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Amelia Hall is a PhD Candidate in English at Cornell University specializing in nineteenth-century British literature, with a focus on literary formalism and the Victorian novel. Her dissertation explores the rise and fall of a particular literary form—the epigraph—across the works of Walter Scott, George Eliot, Elizabeth Gaskell, and Ann Radcliffe, arguing that the inclusion of epigraphs enables these writers to make subtle but strong arguments concerning gender, religious origin, vocation, and the pace of reading. More broadly, these case studies demonstrate that the epigraph is far more integral to our understanding of the nineteenth-century novel than previous criticism has acknowledged.
Amelia's pedagogical interests include: Victorian poetry and prose; science and literature; religion; ecocriticism; digital humanities; and the teaching of writing, within both classroom and writing center contexts. She has published essays on undergraduate pedagogy in WLN: A Journal of Writing Center Scholarship, and on the deification of disease in Carville, Louisiana, in the Journal of Theta Alpha Kappa. Her current digital project, “Dirty Minds: Mapping the Microscopic Monsters of the Victorian Cleanliness Campaigns,” provides an interactive map which brings together visual and textual depictions of the sanitary menaces lurking in water and air which permeated the public imagination during Victorian debates concerning pollution and hygiene.
At Cornell, she has designed and taught two First-Year Writing Seminars (“Medical Monsters” and “Word and Image”) and currently serves as a co-facilitator of “Teaching Writing,” a course for new graduate instructors.
- Nineteenth-Century British Literature
- History and Theory of the Novel
- Literary Formalism
- Religion, Medical Humanities