Graduate Student Attendees

Graduate student names, universities, dissertation titles, and research interests
Emma Adler, Harvard University
Dissertation:
"Page Through Stage: Novel Form and Dramatic Adaptation"
Research Interests:
Contemporary drama and performance, the 19th century novel, ethics, philosophy of language, formalism
Spencer Armada, UC Santa Cruz
Dissertation:
"Sound, Subjectivity, and the Social: Aurality and English Narrative in the Long Eighteenth Century"
Research Interests:
Ethics, Narrative and Narrative Theory, History of the Novel, Theories of Subjectivity, the senses, sound studies
Victoria Baugh, Cornell University
Dissertation:
"Race and Authority: Building Racial Epistemologies in Nineteenth-Century British Women’s Novels and Autobiographies"
Research Interests:
My research focuses on constructions of race in Victorian novels and autobiographies. My dissertation considers how structures of race are woven into narration by women writers such as Charlotte Brontë, Mary Seacole, Jane Austen, and Mary Prince. I also specialize in nineteenth-century African American literature, visual culture, and photography.
Muriel Bernardi, University of Pennsylvania
Dissertation:
"The Crowded Mind: Collectivity and Character in Nineteenth-Century British Realism and the Social Sciences"
Research Interests:
History and theory of the novel; critical theory; history of science; embodiment; secularism; Catholicism
Margaret Bowlin, University of Iowa
Dissertation: "Faith and Letters in Literature of the Nineteenth Century"
Research Interests:
I study nineteenth century British Romantic and Victorian literature with a postsecular lens–I am especially interested in letters within literature, such as the reconciliatory letter in Jane Austen's Persuasion or the farewell letter in Charles Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities.
Rosanne Brooks, Southern Methodist University
Research Interests:
Women and gender non-conforming characters in late Victorian literature
Jordan Bunzel, Indiana University
Dissertation:
"Learning through the Body: Experimental Educations and the Victorian School Novel"
Research Interests:
Jordan is interested in experimental and radical education methods, the history of progressive education, Victorian and Edwardian school stories, embodiment, affect, and the Bildungsroman. His dissertation reevaluates the Victorian period less as a time of bureaucratizing and standardizing education, and more as one of pedagogic experimentation: namely, an era that valued stimulating students' bodies in new and often controversially painful, pleasurable, visual, erotic, and kinesthetic ways.
Ashley Codner, Rutgers University
Dissertation: "Caught In/Between: Expressions of Liminality in Jazz Aesthetic Literature"
Research Interests:
Broadly, my research interests lie at the intersection between 20th and 21st century Black literature, sound, and feminist studies. My project theorizes how liminal Black female characters find power in transitions and skirt margins to survive. With this thesis, I explore how Black women use jazz and liminality to make sense of their present and forecast an idealized future of personal and communal healing. My project calls attention to common themes throughout jazz aesthetic novels that I argue to be crucial to understanding the post-Black Liberation era turn to the musical genre in creative reflections of Black experiences.
Jessica Cook, UC Los Angeles
Dissertation:
"Memory Machines: Victorian Mnemonics and Computing in Nineteenth-Century Britain"
Research Interests: History of computing and technology; digital methods; history and philosophy of science, mathematics, and psychology; literary formalism; Victorian poetry; nineteenth- and twentieth-century origins of the computer: memory, algorithms, databases, programming languages.
