Keynote Speakers

Dr. Carolyn Day

Talk Title: ‘”A Tale of Domestic and Uncommon Parental Barbarity’: Marriage, Incarceration and the Illness of Ann[e] Wainhouse”

Carolyn Day is an Associate Professor of history at Furman University and the author of Consumptive Chic: A History of Beauty, Fashion & Disease (Bloomsbury, 2017). She is the co-editor of the Peculiar Bodies series with University of Virginia Press and her monograph, A Tale of Uncommon Parental Barbarity?, which looks as the social uses of illness in eighteenth-century Britain, is under contract with University of Toronto Press.


Dr. Betty Joseph

Talk Title: “Margaret Cavendish and Interdisciplinarity: Knowledge Lessons for Our STEM-driven Times”

Betty Joseph is Professor of English at Rice University, with affiliations in Women and Gender Studies, Asian Studies, and the interdisciplinary graduate Center for Critical and Cultural Theory (3CT). She is a literary scholar who draws from British social history, traditions of the novel, political economy, postcolonial discourse, and globalization theory to illuminate contemporary predicaments. Her abiding interest in the intersections of literature and history drives her research on the archival materials of empire. She is the author of Reading the East India Company, 1720-1840: Colonial Currencies of Gender (2004), a book that analyzes the role of archives and archiving in British colonialism and ways in which the archives can be read for the presence of women in that history. The book was reprinted in 2006 by Orient Longman for Asia. Her recently-completed monograph From Empire to Anthropocene: Fiction in a Time of an Uncommon World (forthcoming from Johns Hopkins, 2022) focuses on the chronopolitics of globalization and how writers such as Jamaica Kincaid, Mohsin Hamid, Don DeLillo, Barbara Kingsolver, among others, have responded to the representational crises of globality. She has also co-edited recently with Elizabeth Sauer, World-making and Other Worlds: Restoration to Romantic, to be published as a special feature of 1650-1850: Ideas, Aesthetics, and Inquiries in the Early Modern Era by Bucknell University Press. Recent essays on Enlightenment feminism and religious tolerance have appeared or are forthcoming in Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation, and Postcolonial Studies, respectively.

Betty Joseph has taught at Rice’s English Department since 1995, where she has directed its undergraduate and graduate programs. She is also interim director of The Center for Cultural and Critical Theory for 2021-2022. In 2016, she co-chaired the Race and Empire Studies Caucus of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies and in 2020-21, she chaired the Executive Committee of the MLA Forum for Restoration and Early-18th-Century English.

Plenary Roundtable Participants

Dr. Alison Booth

Talk Title: “Why Transatlantic?”

Dr. Alison Booth

Alison Booth, Professor of English and Academic Director, Scholars’ Lab at the University of Virginia, specializes in feminist studies of life writing, nineteenth-century British and American literature, and digital humanities. She directs Collective Biographies of Women, a database project emerging from her book How to Make It as a Woman (U. Chicago Press, 2004).  Booth’s other books include Greatness Engendered: George Eliot and Virginia Woolf and most recently, Homes and Haunts: Touring Writers’ Shrines and Countries.


Dr. Karen Fang

Talk Title: “Project-based vs. Discipline-based Research”

Karen FangKaren Fang is the author of Romantic Writing and the Empire of Signs: Periodical Culture and Post-Napoleonic Authorship (Virginia 2010) and Arresting Cinema: Surveillance in Hong Kong Film​ (Stanford 2017). Her cross-disciplinary work, which encompasses imperial and postcolonial culture, nineteenth-century British literature and twenty- and twenty-first century film global media, also informs her contributions to the nationally broadcast public radio series, The Engines of Our Ingenuity​, where Fang’s stories always focus on the visual arts. She is currently at work on a book about Chinese American artist and Disney Legend Tyrus Wong.


Dr. Jessie Reeder

Talk Title: “South America and the Borders of Victorian Studies”

Jessie ReederJessie Reeder is Associate Professor of English at Binghamton University, specializing in nineteenth-century British literature, imperialism, and form. Her first book, The Forms of Informal Empire: Britain, Latin America, and Nineteenth-Century Literature (Johns Hopkins 2020), asks how authors responded to British-Latin American relations in the nineteenth century by writing new narratives of transnational contact. Her work can also be found in Victorian Literature and Culture, Studies in English Literature, Studies in Romanticism, and Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies. Jessie is also an organizing member of Anglophone Chile, a project to digitize the newspapers printed by anglophone settlers in mid-nineteenth-century Chile.


Dr. César L. Soto

Talk Title: Criollas and Literary Culture in Mexican Independence”

César L. Soto

César L. Soto is an Assistant Professor of World Literature at Grace College & Theological Seminary in Winona Lake (Indiana) in the Department of Humanities and is an affiliate of the Institute for Global Studies. His research interests include eighteenth- and nineteenth-century English, Irish, and Mexican Literature; wherein he examines the interplay between religion and revolution in fiction and memoir. His first article was published in Symbiosis and is titled “Mexico in the Revolutionary Atlantic: Catholicism and the Arts of Resistance in Fray Sevando Teresa de Mier’s Carta de un Americano al Español and Memorias”. He also has an article forthcoming in a special issue of the Keats-Shelley Journal. Titled “Why the English Romantics? An Ambivalent Report”, it charts his path, as a man of color, toward the study of the English Romantic writers. César has been selected as an alternate for a research Fulbright to Ireland; has won two Ford Foundation Fellowships, and most recently was awarded an Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship (declined) to research and write his book manuscript, which compares the literary production of Spanish American criollos and the Hibernal-English in Ireland. He is currently researching an article for a forthcoming Cambridge Companion that will examine the discursive strand constituted by romanticism, race, and religion. He is also working on a project that, in light of the scarcity of research on Spanish American criollas during the Age of Independence, will explore the oral contributions made by criollas to literary and revolutionary writings via tertulias (akin to European salons).