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Dr Christine Ferguson
Professor in English Literature
Christine Ferguson is a Professor in English Literature at the University of Stirling, having previous worked at the University of Glasgow from 2008-2016. Her research focuses on late Victorian literature and culture, with an emphasis on the interconnections between science and popular fiction at the fin-de-siècle. She also has strong interests in contemporary British literature, particularly in Neo-Victorian writing, visual culture, and performance. Her most recent monograph, Determined Spirits: Eugenics, Heredity, and Racial Regeneration in Anglo-American Spiritualist Writing, 1848-1930 (Edinburgh University Press 2012), examines the hitherto unacknowledged role of nineteenth-century spiritualist and occultist thought in advocating practices of controlled human breeding and supernaturalized theories of hereditary transmission in the decades leading up to and during the advent of Galtonian eugenics. As companion to this project, she is currently editing a volume of primary nineteenth-century spiritualist writings on race, reproduction, and human biology, due for publication by Routledge in 2013. Other publications include the 2006 monograph Language, Science, and Popular Fiction at the Victorian Fin-de-Siècle: The Brutal Tongue (Ashgate 2006), and articles and book chapters on such topics as steampunk and subcultural performance, the Neo-Victorian graphic novel, Victorian representations of disability and freakery, and the connections between decadence and science in the fin-de-siècle. Her new project, Open Secrets: The Public Spheres of the Victorian Occult, investigates the exoteric face of the late Victorian occult revival, examining how occultist and mystical writers such as A.E. Waite, Mabel Collins, Hargrave Jennings, Arthur Machen, and others used popular fiction and periodical writing to breach the divide between hidden and public knowledge.
Research and Teaching Interests
Eugenics; Disability Studies; Medical Discourse in New and Heterodox Religious Movements (Spiritualism, Theosophy, etc.); Entheogenics and Literature.
- College of Arts, School of Critical Studies