ISSUE 4.2 (SUMMER 2008)


Contributor Biographies

Allen Bauman is Assistant Professor of English and Director of Graduate Studies in English at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Both his teaching and research reflect interests in interdisciplinary studies, canonicity, cultural studies, and new historicism. His current projects include a manuscript on paralysis and masculinity in British literature (1880-1914) and an exploration of the construction of the Oriental Other in turn-of-the-century narratives of the supernatural.

Mia Chen is a doctoral student at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She specializes in Victorian literature with a particular interest in non-canonical fiction. She is in the early stages of a dissertation involving the Opium Wars, Chinese things, and revisionist world history.

Jay Dolmage is an assistant professor of English at West Virginia University.  His work brings together rhetoric and disability studies.  He is the co-editor of the book Disability and the Teaching of Writing (Bedford/St. Martin’s Press, 2007) and the textbook How To Write Anything, With Readings (Bedford/St. Martin’s Press, 2008).  His essays have appeared in Prose Studies, Disability Studies Quarterly, College Composition and Communication, and Rhetoric Review, as well as several edited collections.  His current research focuses on the development of eugenic rhetoric at Ellis Island, and its role in co-constructing and mutually enforcing categories of race, sexuality, and disability.

Maria Frawley is an associate professor of English at George Washington University.  She is the author of Invalidism and Identity in Nineteenth-Century Britain (University of Chicago Press, 2004) as well as other books and articles on nineteenth-century women writers and socio-medical history.  She is currently at work on a book on Jane Austen's keywords and on a project centered on identity and the culture of the copy in Victorian Britain.

Martha Stoddard Holmes is Associate Professor of Literature and Writing Studies at California State University, San Marcos, where she teaches British literature, body studies, film, and children’s literature. Author of Fictions of Affliction: Physical Disability in Victorian Culture (Michigan, 2004) and co-editor with Diane Freedman of The Teacher’s Body: Embodiment, Authority, and Identity in the Academy (SUNY, 2003), she has also co-edited special issues of J. Medical Humanities (with Rosemarie Garland-Thomson) and Literature and Medicine (with Tod Chambers). Her current book projects include “Queering the Marriage Plot: Disability and Desire in the Victorian Novel” and a study of the popular culture of cancer.

Joyce L. Huff is an Assistant Professor of English at Ball State University. Her research interrogates representations of fat and disability in nineteenth-century Britain. She has published chapters on these subjects in the collections Bodies Out of Bounds, Cultures of the Abdomen and Victorian Freaks. She is currently working on a book on fat in Victorian literature and culture.

Cindy LaCom is Associate Professor of English at Slippery Rock University. Her publications include essays in Mitchell and Snyder, The Body and Physical Difference (Michigan, 1997); Nineteenth-Century Contexts; NWSA Journal; PMLA; and Disability Studies Quarterly.

Barbara Leckie is Associate Professor of English at Carleton University.  She has published Culture and Adultery: the Novel, the Newspaper, and the Law, 1857-1914 (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999) and is currently working on a book entitled “Open Houses: Architecture, the Social Housing Debates, and the Rise of the Novel, 1842-1892.”

Mark Mossman is Associate Professor of English and Director of Graduate Studies in English at Western Illinois University.  His research and teaching interests include British and Irish literatures and disability studies.  He has published essays in such journals European Romantic Review, Nineteenth-Century Feminisms, Postmodern Culture, and College English, and has a book in progress that explores the representation of the Irish body in nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century British culture.

Rachel O’Connell is a Ph.D. student in the Department of English and American Literature at New York University. She has an MSc in Gender Studies from London School of Economics and a BA in English Literature from Oxford University. She works on queer theory, disability studies, and late Victorian and early twentieth-century British culture. Her thesis discusses fin de siècle practices of display that use human and animal bodies and bodily matter.

Wendy Parkins is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of English at the University of Otago, New Zealand. She is the author of Mobility and Modernity in Women's Novels, 1850s-1930s (Palgrave, forthcoming 2008), the co-author of Slow Living (Berg, 2006), and has published articles in journals such as Feminist Theory, Women: A Cultural Review, Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature and Home Cultures. Her current research focuses on the everyday life of Jane and William Morris.

M. Jeanne Peterson, Professor Emerita of History and Gender Studies, Indiana University, Bloomington, is the author of The Medical Profession in Mid-Victorian London and Family, Love, and Work in the Lives of Victorian Gentlewomen, as well as numerous articles on medicine, women, and gender. Her most recent publication is “Gender and the Body, c1830-1910,” in Defining Gender, 1450-1910, Adam Matthew Pubs., http// She has been a Guggenheim Foundation Fellow and held several awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Margaret Price is an assistant professor at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia.  Her work has appeared in Disability Studies Quarterly, College Composition and Communication, Across the Disciplines, Creative Nonfiction, and Bitch: Feminist Response to Pop Culture.  She is currently at work co-editing a special section of Disability Studies Quarterly titled "Disability and the Undergraduate Classroom."  Her website can be viewed at

Julia Miele Rodas is an Assistant Professor of English at the City University of New York (CUNY). She teaches writing at CUNY’s Bronx Community College and presents and writes frequently on the subject of disability. Her work has appeared in Victorian Literature & Culture, Disability Studies Quarterly, Dickens Studies Annual, the Victorian Review, the Explicator, and other venues. Dr. Rodas also serves on the editorial boards of Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies and the Encyclopedia of American Disability History. She is currently working on a book about the Brontës and autism.

Talia Schaffer is an associate professor of English at Queens College and the Graduate Center, CUNY. Her books include Literature and Culture at the Fin de Siècle (2006); an edition of Lucas Malet’s 1901 novel The History of Sir Richard Calmady (2004); The Forgotten Female Aesthetes: Literary Culture in Late-Victorian England (2001); and Women and British Aestheticism (1999), co-edited with Kathy A. Psomiades. She has published widely on late-Victorian noncanonical novels, women’s writing, and material culture. Her book in progress analyzes the Victorian domestic handicraft as a model for mid-Victorian realism.

Amy Vidali is Assistant Professor of English and Director of Composition at the University of Colorado Denver.  Her research focuses on disability and rhetoric, and her recent work includes “Performing the Rhetorical Freak Show: Disability, Student Writing, and College Admissions” (College English) and work on disability disclosure by faculty in letters of recommendation.  Her next project is on transgressive metaphors of vision.

Tamara S. Wagner obtained her PhD from the University of Cambridge and is now assistant professor at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Her books include Longing: Narratives of Nostalgia in the British Novel, 1740-1890 and Occidentalism in Novels of Malaysia and Singapore, 1819-2004. She is currently working on a study of financial speculation in Victorian literature.