Following NAVSA’s statement against systemic racism and the discussion spearheaded in “Undisciplining Victorian Studies” (by Ronjaunee Chatterjee, Alicia Christoff, and Amy Wong), it is necessary that we take concrete actions to engage with our own implicit biases and uninterrogated assumptions about the shape of Victorian Studies as a whole. To do so, we are forming a reading group focused on race and transimperialism that, hopefully, will encourage personal reflection and community discussion. These will go hand-in-hand with other efforts—including the NAVSA 2020-21 online activities—as part of rethinking our research and our pedagogies.


This “Race and Transimperialism” reading list was compiled with two specific goals in mind: first, the list would primarily feature scholars of color; and second, the list would include established, canonical works alongside emerging scholarship.


The goal is to meet once per month via Zoom, September 2020 through June 2021; September, December, and January have shorter readings as they are often the busiest times for academics. We will be soliciting suggestions from the attending members for the final three readings in order to leave room for specific interests or new developments. Reading group members may attend as many or as few sessions as they wish.


For more info about signing up for this group (for updates, shared files, etc.), contact list coordinator Lindsey O’Neil (she/her) at lindseyeroneil@gmail.com.



For access to files, contact list coordinator Lindsey O’Neil (she/her) at lindseyeroneil@gmail.com.



September 4th

3pm EST

Sukanya Banerjee. “Transimperial.” Victorian Literature and Culture 46(3-4): 925-928.

Sharon Marcus. "Same Difference? Transnationalism, Comparative Literature, and Victorian Studies." Victorian Studies 45.4 (2003): 677-686.



October 3rd

11am EST

Selections from Lisa Lowe. The Intimacies of Four Continents. Duke, 2015.

Selections from Nasser Mufti. Civilizing War: Imperial Politics and the Poetics of National Rupture. Northwestern, 2017.

Forthcoming special issue of Victorian Studies.



November 6th

3pm EST

Selections from Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak. A Critique of Postcolonial Reason: Toward a History of the Vanishing Present. Harvard, 1999.

Selections from Jodi A. Byrd. The Transit of Empire: Indigenous Critiques of Colonialism. Minnesota, 2011.

Selections from Christina Sharpe. In the Wake: On Blackness and Being. Duke, 2016.



December 5th

11am EST

Tanya Agathocleous."Criticism on Trial: Colonizing Affect in the Late-Victorian Empire." Victorian Studies 60.3 (2018): 434-460.


Homi Bhabha. “Of Mimicry and Man: The Ambivalence of Colonial Discourse.” October 28 Discipleship: A Special Issue on Psychoanalysis (Spring 1984): 125-133.

Alisha Walters. “A ‘white boy…who is not a white boy’: Rudyard Kipling’s Kim, Whiteness, and British Identity.” Victorian Literature and Culture 46.2 (2018): 331-346.



January 8th

3pm EST

Carolyn Betensky. “Casual Racism in Victorian Literature.” Victorian Literature and Culture 47.4: 723-51.

Selections from Antoinette Burton. Empire in Question: Reading, Writing, and Teaching British Imperialism. Duke, 2011.



February 6th

11am EST

Zarena Aslami. "Victorian Afghanistan, the Iron Amir, and the Poetics of Marginal Sovereignty." Victorian Studies 62.1 (2019): 35-60.

Selections from Jennifer DeVere Brody. Impossible Purities: Blackness, Femininity, and Victorian Culture. Duke, 1998.

Melissa Valiska Gregory. “Race and the Dramatic Monologue.” Victorian Studies 62.2 (Winter 2020): 213-218.



March 5th

3pm EST

Selections from Franz Fanon. The Wretched of the Earth. 1963.

Selections from Leela Ghandi. Affective Communities:Anticolonial Thought, Fin-de-Siècle Radicalism, and the Politics of Friendship. Duke, 2006.

Priti Joshi, “Mutiny Echoes: India, Britons, and Charles Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities.” Nineteenth-Century Literature 62.1 (June 2007): 48-87.



April 3rd

11am EST

Undisciplining Victorian Studies. Eds. Ronjaunee Chatterjee, Alicia Mireles Christoff, & Amy R. Wong. Special Issue of Victorian Studies 62.3 (Spring 2020).


May 7th

June 5th

Readings TBD upon attendee input.

Send suggestions at any time!




For more info about signing up for this group (for updates, shared files, etc.), contact list coordinator Lindsey O’Neil.

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