Shannon Couey, University of North Texas
Dissertation:
"Queer Sonic Spiritualism: Masculinity, Sound, and the Supernatural in Fin de Siècle Fiction"
Research Interests:
My research focuses on nineteenth- and early-twentieth century British and American literature, with concentrations in supernatural and science fiction, sound studies, media studies, and affect theory. I have strong secondary interests in gender and sexuality studies, transnational studies, and periodical research. These interests converge in my dissertation, tentatively titled "Queer Sonic Spiritualism: Masculinity, Sound, and the Supernatural in Fin de Siècle Fiction." Through these various critical frameworks, my research broadly and my dissertation specifically asks how supernatural and spiritualist narrative scenarios, which spiked in popularity at the turn of the century, contribute to new and alternative conceptions of embodiment. While most research focuses on women in the context of spiritualism and sound at the turn of the century, my dissertation focuses on the conception of masculinity and manhood. One question I seek to answer in my dissertation is: how does the intersection of sound science and spiritualism in supernatural narratives at the turn of the century enable authors to explore queer intimacies and identities for men?
Spencer Dodd, Louisiana State University
Dissertation:
"Malediction and Novels of the Long Nineteenth Century"
Research Interests:
Spencer Dodd is a 2nd-year Ph.D. student in the English Department at LSU. His research focuses on issues of class and production in novels of the long nineteenth century.
Angel Dye, Rutgers University
Dissertation:
"Rent Parties as Racial-Cultural Phenomenon During the Harlem Renaissance"
Research Interests: 20th/21st Century African American Literature, Harlem Renaissance studies, Black Studies, Black Feminist Theory, Poetry and Poetics
Anya Eastman, Royal Holloway, University of London
Dissertation:
"Memorialisation and Posthumous Curation: The Displacing of the Victorian Voice, Corpse and Corpus in an Evolving Heritage Sector"
Research Interests:
My research looks at the memorialisation of Charles Dickens, George Eliot and Oscar Wilde. I read the memorials dedicated to these authors alongside their texts to consider the way in which changing societies have edited and curated the author's legacy. I am particularly interested in the reframing of authorial legacy by different people/institutions. My work is strongly rooted in the heritage sector, with my chapter on Dickens focusing largely on The Charles Dickens Museum (London) and different ways in which their objects have been exhibited. I also work with death-related objects, such as Oscar Wilde's tomb. As such, my work has a strong focus in material culture, including considering the texts by these authors as both material and immaterial objects.
Macklin Fanning, Southern Methodist University
Research Interests:
Transatlantic literature, with an emphasis on Romanticism; media studies/philosophy of technology
Dynestee Fields, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Dissertation:
"Understanding Linguistic Treatment Across Species: a Comparative Study at Zoo Knoxville"
Research Interests:
My primary interests lie in critical animal studies and human-animal studies. As a scholar of rhetoric, I am particularly interested in the role that language has in constructing relationships between humans and nonhuman animals. In addition to studying the role of language, I also seek to understand how such relationships have developed and evolved throughout history.
Linnea Fleming, San Francisco State University
Research Interests:
18th-20th century English political philosophy and the aesthetic rendering of those political issues and negotiations in English novels and poetry.
Rafael Franco-Flores, UC Santa Cruz
Dissertation:
"Monstrous Maps: Western Geography as a Colonialization Method in Victorian Monster Literature"
Research Interests:
My research focuses on the monster in 19th century British literature. I study the monster's oppression at the hands of dominant systems and ideologies, including imperialism, colonialization, heteronormativity, and information systems.
Jennifer Heine, University of Southern California
Dissertation (working title):
"Fits and Starts: Bodily Disruptions and Narrative (In)coherence"
Research Interests:
The long 19th-century, narrative and literary theory, feminist theory, flat and minor characters, histories of science and medicine, hysteria.
Philip Hoffert, Stanford University
Dissertation:
"Sympathetic Networks in the Realist Novel"
Research Interests:
Novels in the nineteenth century, especially in Victorian England, are populated with objects and people that seem to resemble the kinds of objects and people that readers encounter in the actual world. Of course, the world of the novel is not the same as the actual world, whether in the nineteenth or twenty-first century. Still, the realist novel seems to want us to sympathize with its world, to connect emotionally with its characters, places, and plots. My research provisionally asks the following question: to what extent the representational problem of novels -- how they go about portraying worlds, and, specifically, the reader's actual world -- is in fact an affective problem, by which readers, or even characters in the novel, put themselves imaginatively into relation with the novel's world and model how they might react if confronted with the novel's objects and people.
