Dr. Mary Elizabeth Leighton

Dr. Mary Elizabeth Leighton

On Leave

Office: CLE C337

BA (Trent), MA (Guelph), PhD (Alberta)

Area of expertise

Victorian Literature

I have been teaching in the English Department at UVic since 2001. I received my PhD in 2003 from the University of Alberta, where my dissertation focused on George du Maurier and late-Victorian popular culture. Since then my research has concentrated on the Victorian periodical press. My current project is a SSHRC-funded co-authored book of "Victorian Illustrated Serial Fiction" (with Lisa Surridge), which considers the role of illustration in Victorian serial fiction by such authors as Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Elizabeth Gaskell, Thomas Hardy, Harriet Martineau, and Charles Reade.

In addition to my research in Victorian Studies, I am committed to teaching academic and professional writing: I am co-Managing Editor of Victorian Review, Canada's only interdisciplinary Victorian Studies journal; I have presented on clear writing and academic publishing to audiences at VISAWUS and VSAWC conferences; in 2013, with Lisa Surridge, I launched and taught an annual publication workshop for graduate students and junior faculty members at the annual VSAWC conference; and I regularly work with colleagues across the university to coach them on preparing their writing for publication. In both my undergraduate and graduate courses, I emphasize excellent writing as a key skill for academic and professional success, facilitating workshops on writing essays, conference proposals, and theses.

I am a member of the department's lively Victorian Research Group, which convened the 2007 Victorian Materialities conference in Victoria, edits the Victorian Review, and hosts the Victorian Studies at UVic series. I am also a regular contributor to the bibliography of the Research Society for Victorian Periodicals, published triannually in Victorian Periodicals Review. From the classroom to my own research and scholarly contributions, I have an abiding interest in and commitment to collaboration.

I regularly teach English 310: Practical Criticism, English 380: Victorian Fiction from Dickens to Eliot, English 381: Late Victorian and Edwardian Fiction, English 387: Victorian Culture and Thought, and English 502: Teaching Literature and Composition. I have supervised Honours and graduate projects on Grant Allen, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Edward Carpenter, Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens, Daphne du Maurier, George Eliot, Elizabeth Gaskell, George Moore, Walter Scott, W.T. Stead, H.G. Wells, Oscar Wilde, Victorian annuals, and The Illustrated London News. I welcome the opportunity to work with Honours and graduate students who are eager to study Victorian literature and to undertake archival work in UVic's excellent library collection of Victorian print materials.

Selected faculty publications

The Broadview Anthology of Victorian Prose, 1832-1901

Anthology of Victorian ProseBroadview Press, 2012

This anthology features over 90 annotated selections of Victorian non-fiction prose by both canonical and lesser-known authors, short biographical entries for each selection, a co-authored general introduction on "Victorian Print Media and the Reading Public," and eight section introductions by experts in the field: David Amigoni on "Life Writing"; Dan Bivona on "The Condition of England: Industrialization and Social Reform"; Janice Schroeder on "Education"; Dennis Denisoff on "Aesthetics and Culture"; Susan Hamilton on "Gender and Sexuality"; Catherine Harland on "Faith and Doubt"; Bernard Lightman on "Science"; and Laura Franey on "Travel and Exploration."

"Evolutionary Discourse and the Credit Economy in Elizabeth Gaskell's Wives and Daughters" (with Lisa Surridge). Victorian Literature and Culture. Forthcoming.

"Making History: Text and Image in Harriet Martineau's 'Historiettes'" (with Lisa Surridge). Readings in Victorian Illustration, 1855-75. Ed. Paul Goldman and Simon Cooke. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2012.

"Illustrated Sensation Fiction" (with Lisa Surridge). The Cambridge Companion to Sensation Fiction. Ed. Andrew Mangham. Cambridge UP. Forthcoming.

"Sensation and Illustration" (with Lisa Surridge). The Blackwell Companion to Sensation Fiction. Ed. Pamela K. Gilbert. Blackwell, 2011.

"The Illustrated Novel" (with Lisa Surridge). Dickens in Context. Ed. Sally Ledger and Holly Furneaux. Cambridge UP, 2011. 166-77.

"The Transatlantic Moonstone: A Study of the Illustrated Serial in Harper's Weekly" (with Lisa Surridge). Victorian Periodicals Review 42.3 (2009): 207-43.

"The Plot Thickens: Toward a Narratology of Illustrated Serial Fiction in the 1860s" (with Lisa Surridge). Victorian Studies 51.1 (2008): 65-101.

"The Empire Bites Back: The Racialized Crocodile of the Nineteenth Century" (with Lisa Surridge). Victorian Animal Dreams: Representations of Animals in Victorian Literature and Culture. Ed. Deborah Denenholz Morse and Martin A. Danahay. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007. 249-70.

"Under the Influence: Crime and Hypnotic Fictions of the fin de siecle." Victorian Literary Mesmerism. Ed. Catherine Wynne and Martin Willis. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2006. 203-22.

"Andrew Lang and the 1885 Merton Professorship of English Language and Literature at Oxford." Notes and Queries 53.3 (2006): 336-38.

"Concrete Matters: Feminist Cultural Materialism" (with Tracy Kulba and Cheryl Suzack). Topia: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies 13 (2005): 19-29.

"'Hypnosis Redividus': Ernest Hart, the British Medical Journal, and the Hypnotism Controversy." Victorian Periodicals Review 34.2 (2001): 104-27. Awarded the VanArsdel Prize.

"The Trials of Naturalism: Zola in the British Literary and Cultural Imagination of the fin de siecle" (with Kirsten MacLeod). Excavatio: International Review of Zola and Naturalism 15.3-4 (2001): 322-36.

"Performing Pauline Johnson: Representations of 'the Indian Poetess' in the Periodical Press, 1892-95." Essays on Canadian Writing 65 (1998): 141-64. Awarded the George Wicken Prize.