Jessica Howell, GS Travel Writing Forum Executive Committee Candidate

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    Jessica Howell

    Hello, I’m pleased to have been nominated as a candidate for the GS Travel Writing Forum Executive Committee election. Candidates have been invited to introduce themselves on the Commons during elections. I am an Associate Professor of English and Associate Director of the Glasscock Center for Humanities Research at Texas A&M University. My work examines depictions of health in 19th-century literatures of empire, including travel writing about Africa, the Caribbean and India. I have studied ‘tropical’ illness, climate and race in work by authors such as Mary Seacole, Mary Kingsley, Richard Burton, Joseph Conrad, Africanus Horton, Rudyard Kipling, Olive Schreiner and H. Rider Haggard. My first book is titled Exploring Victorian Travel Literature: Disease, Race and Climate (EUP, 2014), and my forthcoming book is titled Malaria and Victorian Fictions of Empire (CUP, 2018). I am especially interested in the interface between travel, human health and the environment in literature and culture. My work has also appeared in journals such as Studies in Travel Writing, Literature and Medicine and Victorian Literature and Culture. At A&M, I teach courses on Victorian literature, women’s travel writing and literature and medicine.

    I have been a member of the MLA since 2007, attending conferences regularly and presenting my work. I am especially interested in serving as a member of the Travel Writing Forum Executive Committee in order to enter into ongoing discussions about the future of travel writing studies and to help promote scholarly and professional activities related to travel writing. I am well-versed in cross-disciplinary collaboration and initiatives, and would look forward to being an active part of this scholarly community. Thanks!

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