Supervisor: Professor Kirsten Shepherd-Barr
Thesis Title: Beyond Sentimentality: The Animal Character in Nineteenth-Century Fiction
Research Interests: Animal Studies; Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture; Sensation Fiction; Animal Rights; Literature and Science; Literary Activism; Canadian Studies; Short Stories
Doctoral Research: My thesis looks at the ways in which writers of popular fiction, including Wilkie Collins, M. E. Braddon, Arthur Conan Doyle, Margaret Marshall Saunders, and Charles G.D. Roberts, employed various non-realist formal modes to represent animals in fiction, and used this creative freedom to examine animal-human kinship as narrative, cultural, and emotional concerns in nineteenth-century literature and culture. This project’s methodology combines philosophical, political, and cultural approaches to critically explore animal representations within literature and to reconceptualize traditional readings of ‘the animal’ in fiction, and I explore how the novels and short stories under discussion in this thesis present alternative versions of animal agency and subjectivity, which offer narratological, thematic, and ideological departures from anthropocentric narrative conventions that exist in the Victorian realist novel.