Jessica Kuskey earned her master's degree in English at New York University and her PhD in English at Syracuse University. Her dissertation won the All-University Doctoral Prize at Syracuse.
Before joining the Norwich faculty in 2016, Kuskey taught as a visiting assistant professor at Oberlin College and at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her interdisciplinary research and teaching interests center on 19th-century British literature, the history of science and technology, literature and science, and the genre of science fiction. At Norwich, Kuskey has taught classes ranging from introductory English courses dealing with the theme of robots and cyborgs to an upper level course on Victorian literature and science. Elsewhere she has taught “The History of Science Fiction,” “British Romanticism: Past, Present, Future,” “Victorian Crime, Mystery, and Detective Fiction,” “Victorian Novels: Sex, Sexuality, Sexual Selection,” and “Science Fiction as Social Critique.”
- “Teaching Across Disciplines: Victorian Literature and Science.” Invited essay, forthcoming in Victorian Literature in the 21st Century: A Guide to Pedagogy. Eds. Jennifer Cadwallader and Laurence W. Mazzeno, Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.
- “The Working Body: Re-Forming the Factory Body.” Invited contribution to essay forum on “Bodily States,” forthcoming in Victorian Review 41.1 (2016).
- “Listening to the Victorian Telephone: Class, Periodicals, and the Social Construction of Technology.” Nineteenth-Century Contexts 38.1 (2016): 3-22.
- “Math and the Mechanical Mind: Charles Babbage, Charles Dickens, and Mental Labor in Little Dorrit.” Dickens Studies Annual 45 (2014): 247-74.
- “Our Mutual Engine: The Economics of Victorian Thermodynamics.” Victorian Literature and Culture 41 (2013): 75-89.
- “Bodily Beauty, Socialist Evolution, and William Morris’s News from Nowhere.” Nineteenth-Century Prose 38 (2011): 147-82.
- “Scrooge Science: Food, Thermodynamics, and Charles Dickens’s Christmas Books.” Victorians Institute. Raleigh, NC. October 14-15, 2016.
- “Species, Seriality, and Genre in the Victorian Novel.” Panel on “Literature and the Species Concept” arranged by the Science and Technology Studies Forum. Modern Language Association. Austin, TX. Jan. 7-10, 2016.
The Body Machanic: Technology, Labor, and Mechanized Bodies in Victorian Culture. This in-progress book manuscript identifies the emergence of the categories of human labor and mechanical labor as represented in a variety of cultural sites, including autobiographies by Victorian factory workers, women’s industrial fiction, reformist critiques of the factory system, Charles Babbage’s mathematical writings, Charles Dickens’s Little Dorrit, and late-nineteenth-century speculative and science fiction such as Samuel Butler’s Erewhon.
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