Jack Lynch

About Jack Lynch

I'm Distinguished Professor of English and Interim Chair of the Department of Arts, Culture & Media at Rutgers University - Newark. I received my BA and my PhD from the University of Pennsylvania.


My scholarly work focuses on eighteenth-century British literature, especially Samuel Johnson; forgery, fakery, and fraud; the history of the English language; lexicography and lexicology; satire; literary biography; and the Rezeptionsgeschichte of the English Renaissance, Shakespeare above all.


I've also, somewhat improbably, written trade books on these subjects: an abridgment of Samuel Johnson's Dictionary, a biography of Shakespeare that begins with his death and ends with his 300th birthday, a history of the idea of "proper" English, and a wide-ranging history of reference books from ancient Mesopotamian tablets to the latest updates on Wikipedia.


Since starting at Rutgers in 1998 I've received the university's Board of Trustees Research Fellowship and the Scholar-Teacher Award, as well as grants and fellowships from the National Endowment from the Humanities, the Bibliographical Society of America, the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Philosophical Society, and All Souls College, Oxford. More details than you ever wanted are available on my ostentatiously unabridged CV. I waste a shocking amount of time on social media, so you can find me on Twitter.


I've done bunches of interviews with the media and am available to do more.  Get in touch for details.