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Lynn Voskuil


Associate Professor

Phone: (713) 743-2972
Office: 235A Roy Cullen Building

Lynn Voskuil teaches and publishes in the areas of Victorian literature and culture, empire studies, gender studies, and environmental studies. She is currently completing an interdisciplinary book manuscript entitled “Horticulture and Imperialism: The Garden Spaces of the British Empire, 1789-1914.” Supported by an NEH Fellowship, this project shows how popular horticulture both promoted and challenged the expansion of the British empire in the nineteenth century. Voskuil is also the author of Acting Naturally: Victorian Theatricality and Authenticity (University of Virginia Press) and the editor of Nineteenth-Century Energies: Literature, Technology, Culture (Routledge). In addition, her essays have appeared in a wide variety of journals and collections, including ELH, Victorian Studies, Nineteenth-Century Contexts, Studies in Romanticism, The Blackwell Companion to George Eliot, and the recent volume Strange Science: Investigating the Limits of Knowledge in the Victorian Age.

Voskuil is the current President of Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies, an international professional association that involves scholars from a variety of fields. She is also very active in vcologies, a multi-institutional group of Victorian scholars who collaborate on the study of ecology and environment in the nineteenth century. At the University of Houston, she is a founding member of the Empire Studies Collective and a faculty affiliate of the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Program.




• Ph.D, University of Chicago
• M.A., University of Chicago
• B.A., Covenant College

Honors, Awards, Grants (selected)

• National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship
• National Endowment for the Humanities Award for Faculty (declined)
• National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend
• Martha Gano Houston Research Professorship
• Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award
• Women’s Studies Faculty Research Grant

Publications (selected)

Acting Naturally: Victorian Theatricality and Authenticity. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2004. Choice Outstanding Academic Title, 2005
Nineteenth-Century Energies: Literature, Technology, Culture (editor). London: Routledge, 2016

Essays and Chapters
• "From Specimen to System: Botanical Scale and the Environmental Sublime in Joseph Dalton Hooker's Himalayas." In Ecological Form: System and Aesthetics in the Age of Empire, edited by Nathan K. Hensley and Philip Steer. New York: Fordham University Press, forthcoming 2018.
• “Victorian Orchids and the Forms of Ecological Society.” In Strange Science: Investigating the Limits of Knowledge in the Victorian Age, edited by Shalyn Claggett and Lara Karpenko, 19-39. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2017. (The entire Strange Science volume is available here for free download.)
• "Sotherton and the Geography of Empire: The Landscapes of Mansfield Park." Studies in Romanticism 53, no. 4 (Winter 2014): 591-615.
• "George Eliot Among Her Contemporaries: A Life Apart." In The Blackwell Companion to George Eliot, edited by Amanda Anderson and Harry Shaw, 233-246. Oxford: Blackwell, 2013.
• “Camellia sinensis, Robert Fortune, and the Nineteenth-Century Global Imagination.” Nineteenth-Century Contexts 34, no. 1 (2012): 5-18.
• “Feeling Public: Sensation Theatre, Commodity Culture, and the Victorian Public Sphere.” Victorian Studies 44 (Winter 2002): 245-74.
• “Acting Naturally: Brontë, Lewes, and the Problem of Gender Performance.” ELH: A Journal of English Literary History 62 (1995): 409-42.

Lectures and Presentations (selected)

• "The Peepul, the Banyan, and the Baobab: Territories of Rootedness in British South Asia," Vcologies Working Group, September 2017.
• “Botanical Form, Imperial Space, and Victorian Economies of Scale,” North American Victorian Studies Association, July 2015
• “Wardian Cases, Traveling Plants, and the Emergence of Global Ecologies,” Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies, March 2015
• “Horticulture and Imperialism: The Garden Spaces of the British Empire,” Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, February 2013
• “What I Learned About Empire from Neobuxbaumia Polylopha,” Plenary Paper, Global Modernities Conference, Rice University, May 2012.
• “Dirt and Disciplinarity,” Plenary Lecture, Victorian Interdisciplinary Studies Association of the Western United States, October 2011


Teaching (selected courses)

• ENGL 3301: Introduction to Literary Studies
• ENGL 3316: Literature of the Victorian Age
• ENGL 3318: British Novel after 1832
• ENGL 3362: Women in Literature

• ENGL 7325: The British Empire
• ENGL 7396: Postcolonial Ecocritique
• ENGL 8360: Nineteenth-Century British Novel
• WOST 6301: Feminist Theory and Methodology

Botanical images are from Richard Wight, Illustrations of Indian Botany; Principally of the Southern Parts of the Peninsula (Glasgow, 1831). Reproduced by kind permission of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Do not reprint, on web or elsewhere, without permission from Lynn Voskuil.