Ph.D. English (19th-Century British Literature)
University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa (2010)
M.A. English, University of Iowa (2007)
B.A. Literature, University of California at Santa Cruz (2001)
Dissertation: Novel Multitudes: Credit, Capital, and Collective Subjectivity in the Victorian Novel
Thesis Committee: Garrett Stewart (Chair), Florence Boos, Teresa Mangum, David Wittenberg, Thomas Lewis
The dissertation analyzes novels by George Eliot, Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, Anthony Trollope, and Joseph Conrad to examine how financial developments that began in the 1860s led these authors to consider the potential productivity of labor once considered unproductive. Through these novels, I explore how different kinds of labor—including the labor of narration—increased society’s productive power by creating collective subjects, whether economic collectives like the joint-stock company or rhetorical communities premised on modes of address or forms of language. By bringing together political economy, critical theory, and narrative analysis, my dissertation considers the thematic intersection in the nineteenth-century novel of different modes of unproductive labor, including their frequent portrayal as forms of criminal or fraudulent action, alongside the growing Victorian awareness of an increasingly interconnected economic world.