I’m a grad student in English at the University of Rochester in New York, feverishly working away on my dissertation.  The dissertation considers the role of the body in nineteenth-century theories of authorship; I’m basically arguing that factors such as England’s industrialization, developing scientific theories (including Darwin’s), the evolution of the novel’s form, and the increasing mechanization of the printing process all converge to create a drive for a material, tangible authorial body to use as a foundation for the text’s interpretation.  In this dissertation, I consider Mary Shelley, Charles Dickens, and the Brontë siblings as case studies, then conclude with an argument about the role of the author’s body in both Victorian and modern practices of authorial memorialization.

My academic interests are diverse, however; I’ve also done fairly extensive research on Victorian medievalism, including a project on the legends of King Arthur’s survival and return that circulated in the nineteenth century.  Like Victorian aesthetic theory, I argue, Victorian historiography attempted to invest Arthur, a representative of England’s past, with a body that can be “recalled to life” (to borrow a phrase from Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities).  My work on Victorian medievalism has also included research on nineteenth-century representations of the Crusades.


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