Skip to main content

Irving N. Rothman

Faculty directory »


Irving N. Rothman (Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh, 1967) conducts research in English and American literature and stylometrics. His study of Chaucer’ Clerk’s Tale appeared in Papers on Language and Literature. His emphasis is in Restoration and eighteenth–century English literature with focus upon the works of Daniel Defoe and articles on Defoe published in the Bibliotheck, Modern Language Review, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, and Studies in the Novel. He is Textual Editor and Co-General Editor of the works of Defoe in the Stoke Newington Daniel Defoe Edition being published by the AMS Press of Brooklyn, New York. In 2003, he published an edition of The Political History of the Devil (1726), co-edited with his former student R. Michael Bowerman. Rothman’s two-volume edition of Defoe’s The Family Instructor Vol. 1, 1715; Vol. 2, 1718) is expected to be published in 2013, along with the Robinson Crusoe trilogy, for which he is general textual editor. His publications in the period include studies of Thomas Chatterton's play Aella, Alexander Pope's "Epistle to Burlington," Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels, and Henry Fielding's prose imitation of Spenser's epithalamium in Joseph Andrews.

Dr. Rothman is an authority on the poetry of an early American Federalist Magazine, The Port Folio, published in Philadelphia, under the anti-Jeffersonian editor Joseph Dennie, with publication in American Literature, Early American Literature, the Journal of the Society for the Bibliography of Natural History, Revue de Litérature Comparée, and the Yale University Library Gazette.

A specialist in technical and professional writing, he has served as editor of the annual report and other publications for major scientific institutes on campus, including the and the Environmental Institute of Houston (EIH), the Energy Laboratory, and the Institute for Space Systems Operations (ISSO).

A faculty member of the Jewish Studies Minor, he published The Barber in Modern Jewish Culture: A Genre of People, Places, and Things (Mellen Press, 2008). In 1975-76, he chaired a committee comprised of members of the university faculty and students, as well as members of the Houston community, to obtain a Holocaust torah for the Hillel Foundation on campus, protected in Special Collections of the M. D. Anderson Memorial Library. An acrylic display case was commissioned in 2012 for public display of the torah.

Dr. Rothman is engaged in the study of professions in literature and has focused on the barber as a central figure of his community in countries throughout the world. Currently under preparation is an annotated anthology of barbers and barbershops. Early studies appeared in the Bulletin of Bibliography.

Classes: Undergraduate: Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Literature, Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Drama, Introduction to the Novel, Nobel Prize Winners in Literature, Jewish–American Literature; Graduate: Bibliography and Methods of Research, Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Literature, Melville’s Prose, and Poetry, Political Poetry.


  • Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh
  • M.A., University of Pittsburgh
  • B.A., University of Pittsburgh

back to top

Research Interests

18th Century British Literature, Bibliography, Nobel Prize in Literature

back to top