the Apocalypse of Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49.”  Essays in Literature 7 (1980) 91-99. 

“Adventures of ‘A Little Boy Lost’: Blake and the Process of Interpretation.”  Criticism 23 (1981) 301-316. 

“Recent Work on Blake.”  Eighteenth-Century Studies 18 (1985) 391-405.

“What Was Distinctive About the Later Eighteenth Century?”  The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation 27 (1986) 299-304.

“Ayn Rand: Theory versus Creative Life.”  The Journal of Libertarian Studies 8 (1986) 19-29.

“‘It Couldn’t Be Made Into a Really Good Movie’:  The Films of Ayn Rand.”  Liberty 1 (August 1987) 5-10.

“Literary Theory: Liberal and Otherwise.”  Humane Studies Review 5 (Fall 1987) 1, 5-7, 12-14. 

“Devices of Deconstruction.”  Critical Review 3 (Winter 1989) 56-76.

“Albert Jay Nock: Prophet of Libertarianism?” Liberty 5 (March 1992) 39-46.

Review essay, Vincent Arthur De Luca, Words of Eternity Blake 26 (Fall 1992) 52-57.

“Assumptions of Power.”  Reason 24 (March 1993) 34-41.  Reprint as “Politics Before the Humanities: Conflict in the Classroom.”  Current (July-August 1993) 13-19.

“The Significance of Isabel Paterson.”  Liberty 7 (October 1993) 30-41. 

“Theory, Experience and ‘The American Religion.’”  Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 36 (1993) 363-73. 

“The Two Liberalisms.”  American Literary History 6 (1994) 453-66.

Review essay, Jeanne Moskal, Blake, Ethics, and Forgiveness Blake 29 (1995-1996) 97-102.

“The Devil’s Reading List.”  Raritan 16 (Fall 1996) 97-111. 

“Mysteries of the Titanic.”  Liberty 10 (May 1997) 13-28, 42.   “Titanics Mysterier” (Swedish translation).  Trans. Sune Karlsson.  Smedjan 1 (March 3, 1998).

Review essay, Margot A. Henriksen, Dr. Strangelove’s America: Society and Culture in the Atomic Age.  The Independent Review: A Journal of Political Economy 3 (Fall 1998) 289-94.

“Outsides and Insides: Reimagining American Capitalism.”  The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies 1 (1999) 27-57.  Serialization in The Daily Objectivist, May 5, 2000 - May 19, 2000.

“The Art of Fiction.”  The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies 1 (2000) 313-31.

“Having Your Say.”  The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies (2002) 339-47.

“The Titanic and the Art of Myth.”  Critical Review 15 (2003) 403-34.

“The Truth vs. the Truth.”  Liberty 17 (September-October 2003) 49-56, 76.   “Virtuális Kísérlet – Az Igazság az Igaszág Ellen”  (Hungarian translation).  Trans. Zoltán Barna.  Ex-Jehova Tanúja (March 2005).

“Completing Rand’s Literary Theory.”  The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies 6 (2004) 67-89.

“Representing Isabel Paterson.”  American Literary History 17.2 (2005) 244-58.

“Doing What Comes ‘Naturally.’”  Liberty 19 (August 2005) 15-21.

Review essay, Robert Mayhew, Ayn Rand and ‘Song of Russia’: Communism and Anti-Communism in 1940s Hollywood.   Journal of Libertarian Studies 19 (Fall 2005) 83-96.

“Merely Metaphorical?:  Ayn Rand, Isabel Paterson, and the Language of Theory.” The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies 8 (Spring 2007) 237-60.

"Ayn's World."  Liberty 23 (October 2009) 39-46.

"The Farthest Shores of Propaganda."  Liberty 24 (July 2010) 21-29. 

"An Experiment in Apocalypse."  Liberty 24 (December 2010) 17-22. 

“Rand, Paterson, and the Problem of Anarchism.”  The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies 13 (July 2013) 3-25.

“Anarchism and Its Own Problems.”  The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies 13 (December 2013) 224-45.

“The Cather Correspondence.”  American Literary History 26 (Summer 2014) 418-29.

“Nathaniel Branden in the Writer’s Workshop.”  The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies 16 (December 2016) 245-60.


The Dream of the Rood, anonymous (8th century).  In The New Testament and Literature (above) Pp.  325-28.  Verse translation.

Archival resources:

Correspondence and Manuscripts of Isabel Paterson: Census and Summary.  1994.  Produced for the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library, West Branch, Iowa.  Annotated census

Editorial Service:

Editor in Chief: Liberty

Editor: The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies (Penn State Press)

Selected Awards:

Outstanding Teacher, Muir College, UCSD, 1979

Outstanding Teacher, Revelle College, UCSD, 1984

Alumni Association Distinguished Faculty Award, UC San Diego, 1991

Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award, UC San Diego, 2000

Selected University Offices:

Chair, Academic Senate, UCSD, 1993-1994

Chair, Committee on Academic Personnel, UCSD, 1995-1996

Chair, Committee on Educational Policy, UCSD, 1988-1990, 2002-2003

Chair, Committee on Educational Policy, University of California, 1991-1992

Member, Academic Council, University of California, 1991-1992, 1993-1994


Phi Beta Kappa

Association of Literary Scholars, Critics, and Writers