Patrick C. Fleming


I teach courses in British literature, including surveys for majors and seminars on Victorian literature, Romanticism, children’s literature, Shakespeare, and the history of the novel. In my teaching I take a historical approach to literature, but in a modern context: my students blog, write Wikipedia entries, create ersatz Facebook and LinkedIn profiles for literary characters, and test their scansion skills with For Better for Verse.

I also direct the W. E. B. Du Bois Honors Program, helping students meet the program requirements and develop their senior honors projects, and am the Fulbright Program Coordinator for Fisk University.

Besides my academic interests, I enjoy ultimate Frisbee, cooking, and playing board games (I’m especially fond of Scrabble — my wife and I have been playing continuously almost since we started dating). I used to compete as an amateur ballroom dancer, and still enjoy dancing socially


My research focuses on Victorian literature and children’s literature. My book about childhood reading and the Victorian novel, The Legacy of the Moral Tale, is available from the University of Tennessee Press. My current book project, tentatively titled, Disney’s Victorians: Literary History in a Global Media Age, examines how the Walt Disney Company adapts Victorian-era texts, and argues that corporations follow similar objectives to literary scholars, despite obvious differences.

I am also working with a group of scholars to develop a curated website, Streaky Bacon, which is a resource for teachers and scholars interested in adaptations of Victorian texts.



The Legacy of the Moral Tale: Children’s Literature and the English Novel, 1744-1859 (University of Tennessee Press, 2016) documents the importance of children’s tales to the history of the novel. After tracing the origins of the moral tale from the mid-eighteenth century into the Romantic period, I show how Victorian writers like Charles Dickens incorporated the conventions of these tales into their own fictions. The Victorians grew up reading moral tales, and that childhood reading helps explain the imitative, didactic relationship that many Victorian novelists aim to create with their readers.

Peer-Reviewed Articles

“Dickens, Disney, Oliver, & Company.” Forthcoming in Children’s Literature Association Quarterly 41.2 (Summer 2016)
“The Words Students Need and How They Can Learn Them: Teaching Literary Vocabulary in the Twenty-First Century.” Forthcoming in Pedagogy 16.2 (Spring 2016)
“The Rise of the Moral Tale: The Governess, Children’s Literature, and the Novel.” Eighteenth-Century Studies 46.4 (Summer 2013)
“‘The Delight of our Earlier Days’: Childhood, Narrative, and The Village School.” Journal of Narrative Theory 43.1 (Winter 2013)
“William Fulford, ‘The Set,’ and The Oxford and Cambridge Magazine.” Victorian Periodicals Review 45.3 (Fall 2012)

Digital Projects

Streaky Bacon: A Guide to Victorian Adaptations. Launched in spring 2016, the curated website publishes short essays on Victorian adaptations. I am a founding editor of the site, and wrote the introductory essay about the theory behind it. An academic blog I have maintained since 2012.

Patrick C. Fleming
Assistant Professor of English and Director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Honors Program

Ph.D., English Language and Literature, University of Virginia, 2012
M.A., English Language and Literature, University of Virginia, 2009
B.A., Mathematics and English, Pomona College, Claremont, CA, 2005

1000 17th Ave North
Nashville, Tn 37208
Park Johnson 316
Phone: 615.329.8769
Twitter: @PatrickCFleming