Ella Mershon

331 Wheeler

Professional Statement

I specialize in late eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British Literature with particular interest in the history of science; David Hume and British empiricism; affect studies; media studies; theories of alterity and gender studies; object theory; and studies of environment, broadly considered.

My dissertation, ‘A Structureless Matrix,’ uncovers a submerged strand in the history of nineteenth-century science that understood decay as constitutive of form and considers its implications for "formless" works by Charles Dickens and John Ruskins and "deforming" works by Walter Pater, Oscar Wilde, and Arthur Machen. 


Selected Publications and Papers Delivered

“Dwelling: Bleak House and the Ecology of Decomposition.” “Dickens and the Environment”: MLA Convention: Dickens Society Panel. Chicago, January 9-12, 2014

“Ruskin’s Dust.” “Victorian Temporalities”: MLA Convention: Victorian Period Panel. Chicago, January 9-12, 2014

“Cosmic Mortals: Narrating the Decomposed Evidence of the Deep Past.” “Evidence”: NAVSA Annual Conference. Pasadena, California, October 23-27, 2013

“Equivocal Decay: The Ruined and the Rotting in Dickens’ Pictures from Italy.” “The Global and The Local”:  Joint conference of the NAVSA/BAVS/AVSA. Venice, Italy, June 3-6, 2013

“Treating Objects like Women: The Bodies of Humean Sympathy.” Graduate Humanities Forum: “Virtual Histories” Conference. University of Pennsylvania, Spring 2011

Recent English Courses Taught

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