Isaac Hopkins, University of Texas-Austin
Dissertation:
"The Script and the Square: Performance and Assembly in Early Savannah" (tentative)
Research Interests:
18th & 19th c. transatlantic drama, melodrama, performance studies, early American south(s), adaptation, and new play dramaturgy
Rachel Hunter, University of Texas-Austin
Dissertation:
"Machines, Objects, Bodies: Troubled Materialism in Nineteenth Century Fiction"
Research Interests:
I study nineteenth century British and French literatures, with a focus on Victorian gothic, horror, mystery, and other forms of "popular" fiction. I also work on William Morris and the Pre-Raphaelites, and am interested in ecocriticism, new materialism, and object studies.
Kimberly Jones, Rice University
Dissertation:
"Critical Bodies: Slavery, Gender, and Disability in Early Republic Virginia"
Research Interests:
I am a scholar fundamentally preoccupied with revealing historical Black resistance under the oppressive contexts of slavery in the Atlantic world. Students in the United States learn of Black compliance rather than the myriad ways that Black people actively and passively forced a reckoning with their place in the landscapes of freedom. I uncover the intersections between disability and gender in Virginia in my dissertation. While attending to the significance of capitalism and community, I argue that the legal technologies derived from enslavers’ compulsion toward extraction of Black and African labor whether an individual was deemed able-bodied or not. Disabled free, freed, and enslaved women and men resisted through their efforts to retain and create cultural practices and kinship ties.
Amber Jurgensen, Louisiana State University
Dissertation: "'Paralytically Animated': Life and Death in Dickens's Objects"
Research Interests: I am currently working with poison, intimacy, mourning tokens, death, and domesticity in the Victorian novel, with a particular interest in Dickens's works.
Johannah King-Slutzky, Columbia University
Research Interests:
I study early 19th century transatlantic literature focusing on theories of energy extraction and metabolic ecologies/economies.
Henry Kirby: University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Dissertation:
"The Assault of Laughter: Satire, Sovereignty, and the State, 1809-1909"
Research Interests:
Nineteenth Century American Literature, History, and Culture; Indigenous Studies; African American Studies; Humor Studies; Comics Studies; nineteenth century popular culture
Kimberly Kotel, University of Mississippi
Research Interests:
Mid-19th to mid-20th century transatlantic literature (focus on relationship between French, English and American), gender and sexuality (particularly asexualities), aesthetics, systems, poetics, and pedagogy.
Yangjung Lee, UC Los Angeles
Dissertation:
"Repairing Absences: The Logic of Implicit Reference in the Victorian Empire"
Research Interests:
My dissertation, "Repairing Absences: The Logic of Implicit Reference in the Victorian Empire," examines how certain imperial histories are manifested as absences in nineteenth-century Anglophone literature, especially Victorian fiction. I examine two absent histories in this study: first, the histories of compensated emancipation for slave-owners in the British Empire (1833) and its aftermath, in both the British Empire and the United States; second, Britain’s long-standing but often overlooked involvement in Latin America. My analysis elucidates a rhetorical strategy of writing imperial histories in fiction in which the author creates an absence in the structure of a text that would be recognizable to their nineteenth-century audience which I term "enthymematic absences."
Audrey Leinoff, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Dissertation:
"Hunting a Which: The Trials of Victimhood"
Research Interests:
I am interested in exploring the notion of identity formation in the wake of trauma stemming from sexual abuse, with specific attention drawn to narratives published during the #MeToo movement’s recent surge in popularity.
