Speaker bios


Ronjaunee Chatterjee is Assistant Professor of English at Queen’s University. She is the author of Feminine Singularity: The Politics of Subjectivity in Nineteenth-Century Literature, which is forthcoming from Stanford University Press in August 2022. She is also the editor of the Norton Critical Middlemarch. Her cowritten introduction to a special issue of Victorian Studies she coedited, entitled “Undisciplining Victorian Studies,” won the Donald Gray Prize for Best Essay in Victorian Studies this year. Her work on nineteenth-century literature, colonialism and race, and feminist theory and psychoanalysis has been published or is forthcoming in differencesVictorian Literature and Culture, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and other venues. 

Lynn Festa is Professor of English at Rutgers University, where she specializes in eighteenth-century literature and culture, with an emphasis on the role played by literature and literary form in the elaboration of categories of human difference in Britain, France and their colonies. Her first book, Sentimental Figures of Empire in Eighteenth-Century Britain and France (Johns Hopkins, 2006), examined how the culture of sensibility welded the affective response to other people to broader structures of classification in order to both include and exclude individuals from the class of humanity. Her second book, Fiction Without Humanity: Person, Animal, Thing in Early Enlightenment Literature and Culture (Penn, 2019), drew on riddles, fables, novels, scientific instruments, and trompe l’oeil painting to analyze the shifting terms in which human difference from animals, things, and machines was expressed.  Fiction Without Humanity was awarded the 51st annual James Russell Lowell Prize from the Modern Language Association and the Oscar Kenshur Prize from the Center for Eighteenth-Century Studies at Indiana University.

Elaine Hadley is Professor of English and Gender Studies at the University of Chicago.  She is the author of Melodramatic Tactics (Stanford, 1995) and Living Liberalism (UChicago, 2010), as well as co-editor of From Political Economy to Economics through Nineteenth-Century Literature (Palgrave, 2019). She is currently writing a monograph, working title Efficiently Unequal, on late nineteenth-century economic’s methodological erasure of economic inequality. She also has research interests in the codification of adolescence as a developmental category and the neoliberalization of higher education.

Roundtable panelists

Mary Ellis Gibson is Arthur Jeremiah Roberts Professor of Literature at Colby College and author of Science Fiction in Colonial India, 1835–1905: Five Stories of Speculation, Resistance and Rebellion (Anthem Press, 2019). Her monograph and her critical anthology, Indian Angles: English Verse in Colonial India from Jones to Tagore and Anglophone Poetry in Colonial India, 1780-1913 (both from Ohio UP), argue for the significance of poetry in the creation of English language literary culture in South Asia. Other monographs on Robert Browning’s experiments and on Ezra Pound and the Victorians work at the intersection of poetry, politics, and history.

Linda K. Hughes, Addie Levy Professor of Literature at TCU, specializes in long nineteenth-century British literature, culture, and print culture; gender and women’s studies; and transnationality, including transatlanticism. Her recent publications on women’s writing include Victorian Women Writers and the Other Germany: Cross-Cultural Freedoms and Female Opportunity (Cambridge UP, 2022) and The Cambridge Companion to Victorian Women’s Poetry (2019). A forthcoming book chapter on British responses to the US Civil War includes writers Janet Hamilton and Elizabeth Ashurst Biggs. Linda is co-editor, with Sarah R. Robbins and Andrew Taylor, of Transatlantic Anglophone Literatures 1776-1920: An Anthology (Edinburgh UP, 2022). 

Kirstyn Leuner is Assistant Professor of English at Santa Clara University. She is also Coordinator of the Digital Humanities Initiative at SCU. She is editor-in-chief and director of the Stainforth Library of Women’s Writing, a digital scholarly edition of Francis Stainforth’s manuscript library catalog, which documents the largest private library of women’s writing that was collected and cataloged in the 19th century. The Stainforth project was peer-reviewed in 2022 by both 18thConnect and the MLA Committee on Scholarly Editions. She has published recent articles on recovering women’s book history in European Romantic Review and Huntington Library Quarterly, and she has a forthcoming article in Criticism on prison abolition pedagogy. 

Jason Rudy is Professor of English at the University of Maryland and author of Imagined Homelands: British Poetry in the Colonies (2017) and Electric Meters: Victorian Physiological Poetics (2009). He is currently writing an authorized biography of the Indigenous Australian painter Gordon Syron. 

See here for titles and abstracts of invited talks.