All of my work investigates the way literature stages, reflects on, or otherwise intervenes in public debates about migratory populations. My work on this subject currently consists of two major projects that together span the twentieth century in Anglophone literature: My book manuscript, Vagrant Narratives: Governing the Welfare Subject in the US and Britain, 1880-1940, reconstructs the lines of influence between Anglo-US sources on the subject of vagrancy, which was at once a pop cultural sensation and keen governmental problem at the turn of the century. I analyze literary depictions of tramping provided in sources from Mark Twain’s travelogues and Jack London’s ethnographic narratives to the films of Charlie Chaplin. I am also interested in expanding the scope of this project to better address the specific ways different literary genres attend to the issue of homelessness and migration. My recent research therefore focuses on science fiction and related genres as key sites were literature imagines the past, present, and future of migratory politics well beyond the twentieth century.
Department for the Study of Culture