Ruth Perry, is the Ann Fetter Friedlaender Professor of Humanities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the founding director of MIT's Women's Studies Program. The author of numerous books and articles, she has written on such canonical figures as Pope, Sterne, Richardson, and Austen as well as on contemporary women writers such as Grace Paley and Mary Gordon.
President of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies in 2000, she has also served on the Advisory Board of PMLA (Publications of the Modern Language Association), The Women's Review of Books and Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature. She has been awarded grants by the NEH and the NSF for projects on the social context of science, and has held fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the Bunting Institute, the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, NEH, and the Rockefeller Foundation at Bellagio.
Her books include Women, Letters, and the Novel; Mothering the Mind: Twelve Studies of Writers and Their Silent Partners; an edition of George Ballard's 1752 Several Ladies of Great Britain; The Celebrated Mary Astell; and Novel Relations: The Transformation of Kinship in English Culture and Literature 1748-1818. With Susan Carlile, she edited a modern edition of Charlotte Lennox's Henrietta (1758).
A singer of ballads, her current research and teaching interests include the history of collecting, preserving, and performing folk music --particularly in eighteenth-century Scotland. She edited a double issue on "Ballads and Songs in the Eighteenth Century" for The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation in 2006 and is completing a biography of Anna Gordon Brown, our most significant source of traditional ballads in eighteenth-century Scotland.