Eileen Reeves is Professor and Chair of Comparative Literature and an Associate Member of the Program in the History of Science at Princeton University. She took her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Stanford. She works at the intersection of early modern literary studies, the history of art, and the history of science. Much of her research has focused on the figure of Galileo Galilei and his relationship to astronomy, religion, optics, art, and a range of literary forms, including the scientific treatise and dialogue, poetry, dialect literature, journalism, and drama.
Her most recent book is Evening News: Optics, Astronomy and Journalism in Early Modern Europe (Penn 2014). With Albert Van Helden she co-authored On Sunspots (Chicago UP, 2010). Galileo’s Glassworks: The Telescope and the Mirror was published by Harvard in 2008). Her first book was Painting the Heavens: Art and Astronomy in the Age of Galileo (Princeton 1997).
She is currently at work on a book about early modern color, which explores the complex emergence of chromatic theory, the sometime interest of painters in this philosophical project, the non-naturalistic deployment of color, and the improbably high incidence of lost, stolen, or censored treatises on color. Other recent or ongoing projects include essays on the relationships between optical and musical instruments, between astrology and literature, and between the new sciences and the visual arts.
Her articles have appeared in Representations, Modern Language Notes, Renaissance Studies, Journal of the History of Ideas, Isis, Configurations, and elsewhere. She has been the recipient of fellowships from the Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for Humanities, Villa I Tatti, the John Carter Brown Library, the Huntington Library, and the Italian Academy at Columbia University. Before coming to Princeton, she was on the faculty of Romance Languages and Literatures at the University of Pennsylvania.
At Princeton Eileen has served as Director of the Program in European Cultural Study and as Director of Graduate Studies and of Undergraduate Studies in Comparative Literature. From 2010-2013 she organized the annual Lecture Series in Comparative Literature. She teaches courses on early modern and modern literature and on the history of science.