Berkeley English Graduate Students

Emma C. Eisenberg

Emma C. Eisenberg

PhD candidate

by appointment

Professional Statement

My dissertation, "Set Theory: Victorian Novels of Milieu," reveals the unacknowledged impact of the mid-sized group on forms of Victorian literature and society. I argue that such site-specific, improvised assemblages challenge models prevalent in Victorian and novel studies, which tend to operate at scalar extremes of the individual and the state or the one versus the many. What if the group is not a statistical abstraction or an ideological mirage, but rather an experience of local and transient identities that frustrate rules about what kind of person you can be and to whom (or what) you should belong? To do justice to this question, I bring narrative theory and sociolinguistics to bear on conversations in Gaskell, parties in Trollope, schools in Pater, and a longer genealogy of late Victorian and Edwardian hotel novels.

Selected Publications and Papers Delivered

"Transhistorical Identity in the 'Schools' of Pater." North American Victorian Studies Association. Vancouver, British Columbia. November 2021.

“Modelling Milieu in Elizabeth Gaskell’s Cranford.” Conference paper. International Conference on Narrative. University of Navarra. 1 June 2019.

"Character." Roundtable. Form Across Literature and the Sciences in Victorian Britain. UC Berkeley. 4 May 2018.

"Mere repetition: critical conversation and the stylistic tic." Conference paper. The Idea of Prose Style. University of Sydney. December 2017.

English Department Classes