Conor Macvarish, Columbia University
Dissertation:
"Occult Atmospheres"
Research Interests:
Aestheticism and decadence; occult revival, esotericism, gothic, horror, and the weird; ecocriticism; new materialism
Josip Martincic, University of Exeter
Dissertation:
"Late Victorian Theatre Criticism: Cultural Power and Marginalised Voices"
Research Interests:
Fin de siecle London society and culture, Theatre History and Historiography, Theatre criticism, reviews.
Kerry McAuliffe, University of Pennsylvania
Dissertation:
"Imponderable Matter: Memory Technologies from Britain to the Gulf Coast, 1833-1900"
Research Interests:
I am a Ph.D. candidate interested in media studies, environmental media, history of science and technology, history of computing, materialisms, 19th-century literature and culture, circum-Atlantic history, history of Atlantic slavery, archives/memory practices, visual culture, and multi-method research. My project interrogates histories of quantification and epistemologies of machinic objectivity through Charles Babbage's early writings and through 19th-century arts and writing determined to make unwitnessed events real, immediate, and affecting. I look also at contemporary memory practices (like the annual "Dickens on the Strand" event in Galveston, TX) to examine how 19th-century British contexts, and conceptualization of memory, displace or re-figure local histories in a contemporary frame.
Maddison McGann, University of Iowa
Dissertation:
"Reading Ecologies: Narrative Forms and the Victorian Literary Imagination"
Research Interests:
I am an English Ph.D. candidate who works on 19th-century British literature, environmental humanities, narrative theory, and the novel. My other areas of interest include Victorian reviewing and print culture. In broadest terms, my dissertation extends recent scholarship in narrative theory and ecocriticism to illustrate how industrial and ecological forces shaped the narrative structures of Victorian fiction.
Rachel Newman, University of Southern California
Dissertation:
"Anxious Plotting: Female Aimlessness in Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth-Century Fiction"
Research Interests:
My proposed dissertation project focuses on articulations of agency and voice and representations of aimlessness and drifting in late nineteenth and early twentieth-century fiction written by women, with a particular focus on the New Woman. In this dissertation project, I will look at how anxieties of form, freedom, and futurity intersect within the transitional moment of late nineteenth and early twentieth-century women’s fiction, and how movement and aimlessness of a physical, mental, spiritual, and formulaic or narrative nature is articulated as its own kind of authority and autonomy within the body of New Woman literature.
Ivana Onubogu, Rutgers University
Dissertation:
"Toward Our Becoming: Black Speculative Realities and the Physics of Nowhere"
Research Interests:
My intended research continues to be animated by theorizing the negotiations between Black people, space and temporality. I would like to attend to the inherent dynamism of matter as it is manifested—yet not fixed—in race, the human, spacetime, and the speculative. I aim to understand how theoretical physics provides language to the ‘excess’ of Black diasporic speculative fiction, that is, a language that uncovers the ability of the speculative to capture the slippage between the rapidly opened and foreclosed possibilities that are characteristic of matter itself.
Amadi Ozier, Rutgers University
Dissertation:
"Senses of Humor - Joking Etiquette in African American Literature"
Research Interests:
humor, psychoanalysis, cultural history, irony, respectability, the black middle class, 19th and 20th century African American literature, Progressive Era literature
Jessica Parry, Rice University
Sarah Margaret Pittman, University of Mississippi
Research Interests:
Victorian literature, Gothic literature, political economy, extraction capitalism, gender, the ecogothic.
Josh Prindle, UC Riverside
Dissertation:
"The Intellectual Spectrum: Intellectual Disability Across the Long Nineteenth Century"
Research Interests:
Victorian literature, Disability Studies, Intellectual Disability, Psychiatric Science
Kelsey Rall, Vanderbilt University
Dissertation:
"Seeing Through the Spinster: The Nineteenth-Century Single Woman in Literature and Theory"
Research Interests:
My work focuses on single and/or queer women in nineteenth-century literature. I'm primarily interested in those characters who are identified as "spinsters" and their (often fraught) relationships with kinship, love, temporality, and nation. In my research, I use contemporary queer theory to better understand those nineteenth-century women who identify outside of the reproductive family unit.
