Dr. Eric Birdsall

Dr. Eric Birdsall

Title: Professor
Dept/Program: English
Phone: 330-972-6858
Email: ebirdsall@uakron.edu
Curriculum Vitae: Download in PDF format


Eric Birdsall came to Akron in 1987 and served seven years as department head. His academic interests include British Romantic poetry and fiction, British literature of the late eighteenth century, detective fiction, and the relationships between film and literature. He is editor of Descriptive Sketches in the Cornell Wordsworth edition and has published articles on Wordsworth, Whitman, composition, Schlesinger's Midnight Cowboy, and Bogdanovich's Daisy Miller. He has held grants and fellowships from the American Philosophical Society and the Penn State University Institute for Arts and Humanistic Studies.



  • Writing on the Job:  A Guide for Nurse Managers [with Kathleen Garver Mastrian].  N.Y.:  John Wiley, 1986.
  • Descriptive Sketches by William Wordsworth, ed. Eric Birdsall, with the assistance of Paul M. Zall.  Ithaca, N.Y.Cornell University Press, 1984.  [Volume 2 in The Cornell Wordsworth edition.]


  • "Interpreting Henry James: Bogdanovich's Daisy Miller." Literature/Film Quarterly, 22 (1994), 272-277.
  • "Nature and Society in Descriptive Sketches."  Modern Philology 84 (1986): 39-52.
  • "Unmerited Contempt, Undeserved Praise:  More on Wordsworth's Earliest Reviews."  The Wordsworth Circle 17 (1986): 247-249.
  • "Translating the Hints:  Whitman's Theory of Poetry."  Walt Whitman Review 26 (1980): 113-123.
  • "Avoiding Whadjaget with No-Grade, Graded Papers."  College Composi­tion and Communication 20 (1979): 220-222.
  • "Wordsworth's Revisions to Descriptive Sketches:  The Wellesley Copy."  The Wordsworth Circle 5 (1974): 9-14.
  • "Schlesinger's Midnight Cowboy:  Creating a Classic" [with Fred Marcus].  In Fred Marcus, ed., Film and Literature:  Contrasts in Media.  Scranton and LondonChandler, 1971.  178-189. 
  • Reprinted as "Schlesinger's Midnight Cowboy."  Media & Methods.  7 (February 1971): 36-38, 56-57.

Reviews and Review Essays

  • Gavin Edwards, Narrative Order, 1789-1819: Life and Story in an Age of Revolution (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2006).  BARS Bulletin and Review #32 (Dec 2007), 44-45.
  • Stephen M. Parrish, Coleridge's Dejection: The Earliest Manuscripts and the Earliest Printings (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1989). Analytical & Enumerative Bibliography, NS 3 (1989), 26-28.
  • Jones, Mark and Karl Kroeber, eds., Wordsworth Scholarship and Criticism, 1973-1984, An Annotated Bibliography, with Selected Criticism, 1809-1972, (N.Y.:  Garland, 1986). The Wordsworth Circle 18 (1987): 184-186.
  • Jordan, Frank, ed., The English Romantic Poets, A Review of Research and Criticism, 4th ed. (N.Y.:  Modern Language Association, 1986). The Wordsworth Circle 18 (1987): 184- 186.
  • Donald E. Hayden, Wordsworth's Walking Tour of 1793, (Tulsa, Oklahoma:  University of Tulsa, 1983)., The Wordsworth Circle. 15 (1984): 136-137.
  • "Wordsworth Scholarship:  An Annual Register." The Wordsworth Circle.  9 (1978): 235- 240.
  • "Wordsworth Scholarship:  An Annual Register." The Wordsworth Circle.  8 (1977): 220- 224.
  • "Wordsworth Scholarship:  An Annual Register." The Wordsworth Circle.  7 (1976): 186- 190.
  • "Wordsworth Scholarship:  An Annual Register." The Wordsworth Circle.  6 (1975): 195- 198.


  • "Hedge-Pulling and Property Laws," delivered at a session on Law and Literature at the National Meeting of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Austin, Texas, March 1996.
  • Respondent to Jack Stillinger, "Editing Wordsworth's Texts," Cornell University, May 1991.
  • "Wordsworth's Radical Poetics," International Conference on Radical Romanticism, Bucknell University, April 1990.
  • "Daisy Miller: Novel to Film," English Department Colloquium, University of Akron, February 1990.
  • Session Chair, Critical Approaches to Literature, College English Association of Ohio, Columbus, Ohio, April 1988.
  • "Reading 'Tintern Abbey'," English Department Colloquium, University of Akron, April 1988
  • Respondent to Stephen M. Parrish, "Misreading Wordsworth," International Conference on English Romanticism, Indiana University, March 1988
  • Recorder, Panel of Department Heads, College English Association of Ohio Conference, Athens, Ohio, October 1987.
  • Organizer and Respondent to Lecture by M. H. Abrams, "On Reading the Lyrical Ballads," Pennsylvania State University Symposium on Romantic Poetry, September 1987.
  • "Daisy Miller, Daisy Miller, Daisy Miller," presented at West Virginia University Conference on Modern Literature and Film, September 1984.
  • Chaired session on American Film, West Virginia University Conference on Modern Literature and Film, September 1984.
  • "'I Heav'd the Human Sigh':  the Autobiographical Impulse in Descriptive Sketches," presented at Modern Language Association annual convention, December 1983.
  • Chaired session on American Comic Film, Penn State University Conference on American Comedy, April 1983.
  • "'Running at the Ring of Pleasure':  Ambiguity in Sterne's Sentimental Journey" presented at Florida State University Conference on Film and Literature, January 1981.
  • "The Genesis of Wordsworth's Descriptive Sketches," invited lecture to English graduate students at Cornell University, October 1979.
  • "Tracking Down Wordsworth:  Further Developments," English Department Colloquium, Pennsylvania State University, October 1978.
  • "Tracking Down Wordsworth," English Department Colloquium, Pennsylvania State University, December 1977.


Ph.D., Johns Hopkins