I am not quite sure what the protocol is for these statements now that we are on a blog format, but here goes. I am Pamela K. Gilbert, Albert Brick Professor at the University of Florida, and I am on the ballot for the executive committee of the division, representing our interests to the MLA. You can all google if you are interested in specific publications and so forth, so I’ll just summarize here. I have published mostly in the following two areas: gender and popular literary forms in the Victorian period; and the history of the body and medicine in the Victorian period. I am currently working on a book on skin and surface in the period and its relations to realist aesthetics, physiology, and materialist philosophy. Other interests include graduate student mentoring and medical humanities. I have served as a Director of Graduate Studies and Department Chair, and for the profession, on the program committee for MLA, the executive committee for NAVSA, and the editorial committee for NINES (a digital project peer review initiative). I currently edit a book series for SUNY on the Long Nineteenth Century.
It seems to me from discussions with colleagues in the field that the following questions are of particularly current concern: the relation of form and allied questions to the status of “Victorian Studies”; the relation of our subject to global and postcolonial questions (including the status of “national” literatures as objects of study); the affordances of digital studies, and potential paradigm shifts related to them; and the parlous state of humanities, and indeed higher education, including career paths associated with it.
Should I serve on the committee, I would of course welcome further suggestions from the membership on any issues that you would like to see up for discussion. I hope to see you all in Austin!