Alisha Walters, Ph.D.

Alisha Walters
Associate Professor of 19th Century British Literature, English
Penn State Abington
1600 Woodland Road
Abington, PA 19001

Selected Courses Taught at Penn State:

Senior Seminar: The Literature of Imperialism, ENGL 487W
The Victorians, ENGL 452
Great Traditions in English Literature, ENGL 002
Literature and Empire, ENGL 182A
Honors Freshman Composition, ENGL 30
Authors and Contexts: The Victorians and Race, ENGL 400
British Literature from 1798, ENGL 222
The Victorian Novel, ENGL 453
Writing in the Humanities, ENGL 202B

Selected Invited Speaker Engagements:

Oxford University -- Nineteenth-Century Research Seminar: “The ‘Sallow Mr Freely’: Sugar, Appetite and Unstable Forms of Whiteness in George Eliot’s ‘"Brother Jacob”” (March 2022)

Rutgers British Studies Center: “How Victorianists Might Talk about Race,” Roundtable Speaker (February 2022)

The Virtual Dickens Universe: “Toppling Statues- Teaching Victorian Literature in 2020” (July 2020)

North American Victorian Studies Association (NAVSA): Anti-Racism in British 19th Century Studies (August 2020)

Rutgers Nineteenth-Century Studies Group: “Blackness and Affect in the Nineteenth Century” (November 2020)

Orlando Project Podcast, focusing on the evolving material, historical and cultural conditions that make women's writing possible: Discussion of Mary Seacole (Winter 2021)

Selected Grants and Awards:

Outstanding Teaching Award, Tenure Line, 2022 

Drum Major for Justice Award, 2022 (From the Office of Diversity Equity and Inclusion)

Seeding Change Grant, 2019

Ghana Study Abroad Exploratory Grant, 2019

Doctoral Thesis Completion Award, 2010-2011

William and Mary Burgan Prize, awarded for “Outstanding Presentation by Graduate Student at
the Midwest Victorian Studies Association conference,” 2010

Viola Whitney Pratt Scholarship, 2009-2010

SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship, 2005-2008

Ontario Graduate Scholarship, 2005-2006

SSHRC Master’s Scholarship, 2004-2005

Ontario Graduate Scholarship, 2004-2005

Margeson Scholarship in English, 2002-2003

Oxford University Press Essay Prize, 2002-2003

McClelland & Stewart Essay Prize in Canadian Studies, 2002-2003

Click photo to read "Journey to Ghana is life-changing for two Abington faculty"

Dr Walters’ interdisciplinary research investigates representations of race and racial mixture in the nineteenth century. She has published on race and affect, and her writing focuses on the intertwined histories of scientific and emotional conceptions of race—particularly as they are focalized through depictions of people of color in Victorian fiction.

Dr Walters also writes about colonial and literary depictions of food, as she considers what Victorians wrote about food and the dynamic process of national identity formation. Dr Walters teaches courses on nineteenth-century literature and culture, the Caribbean, and writing at Penn State Abington.

"Affective Hybridities: Racial Hybridity and Victorian Nationalism 1850-1901." In-Progress book manuscript.

"Liberal Sympathy & Unseeing the 'black-blue' body in Wilkie Collins’ Poor Miss Finch." 9800 words. Under review. 

"Whiteness in Victorian Literature." Oxford Bibliographies in Victorian Literature. (2023). 

“‘When I came back, it was … to the love of a new generation’: Affective Genealogies of Race in Dinah Craik’s The Half-Caste.” Nineteenth-Century Literature in Transition: the 1850s, edited by Gail Marshall. Cambridge University Press. 7500 words. Forthcoming

James Hunt, Robert Knox, and the Feelings of Empirical Race Science.” Victorian Studies vol. 64, no. 4, 2022, pp. 554-560.

Walters, Alisha. “'The Sallow Mr. Freely': Sugar, Diet and White Racial Anxiety in George Eliot's 'Brother Jacob'.” Victorian Literature and Culture, Vol 50, no. 3 (2022), pp. 1-30.  

We find nowadays perpetual disenchantment on the score of cookery”: Domestic French Cooking, Victorian Travel Writing, and British Nationality. Victorian Review, Vol. 47, no. 2 (2022), pp. 225-42.  

“‘The Tears I could not repress, rolling down my brown cheeks’: Mary Seacole, Feeling, and the Imperial Body,” Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies, 16, no. 1 (2020). 9000 words. 

“A ‘white boy…who is not a white boy’: Rudyard Kipling’s Kim, Whiteness, and British Identity.”  Victorian Literature and Culture, 46, no. 2 (2018): 331-346. 

“Affective Hybridities: Dinah Craik’s Olive and British Heterogeneity.”  Women’s Writing, 20, no. 2 (2013): 325-43.  

“The English Language and Nigerian Prose Fiction,” University of Toronto April (2007) 

Ph.D. English, University of Toronto
M.A. English, University of Toronto
B.A. English and French, University of Toronto. Graduated with High Distinction.