AboutEugenia Zuroski has been a member of the Department of English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University since 2009. Gena is author of the book A Taste for China: English Subjectivity and the Prehistory of Orientalism (Oxford University Press, 2013), which argues that chinoiserie played an integral role in the formation of modern English subjectivity. Tracing a shift in the relationship between English selves and “things Chinese” from the Restoration through the early nineteenth century, this study shows how both orientalism and privatized subjectivity take shape through cultural processes of disavowing earlier ideals, including cosmopolitanism and aristocratic power. Gena has published articles in Novel: A Forum on Fiction, Eighteenth-Century Studies, and Journal18. In addition to teaching courses in literatures and cultures of the long eighteenth century, she teaches introductory level undergraduate courses in short fiction and poetry and one of the core courses in the graduate Cultural Studies and Critical Theory (CSCT) program, “Foundations in CSCT.”
In addition to her teaching and research, Gena serves as editor of Eighteenth-Century Fiction, winner of the 2017 CELJ Voyager Award. She has edited special issues of ECF on “Exoticism & Cosmopolitanism” (Fall 2012) and “The Senses of Humour” (Summer 2014). Most recently, she co-edited a 2-part special issue of ECF on “Material Fictions” with Michael Yonan (Dept. of Art History and Archaeology, U of Missouri), published in late 2018 and early 2019.
The recipient of a SSHRC Insight Grant, Gena is currently completing a book which argues for the emergence of politically relevant forms of “funniness” in eighteenth-century literature, aesthetics, and subjectivity. She has been invited to present portions of this project at the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities 18th/19th-Century Colloquium at Vanderbilt University; the Columbia University Seminar in Eighteenth-Century European Culture; the Centre for Eighteenth-Century Studies Research Seminar at the University of York, UK; the University of East Anglia Research Seminar; and in keynotes for the British Women Writer’s Conference and the David Nichol Smith Seminar.
Gena serves on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Society of Learned Journals, the Executive Board of the Canadian Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, the Editorial Board of Scholarly and Research Communication, and the Advisory Board of the Hamilton Review of Books. She is currently the faculty co-chair of McMaster’s President’s Advisory Committee on Building an Inclusive Community (PACBIC), and an organizing member of the #BIPOC18 and #Bigger6 collectives.
Her first chapbook of poetry, Hovering, Seen, was published by Anstruther Press in 2019.
EducationPhD, Brown University, 2005
MA, Brown University, 2000
BA, Columbia University, 1998