Summary

An author and academic, Jaclyn Geller is known for her monograph Here Comes the Bride: Women, Weddings, and the Marriage Mystique, an insightful and, to some, infuriating critique of bridal culture, marital attitudes, and marriage-status discrimination. Here Comes the Bride also targets the excessive sentimentality demanded of brides, bringing to mind the words of its author’s favorite novelist, Jane Austen, who wrote in a letter, “in nine times out of ten, a woman had better show more affection than she feels.” Geller provides a history of the western wedding as a phenomenon, while questioning why so many rewards are granted to couples in licensed relationships and highlighting the way marital privileges encourage social and sexual conformity. Geller points out something that’s easy to take for granted: American society’s bias in favor of marriage; her book questions this imbalance and asks why so many benefits are accorded to married couples and withheld from others. In her recent essay in Connecticut Review, “Critical Reflections on the Push for Same Sex Marriage,” she again looks at the history of matrimony and its implications for the current same-sex marriage debate. She urges an expanded redefinition of family, not a push for all people, gay and straight, to marry. As a scholar Jaclyn Geller is dedicated to English Literature of all periods and is focused on writing of the Restoration and eighteenth century, which she teaches at Central Connecticut State University (CCSU). This institution recently recognized Dr. Geller’s commitment to teaching, scholarship, and university life with tenure and promotion to the rank of Associate Professor. At CCSU Jaclyn Geller has served on committees within and outside her department, including the Academic Standards Committee. As an undergraduate at Oberlin College, Jaclyn Geller majored in English Literature, in which she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree. She continued her academic work at New York University (NYU), working with Professors Ernest Gilman, Mary Poovey, Anne Humpherys, and Blanford Parker and studying the pedagogy of writing with Professor Pat C. Hoy. Her dissertation, Domestic Counterplots: Representations of Wedlock in Eighteenth-Century British Literature, challenged some of the preconceived notions about portrayals of companionate marriage in early modern poetry and fiction. At NYU, she received a Halsbrand Dissertation Fellowship. Jaclyn Geller has traveled throughout the United States and Britain, giving presentations at academic conferences and seminars. She continues to publish scholarly articles. Her essay on Samuel Johnson’s views of domestic life appears in the upcoming Cambridge Companion to Samuel Johnson in Context, edited by Professor Jack Lynch. She hopes to bring attention to the once popular, now obscure, seventeenth-century poet, Samuel Butler, with her essay on his use of metaphor in the upcoming issue of 1650-1850: Ideas, Aesthetics, and Inquires in the Early Modern Era. Dr. Geller’s essays on marriage and wedding iconography have appeared in, among other periodicals, Salmagundi and On the Issues: the Progressive Women’s Quarterly. Her articles also appear regularly in the Alternative to Marriage Project Update. In these pieces, authored independently and with friends, she tackles subjects such as the widespread prejudice against unmarried males and the role of American first ladies. She has recently completed a novel.

Work History

Work History

Associate Professor of English

Central Connecticut State University

Education

Education

PhD

New York University