British Images

Students in British Studies at Columbia

A directory of students in British Studies at Columbia, and their interests.

Sierra Eckert

Research interests: 18th- and 19th-century British literature; novel theory; history of reading; cultural history of information and technology; material text studies; information studies; computational humanities

Katie Gemmill

Katie Gemmill’s research and teaching focus on literature of the eighteenth century and Romantic period in England. Her dissertation, “Novel Conversations, 1740-1817,” accounts for how and why prose writers from the 1740s onwards began to give more prominence and detail to representations of conversation in their texts. Her current and past projects all aim to forge communication between editorial and theoretical approaches to novel studies: she has published articles on Frances Burney’s French archive and on Jane Austen’s manuscripts, and she has worked on a number of textual editing projects as a research assistant at The Burney Centre and the Yale Johnson Edition. Other scholarly interests include life writing and the history of the novel, representations of transgressive women in fiction, and Anglo-French literary relations.

Anna Danziger Halperin

Anna Danziger Halperin studies twentieth century American and British social policy and its effects on women and children, with a particular interest in child care. She graduated from Barnard College in 2006 with a degree in History and Human Rights. Before returning to Columbia in 2010, Anna conducted research and coauthored several reports on U.S. child care policies and other related issues affecting low-wage working families during her employment with the Urban Institute and the Institute for Women's Policy Research.

Arden Hegele

Arden Hegele is a PhD candidate in the Department of English and Comparative Literature who specializes in British literature of the Romantic and Victorian periods. Her dissertation discusses how Romantic writing behaves as a medical science through formal experimentation with intended therapeutic effects. A portion of this work, on dropsical forms in Wordsworth's The Excursion, is forthcoming in The Wordsworth Circle. She has previously published on Byron, Montagu, Edgeworth, and Austen, and has presented at conferences on the Brontës, Barbauld, and L. M. Montgomery. Other research interests include women's education in the early nineteenth century; early colonial literatures; and nineteenth-century climatology and its attendant technologies (such as ballooning).

Jayne Hildebrand

Research interests: 19th-century British literature and culture

Alma Igra

Alma Igra is a doctoral candidate in the department of history, focusing on British history and its international aspects in the Mediterranean. Her main fields of interest are International and Global History, Environmental History, and history of food consumption. She is currently studying animal trade and meat consumption in the British Empire and Mandate system in beginning of the 20th century, and is particularly interested in the moral, religious, nationalist and humanitarian values projected onto various practices of food consumption and animal usage. Alma earned her BA in history and literature in Tel Aviv University, and her MA in Nationalism Studies at the Central European University.

Ryder Kessler

Ryder Kessler is a PhD candidate in the department of English and Comparative Literature, focusing on British and American novels from the mid-nineteenth through early twentieth centuries. He is particularly interested in how these novels thematically and formally explore the conflict between chance and choice in shaping individuals' life outcomes.

Lucas Kwong

Lucas Kwong (B.A., Yale) is a PhD candidate in English specializing in religion and Victorian literature. He is currently writing his dissertation on the representation of religious practices in late Victorian gothic and fantasy fiction, focusing on the ways that such representations index shifting attitudes towards the emergent pluralism of the period. Portions of his chapter on Dracula were selected for presentation at both the 2012 MACBS and NAVSA conferences. His other interests include postcolonial theory and rethinking secularization.

Nicole Longpre

Nicole Longpre is a doctoral candidate in the Department of History. She received her MA and BAH from Queen's University, Canada in 2009 and 2008 respectively. Her current interests include twentieth century British political history, immigration, social policy, and Atlantic conceptions of conservatism.

Sam Mitchell

Research interests: late 19th- and early 20th-century British literature and culture; Bloomsbury; temporality and the object

Matt Margini

Research interests: 19th-century British and American literature; animal studies; poetry and poetics; film.

Olivia Moy

Olivia Moy is a PhD candidate in English specializing in nineteenth century poetry. Her dissertation work explores confinement and claustrophobia in poems of the Romantic and Victorian eras. She completed her undergraduate degree at Princeton in 2006, where her work on W.H. Auden was awarded the Thomas H. Maren thesis prize.

Stephanie O'Rourke

Stephanie O'Rourke is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Art History and Archeology specializing in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century art. Her research interests include the sublime, Romanticism, theories of spectatorship, and scientific discourses of the body.

Michael Paulson

Research interests: 18th- and early 19th-century British literature; intellectual history; history of criticism, literary theory, and aesthetics; visual culture

Natasha Peseran

Natasha Pesaran is a second-year PhD student specializing in the history of the modern Middle East. She studies the establishment and development of the oil industry in Iraq and the Levant after the First World War. She is particularly interested in the role of Western oil companies in the region, their changing relationships with governments and the socio-political and technical worlds created by oil infrastructure. For the dissertation, she hopes to write a political and social history of the oil pipelines that were built to transport Iraq’s oil to Mediterranean.

Emily Rutherford

Emily Rutherford is a Ph.D. student in the Department of History, where she works on the intellectual and cultural history of Britain c. 1860-1914. Her research interests include schools and universities, liberalism, gender and sexuality, and classical reception. She received a B.A. from Princeton in 2012 and an M.Phil. from Oxford in 2014. Her article "Impossible Love and Victorian Values: J.A. Symonds and the Intellectual History of Homosexuality" appears in the October 2014 issue of the Journal of the History of Ideas.

Rashmi Sahni

Rashmi Sahni is a Ph.D. student in the Department of English and Comparative Literature. She taught English Literature to undergraduates at the University of Delhi before joining Columbia University. Her dissertation work examines the significance of prayers, premonitions, curses and providential design in novels dealing with detection and punishment of crimes in eighteenth-century Britain. Other research interests include British cultural and intellectual history, eighteenth-century women's writing, Restoration drama, oriental tales, and genre and narrative theories.

Lucy Sheehan

Research interests: 19th-century literature and culture, especially the Victorian novel; 18th- and 19th-century social and political thought; gender studies and theories of embodiment

Jessica Simon

Jessica Simon is a PhD student in the English and Comparative Literature department and Subcommittee on Theatre who completed her master’s degree at University of Chicago and her undergraduate education at New York University. Her interests include melodrama, the interrelation of theatre and the novel, and theories of emotion and physiology in the Victorian period. Her dissertation considers the relationship between sensation and affect in sensation drama and the sensation novel and its implications for theatrical and novelistic realism.

Divya Subramanian

Brooks Swett

Brooks Swett is a doctoral student in nineteenth-century U.S. history, with a focus on Anglo-American exchanges and relations. Of particular interest to her are the global ramifications and context of U.S. Reconstruction. Her work examines imperial ideologies and the significance of land and labor in the post-Civil War U.S. South to international politics.

Victoria Wiet

Research interests: 19th-century British literature, performance studies, gender and sexuality studies