Thesis Title: Imperial Looting: Expropriation in the Victorian Novel
Supervisors: Helen Small and Ushashi Dasgupta
Doctoral Work: Gems hold a privileged position among the ubiquitous appearance of looted treasure within the Victorian novel. I consider fictions published between 1868–1899 that describe cultural thefts from Asia, Europe, and Australia (Oceania). I am interested in the various degrees of hostility and/or sympathy toward the dispossessed culture or its representatives. Drawing on gift theory and recent arguments about the politics and morality surrounding cultural restitution, I am looking to advance the critical conversation within Victorian Studies about the impact of imperial expropriation. I examine detective, adventure, and New Women’s fiction, looking at authors including: Wilkie Collins, Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert Louis Stephenson, James Payn, Ouida, and Mary Cholmondely.
Research Interests: The Long Nineteenth Century, Imperialism/Colonialism, the Novel Form, Looting, Repatriation and Reparations, Material Theory, Gift Theory, and Nationalism