MemberJessica Howell

I am Associate Professor of English at Texas A&M University and Associate Director of the Glasscock Center for Humanities Research. I completed a PhD in English at University of California, Davis, and a postdoctoral research fellowship at the Centre for Humanities and Health, King’s College London. My first monograph, Exploring Victorian Travel Literature: Disease, Race and Climate, was published in 2014 by Edinburgh UP, and my forthcoming book is titled Malaria and Victorian Fictions of Empire (Cambridge UP, 2018). I teach courses in Victorian literature, literature and medicine, the Health Humanities, and women’s travel writing.  I convene the Health Humanities Seminar at the Glasscock Center and a grant on “Global Health and the Humanities.”

MemberDavid Samuel Mazella

I am an Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of Houston, specializing in eighteenth-century British literature. My first book was The Making of Modern Cynicism (University of Virginia Press, 2007), a conceptual and cultural history of the cynic and cynicism between the seventeenth and nineteenth century in Anglo-British writing. With Laura Rosenthal, I administer and contribute to a scholarly blog, The Long Eighteenth ( that discusses eighteenth-century literature, history, culture, along with pedagogical issues. For the last three years, I have served as the Director of the UH Center for Teaching Excellence ( My next book will be a literary history of the year 1771, told from the perspective of the published and unpublished writings produced and read in four cities: London, Edinburgh, Philadelphia, and Kingston, Jamaica.

MemberElizabeth Chang

Elizabeth Chang focuses in her research and teaching on the literature and visual culture of nineteenth-century Britain, with a particular emphasis on the cultural productions of the British empire during the Victorian era. Her monograph Britain’s Chinese Eye: Literature, Empire and Aesthetics in the Nineteenth Century (Stanford 2009) traces the cultural influences of Chinese places, things, and people, real and imagined, on the development of a modern British literary and visual culture in the nineteenth century. She is also the editor of a five-volume collection of nineteenth-century British travel writing from China (Pickering and Chatto 2010). Most recently she has published Novel Cultivations: Plants in British Literature of the Global Nineteenth Century (Virginia 2019), which takes up the role of plants as both setting and subject in the Victorian genre novel to argue for a reconfigured understanding of environmental agency in popular literature.

MemberChristine Yao

Christine “Xine” Yao is a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of British Columbia in the Department of English. She works on intersections of affect, race, gender, and sexuality in relation to science and law through long 19th century American literature. Her research has been published in J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists and American Gothic: An Edinburgh Companion. She is an award-winning instructor of literature, culture, and writing. She completed her Ph.D.  in English at Cornell University in 2016 with minors in American Studies and Feminism, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Dr. Yao’s postdoctoral, PhD, and MA work has been funded by competitive national grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Her archival research has been supported by travel grants to the American Antiquarian Society, the Massachusetts Historical Society, and the College of the Library of Physicians of Philadelphia. Additional training thanks to the Center for American Visual Culture, the Futures of American Studies Institute at Dartmouth College, and the LGBT Leadership Academy at Cornell in Washington. For further information and CV, please see 

MemberRenata Kobetts Miller

Renata Kobetts Miller is professor of English at the City College of New York, where she also serves as Deputy Dean of Humanities and the Arts.  Her book The Victorian Actress in the Novel and on the Stage was published by Edinburgh University Press in November.  She is also the author of a book on adaptations of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and her work on Victorian fiction and theater has appeared in MLQ, BRANCH, and the Oxford Handbook of Adaptation Studies, among other places.  She is currently working on two projects: one on the Independent Theatre Society of the 1890s, and the other on interdisciplinarity in the Victorian novel.  

MemberJohn E. Drabinski

John E. Drabinski is Charles Hamilton Houston 1915 Professor of Black Studies in the Department of Black Studies at Amherst College. In addition to authoring four books, most recently Glissant and the Middle Passage: Philosophy, Beginning, Abyss (Minnesota, 2019) and Levinas and the Postcolonial: Race, Nation, Other (Edinburgh, 2012), he has written over three dozen articles on Africana theory and French philosophy, and has edited books and journal issues on Frantz Fanon, Jean-Luc Godard, Emmanuel Levinas, Édouard Glissant, and the question of political reconciliation. He is currently finalizing a translation and critical introduction to Jean Bernabé, Patrick Chamoiseau, and Raphael Confiant’s Éloge de la créolité, and is completing a book-length study of the philosophical dimensions of James Baldwin’s non-fiction entitled ‘So Unimaginable a Price’: Baldwin and the Black Atlantic.

