Department of English Language and Literature and the College
Josephine McDonagh’s research focuses on 19th-century British literature and its intersections with other disciplinary fields, notably political economy, the law, and history. She has published books on the work of Thomas De Quincey and George Eliot, as well as a study of ideas about child murder in British culture in the 18th and 19th centuries. She is currently completing a monograph on migration and 19th-century British literature, which explores the ways in which literature both responded to, and helped shape, a transcontinental migratory culture during a time of mass emigration from Britain to settler colonies. This work proposes new ways of thinking about the spatial regimes of 19th-century fiction and explores some of the questions raised by global migration today.
Recently McDonagh co-directed an international research network on commodity culture in the British colonial world. A volume of essays drawn from this project will be published later this year. She has co-edited volumes on topics that include Charles Dickens and the French Revolution, 19th-century literature and science, and the politics of gender. She has been a fellow at the National Humanities Center.
McDonagh received a BA in English literature from the University of Wales and an MA and PhD from the University of Southampton. Most recently, she held a chair of 19th-century literature at King’s College London.