Michelle Reynolds, University of Exeter
Dissertation:
"The New Woman Illustrator at the British Fin de Siècle"
Research Interests:
My research interests include nineteenth and early twentieth century British and American art and literature, with a focus on the New Woman, the Pre-Raphaelites, Arts and Crafts, Aestheticism and Decadence, and Art Nouveau. I'm also interested in women artists and writers, gender and sexuality, print and exhibition culture, photography, and fashion.
Evan Rosenblum, New York University
Research Interests:
I am interested in Chartism, Victorian working-class and radical print culture, critical theories of narrative and genre, the body, and periodicals.
Jorden Sanders, Rutgers University
Thesis: "
(Un)Making Manhood: Antebellum Narratives of Black Masculine Construction as Traces of Progressive Gender Formations"
Research Interests: 18th-19th-century African American literature; black feminist theory; book history; histories of black religious thought and literary networks; print and periodical cultures; theories of blackness and being
Lucina Schwartz, Rutgers University
Research Interests:
Nineteenth-Century British literature; literatures of the British Empire; Victorian Studies; gender and sexuality studies; history and development of the novel; the regional novel
Dana Aicha Shaaban, Texas Christian University
Dissertation:
"The Influence of The Arabian Nights on Victorian Children’s Literature"
Research Interests:
My research interests include nineteenth-century British literature with a focus on Victorian children's literature, especially that of the "Golden Age." I am also interested in the representations of Arabs in Victorian children's periodicals, and specifically how oriental discourse played and continues to play a role in creating and perpetuating certain stereotypes about people from the Arab world and the Middle East.
Lisa Koyuki Smith, CUNY Graduate Center
Research Interests: 
19th-century British and American novel; feminism; Marxism; women's and gender studies; care ethics
Haley Younju Suh, UC Irvine
Dissertation:
"Inch Closer to the End: Richard Carstone's Refusal of Work in Charles Dickens's Bleak House"
Research Interests:
I'm interested in nineteenth-century British literature, novel and narrative theory, psychoanalysis and affect theory, and Marxist theory.
Erin Temple, Ohio State University
Research Interests:
Victorian literature and its afterlives; neo-Victorian literature and culture; narrative theory; adaptation studies
Ruben Weiss, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Dissertation:
"Child in Time: Childhood and Historical Consciousness in British Literature, 1850-1940"
Research Interests:
I am interested in the different ways literary texts think about history. Much has been written about this topic, so my research concentrates on four authors–Charles Dickens, Lewis Carroll, Rudyard Kipling, and Virginia Woolf–and how they use child characters and representations of childhood to make sense of the history of Britain. Their methods vary–from bringing together child characters and time-traveling historical figures to comparing Britain itself to a small child growing up–but all are sued to understand and produce meaning from the past. How they do it and what we can learn from it, is my focus.
Mitchell Wilson, CUNY Graduate Center
Research Interests:
I primarily work on the Victorian novel with a particular interest in George Eliot, Wilkie Collins, and Charles Dickens. My work explores the circulation of the nineteenth-century novel across colonial locales and the ways that colonialism and provincialism intersect. I am also interest in nineteenth century educational practices and recently completed my M.A. thesis, which reexamines the academic troubles of The Mill on the Floss's Tom Tulliver alongside Victorian medical accounts of word blindness.
Olivia Lingyi Xu, Northwestern University
Dissertation:
"Realistic Translation: Translating the Nineteenth-Century Novel in England and China"
Research Interests:
Nineteenth-century British literature; Nineteenth-century Chinese Literature; history of the novel; intellectual history; translation theories; world literature; literary theory; postcolonialism.
Rudi Yniguez, UC Berkeley
Dissertation:
"Inky Bodies: A Radical Tradition of First-Person Narration"
Research Interests:
Narratology, political representation, minor characters