MemberShaden M. Tageldin

Shaden M. Tageldin is associate professor of cultural studies and comparative literature in the Department of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature and director of the African Studies Initiative, a Title VI African Studies National Resource Center funded by the U.S. Department of Education, at the University of Minnesota. From 2013–2015, she was director of graduate studies for the doctoral programs in Comparative Literature and in Comparative Studies in Discourse and Society as well as the interdepartmental graduate minor in Moving Image Studies. Tageldin is a recipient of the 2013–2014 Arthur “Red” Motley Exemplary Teaching Award from the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota. Tageldin earned her PhD in comparative literature from the University of California, Berkeley. Her book, Disarming Words: Empire and the Seductions of Translation in Egypt (University of California Press, 2011), was awarded the Honorable Mention for the 2013 Harry Levin Prize of the American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA), and her essay “Secularizing Islam: Carlyle, al-Siba‘i, and the Translations of ‘Religion’ in British Egypt,” PMLA 126.1 (2011), the Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies Essay Prize. Tageldin’s latest publications include “Fénelon’s Gods, al-Tahtawi’s Jinn: Trans-Mediterranean Fictionalities,” in Philological Encounters 2.1–2 (2017; appeared online 2016); “The Novel in Translation and Transition,” in Volume 11 of The Oxford History of the Novel in English: The Novel in Africa and the Caribbean since 1950, ed. Simon Gikandi (Oxford UP, 2016); and “(Post)Colonial Translation,” in Teaching Translation: Programs, Courses, Pedagogies, ed. Lawrence Venuti (Routledge, 2016).  Forthcoming are her essay “Beyond Latinity, Can the Vernacular Speak?”, in Comparative Literature 70.2 (2018), and translations of the work of Hasan al-‘Attar and ‘Ali Mubarak, in the Modern Language Association (MLA) volume The Arab Renaissance: A Bilingual Anthology of the Nahda, ed. Tarek El-Ariss (2018). Other recent essays include “The Place of Africa, in Theory: Pan-Africanism, Postcolonialism, Beyond,” in the Journal of Historical Sociology (2014); “Untranslatability,” in the ACLA Report on the State of the Discipline 2014–2015 (2014); “The Incestuous (Post)Colonial: Soueif’s Map of Love and the Second Birth of the Egyptian Novel in English,” in The Edinburgh Companion to the Arab Novel in English (Edinburgh University Press, 2013); “Proxidistant Reading: Toward a Critical Pedagogy of the Nahḍah in U.S. Comparative Literary Studies,” in the Journal of Arabic Literature (2012); “Mahfouz’s Posts,” in Approaches to Teaching the Works of Naguib Mahfouz (MLA, 2012); “The Returns of Theory,” in the International Journal of Middle East Studies (2011); and “One Comparative Literature? ‘Birth’ of a Discipline in French-Egyptian Translation, 1810–1834,” in Comparative Literature Studies (2010). Tageldin currently is working on a second book, provisionally titled Toward a Transcontinental Theory of Modern Comparative Literature. In 2016–2017, she held a Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowship for Recently Tenured Scholars from the American Council of Learned Societies at the John W. Kluge Center of the Library of Congress in Washington, DC; in 2019, she will hold a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship.  Among other awards, she received the ACLA’s 2005 Charles Bernheimer Prize for best dissertation in comparative literature and has held past fellowships and grants from the U.S. Fulbright Scholar program; the Fritz Thyssen Foundation, the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, and the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences; and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Tageldin is a member of the Zukunftsphilologie Collegium, sponsored by the Berlin-based research program Forum Transregionale Studium, as well as of the editorial advisory boards of the Journal of Arabic Literature and Philological Encounters. In 2017, she was vice chair of the Association of African Studies Programs. In the MLA, she has served as chair of the Delegate Assembly Organizing Committee (2017–Jan. 2018), co-chair of the Committee on the Status of Women in the Profession (2013–2015), chair of the executive committee of the Discussion Group on Arabic Literature and Culture (2008–Jan. 2009, now LLC Arabic Forum), secretary of the executive committee of the CLCS Global Arab and Arab American Forum (2017–Jan. 2018), and divisional delegate to the Delegate Assembly (2012–2015).