Sharon Weltman

Sharon  Aronofsky  Weltman 

Alumni Professor

Bachelor's Degree(s): BA, English & Anthropology, University of Texas (Austin), 1979
Master's Degree: MA & MPhil, English, Rutgers, 1989; MAT, Humanities, University of Texas-Dallas, 1984;
PhD: PhD, English, Rutgers, 1992
Phone: (225) 578-2857
Fax: (225) 578-4129


Office: Allen 210-D


Sharon Aronofsky Weltman (William E. “Bud” Davis Alumni Professor) joined the Department of English at LSU in 1992.  A specialist in nineteenth-century British literature and culture, her current research focuses on adaptations of Victorian literature to the popular stage and other media, both in the nineteenth century and today, with particular interest in Broadway musicals.  Her books are Performing the Victorian: John Ruskin and Identity in Theater, Science, and Education (2007) and Ruskin’s Mythic Queen: Gender Subversion in Victorian Culture, named Outstanding Academic Book by Choice magazine in 1999. She has guest-edited issues of both Nineteenth-Century Prose in 2008 and in 2012 Nineteenth-Century Theatre and Film,which is a scholarly edition of the never-before-published original version of the 1847 melodrama Sweeney Todd, first performed at the Britannia in London’s East End.  Winner of numerous teaching and research awards, she appears on the special features disk of Tim Burton’s film Sweeney Todd (DVD 2008). She has published many book chapters and essays in such journals as Nineteenth-Century Literature, Dickens Studies Annual, and Nineteenth-Century Contexts.  Currently the Vice-president of INCS (Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies), she serves on the Program Committee of MLA and the Board of Nineteenth Century Studies, Nineteenth-Century Contexts, and Research Society for Victorian Periodicals.  She is the North American Editor of Nineteenth-Century Theatre & Film. In addition to English, she is a member of the Women's and Gender Studies faculty, the Jewish Studies faculty, and the Comparative Literature faculty.

Area of Interest

Victorian Literature and Culture, Victorian Theater, Romantic Literature, Pre-Raphaelite Literature and Visual Art, Nineteenth-Century Periodicals and Print Culture, Neo-Victorian Studies, Non-Fiction Prose, Poetry, Drama, Melodrama, Broadway Musicals, Adaptation Studies, Appropriations of Victorian Literature and Culture to other Media, Theater History, Dance History, Literary Theory, Theater and Performance Theory, Gender and Sexuality, Myth. 

Awards & Honors


  • 2014:   William E. “Bud” Davis Alumni Professorship
  • 2014:   LSU 2013 Rainmaker Senior Scholar
  • 2012:   LSU Distinguished Faculty Award
  • 2011:  LSU Flagship Faculty
  • 2008:   Sigma Tau Delta (International English Honor Society) LSU Chapter:  Favorite Professor Award
  • 2006:  LSU Alumni Association Faculty Excellence Award
  • 1999:   Most Accommodating Faculty Award, Students with Disability Services, LSU

Selected Publications

Authored Books:

Performing the Victorian:  John Ruskin and Identity in Theater, Science, and Education, Ohio State University Press, 2007
Ruskin's Mythic Queen:  Gender Subversion in Victorian Culture, Ohio University Press, 1999   (Outstanding Academic Book, Choice magazine, 1999)


Sweeney Todd:  The String of Pearls, or The Fiend of Fleet Street by George Dibdin Pitt (first appearance of Sweeney Todd story on stage, performed at the Britannia Theatre, 1847).  Editor.  Scholarly introduction (10,540 words), plus detailed explanatory notes (over 1,600 words).  Afterword by Jim Davis.  Special issue of Nineteenth-Century Theatre and Film 38.1 (June 2011). Manchester University Press (actual release, summer 2012)

Guest-Editor, special issue on John Ruskin for Nineteenth-Century Prose 35.1 (Spring 2008).  Introduction.  Essays by Elizabeth Helsinger, Alison Milbank, David Hanson, Francis O’Gorman, Sara Atwood, Amelia Yeates, Miles Mitchard, Supritha Rajan, Jed Mayer, and George Levine.

Selected Recent Essays:

“Theater, Exhibition, and Spectacle in the Nineteenth Century.”  Companion to British Literature. Edited by Robert DeMaria Jr, Heesok Chang, and Samantha Zacher.  London:  Wiley Blackwell, 2014.

“1847:  Sweeney Todd and Abolition.” BRANCH (Britain, Representation, and Nineteenth-Century History). Online timeline essays through NINES.  5,400 words. (2013)  Web.

"Introduction:   George Dibdin Pitt’s 1847 Sweeney Todd.”  Sweeney Todd:  The String of Pearls, or The Fiend of Fleet Street. Special issue of Nineteenth-Century Theatre and Film38.1 (June 2011).  Manchester University Press (actual release, August 2012): 1-22.

“‘Can a Fellow Be a Villain All His Life?’:  Oliver!, Fagin, and Performing Jewishness.”  Nineteenth-Century Contexts33.4 (September 2011): 371-388.
–Reprinted in
Dickens Adapted:  Best Essays, edited by John Glavin (Ashgate, 2012).

“Boz versus Bos in Sweeney Todd:  Dickens, Sondheim, and Victorianness.” Dickens Studies Annual 42 (2011): 55-76.

"Arcadias of Pantomime’: Ruskin, Theater, and The Illustrated London News.”  Victorian Pantomime: A Collection of Critical Essays.  Edited by Jim Davis.  London and New York:  Palgrave Macmillan, 2010: 41-53.

“The King and Who?  Dance, Difference, and Identity in Anna Leonowens and The King and I,” Conflict and Difference in Nineteenth Century Literature, edited by Dinah Birch and Mark Llewellyn, London and New York:  Palgrave Macmillan, 2010: 171-185.

“Jane Heir to the Glimmering World: Cynthia Ozick’s Victorian Vision.”  Studies in Jewish American Literature 28 (2009): 3-13.

Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd on Stage and Screen,” Victorian Literature and Culture 37.1   (2009): 301-310.“Victorians on the Contemporary Stage.”  Journal of Victorian Culture 13.2 (October 2008): 303-309.

Recent Courses Taught


ENGL 7962.1 "Performing Dickens,"  Fall 2014
ENGL 2029.2 "Introduction to Drama," Fall 2014
ENGL 3222.1 “Survey of Popular Forms:  The Broadway Musical,” Summer 2012
ENGL 7922.1 “Major Authors:  Charles Dickens,” Fall 2011
ENGL 3022.1 “British Literature II: Romantics, Victorians, Moderns,” Summer 2011
ENGL 4593.1 “Women and Literature:  Jewish Women Writers,” Fall 2010
ENGL 7962.1 “Studies in Victorian Literature:  Myth, Gender, and Sexuality in Victorian Poetry,” Fall 2009


Curriculum Vitae