Simon, Leslie
Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Philosophy and Humanities
CB 507B
(801) 863-8128
(801) 863-6146
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Last Updated: 10/24/18 -

Associate Professor and Chair, Dept. of Philosophy and Humanities 


Ph.D., English Literature, Boston University, 2011

M.A., English Literature, Boston University, 2004

B.A., Magna Cum Laude, Texas A&M University, 2003

Fields of Concentration: English Literature; French Language and Literature



2018-present    Chair, Philosophy and Humanities Department, Utah Valley University (UVU)

2017-present    Associate Professor, Philosophy and Humanities Department, UVU

2012-2015        Director of Humanities Program, Philosophy and Humanities Department, UVU

2011-2017        Assistant Professor, Philosophy and Humanities Department, UVU



2018  Mentor of the Year, Center for the Advancement of Leadership (CAL), UVU

2016  Commitment to Excellence Award Finalist, UVU Student Assn’s Wolverine Achievement Awards

2015  Faculty Excellence Award, College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS), UVU



HUM 1010/101G/101H Humanities Through the Arts

HUM 2010 World History Through the Arts I

HUM 2020 World History Through the Arts II

HUM 2200 Adventures of Ideas II (“By the Books, by the Numbers," “Road-trip America”)

HUM 320R Topics in Humanities ("Filthy Victorians," “The Infinite and the Instant: Studies in Modern Literature and Mathematics”)

HUM 330R Period Studies (“Dickens”)

HUM 3500 Approaches to Humanities 

+ Courses for the Honors Program (Modern Legacies, "Victorian Controversies"), the Integrated Studies Dept. (Capstone, Topics in Integrated Studies), and the English Dept. (Literature of Cultures and Places, Eminent Authors)



“Fuzzy Logic: Modern Mathematics and Myopic Aesthetics in Martin Chuzzlewit.” Forthcoming in Studies in the Novel 51.2 (June 2019).

“The De-Orphaned Orphan: Oliver Twist and Deep Time.” Dickens Quarterly 34.4 (December 2017): 306-330.

Review of Simply Dickens by Paul Schlicke. Dickens Quarterly 34.1 (March 2017): 54-57.

Review of Dickens’ Novels as Poetry: Allegory and Literature of the City by Jeremy Tambling. Dickens Quarterly 33.1 (March 2016): 67-70.

Review of The Pleasures of Memory: Learning to Read with Charles Dickens by Sarah Winter. Nineteenth-Century Contexts 38.2 (March 2016): 160-162.

Bleak House, Our Mutual Friend, and the Aesthetics of Dust.” Dickens Studies Annual 42 (2011): 217-236.

“Archives of the Interior: Exhibitions of Domesticity in The Pickwick Papers.” Dickens Quarterly 25.1 (March 2008): 23-36.



Heaps: On Dickens and Modern Mathematics

This book explores the figure of the heap in nineteenth-century language, logic, and aesthetics. The heap becomes a central image for thinkers and artists of the period, I argue, and a veritable leitmotif for the preeminent writer of the age, Charles Dickens. The heaps of things and people, places and events, moods and metaphysical phenomena that aggregate in the Dickens universe, as elsewhere in nineteenth-century media, represent the everyday realities of urban-industrial life: crowded, miscellaneous, contingent. These heaps also provide a way to think through matters of space, time, society, and self, and to experiment with the protean structure of the most provocative aesthetic form of the century – realism. I use the heap paradox in mathematics, and central innovations in Victorian algebra and logic, to show how the heap provided a uniquely modern paradigm for thinkers in diverse fields to grapple with questions of the real – functioning in Dickens’s novels, specifically, not only as a visual image, but also as a rhetorical and descriptive mode and an organizing principle for narrative. The study of heaps in works by Dickens and his contemporaries yields two surprising insights: the age of individualism was also the age of the group, one consciously attuned to complex relations between the one and the many; and the age of the concrete, mass-produced by a burgeoning British factory system, was being mediated and described in increasingly abstract terms. 

The Empire Bites Back

My second monograph considers how Victorian literature and related media of the 1850s-1890s reflect British imperial anxieties over potential threats to its body politic, through recurring images of human bodies being bitten—intruded upon, contaminated, consumed—by alien entities. I study, for instance, how bug bites and frostbite contracted abroad in instances of imperial exploit and exploration, stirred the Victorian imagination and informed the production of art in the second half of the nineteenth century.

“Transhumanism, Mathematics, and the Limits of Time”