Jessica White

Thesis Title: Materials, Labour and the Gothic in Nineteenth-Century Literature

Supervisors: Dr Simon Marsden and Dr Matthew Bradley

Research Interests: I look at various nineteenth-century writers (chronologically) and how they utilised contemporary socio-political theory to discuss class and labour. I bring out the Gothic elements of this theory, written by Marx, Engels, Ruskin and Morris, and assess how fiction writers discuss class in these terms. I specifically focus on materials and textiles as class signifiers in textual elements like dress, wallpaper, wall-hangings, cotton production and embroidery.

Conferences presented at/ abstracts accepted for:

Reimagining the Gothic, University of Sheffield, October 2018 (Paper: Red Rooms, Red Politics: The Class Implications of Walls in Nineteenth-Century Fiction)

Wimmin, Wxmyn, Wom(b)an: Shifting Boundaries, Changing Roles, University of Sheffield, February 2019 (Paper: Media and the Legacy of Dead Women)

Resist and Persist, Liverpool John Moores University, May 2019 (Paper: Elizabeth Gaskell and the Nineteenth Century Protest Narrative)

Reimagining the Gothic, University of Sheffield, May 2019 (Paper: Hit the Reset Button: gothic Returns in Netflix’s The Good Place)

Publications/ abstracts accepted for:

British Association of Victorian Studies Blog (The Victorianist) October 2018 (Post: ‘From “vulgarity and commonness” to the “bard” William Morris: Class and Wallpaper in Victorian Literature and Culture’)


Abstract accepted for the paper ‘Visions of the Future, in the Past: Placing William Morris’ News From Nowhere in the Nineteenth-Century’ in trackchanges journal, University of Sheffield’s bi-annual inter-disciplinary PGR journal. To be published later in 2019.