Department of English
Charlotte, NC 28223
Welcome to my home page at UNC Charlotte, where I have been teaching for a decade and a half after having been at faculty member at Georgia Tech.
I was born (and raised) in Montreal and was originally trained as a biologist/zoologist (B.Sc./M.A.), having conducted research on bottlenose dolphins. I subsequently pursued the M.A. and Ph.D. in literature at Rutgers University, looking at the intersections of science and technology in Victorian literature. My work continues in Victorian studies and includes an intense interest in women writing about science for young readers in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
My research in Animal Studies includes my book, Dolphin (Reaktion Books) as well as a forthcoming book on Sloths, and an essay about the elusive "Sukotyro." In progress is a manuscript about private subscription libraries in the UK, which also addresses the history of the book and book distribution.
The research I have conducted on popularizations of science for children has generated a productive alliance with University of Florida's remarkable Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature which ranks among the very best collections nationally and internationally.
I have served as President for the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts, the premier scholarly organization
for "science studies" in the US. The Society not only supports interdisciplinary scholarship, but is interesting in
advancing that work by supporting and acknowledging the work of graduate students and junior faculty. You can
support this work by contributing to SLSA (a 501(c)3 organization). Please contact Carol Colatrella, the Executive
Director of SLSA.
Some Useful Pages for English Graduate & Undergraduate Students:
|| Writing Overview ||
RESEARCH & INTERESTS:
My research in the cultural studies of science deals primarily with the dissemination of knowledge in the nineteenth century and its impact on the novel. The book discusses the influence of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (SDUK), of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, and of other compendia of knowledge on "pre-Darwinian" authors including Charlotte Brontë, Charles Dickens, Mary Shelley, Charles Kingsley, and George Eliot. The book, Useful Knowledge: The Victorians, Morality, and 'The March of Intellect', which focuses on encyclopedias and similar "knowledge texts," is available from Duke University Press. Useful Knowledge was selected by Choice as an "Outstanding Academic Book of the Year."
I have also edited The Mummy! A Tale of the Twenty-Second Century (1827), a work of speculative fiction written by the horticultural popularizer, Jane Webb Loudon (University of Michigan Press, 1994). Prior to that I co-edited, with George Levine, One Culture: Essays in Science and Literature (University of Wisconsin, 1987).
While at Georgia Tech I helped develop the undergraduate degree program in Science, Technology, and Culture (STAC). I was a founding editor of Configurations: A Journal of Literature , Science, and Technology which is published by Johns Hopkins University Press.
I am currently looking at the impact of private subscription libraries in England. While at the Huntington Library, I held the Trent Dames Fellow in the History of Civil Engineering. My research there, on turnpikes, bridges, roads, and travel, feeds directly into my work on the dissemination of knowledge in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. In the last few years, I have also been a Fellow at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities (CRASSH) at Cambridge University, and at the Harry Ransom Research Center.