Elizabeth Evans is a Visiting Research Assistant Professor in the Department of English. Her work focuses on gender, race, and spectatorship in British and Anglophone literature of the long twentieth century. She is currently completing a book on the pervasive importance of modern urban women in modernist literature and the forgotten work of colonial writers of color who documented and reinvented the city around them. By revealing the co-evolution of controversial sites, like women’s clubs, shops and department stores, and city streets, with new types of modern women, the book argues that these women and their associated spaces stood in for larger cultural changes, even for modernity itself, and provided an apt metaphor for writers struggling to describe new subjects, experiences, and ways of seeing in appropriately novel ways. The study draws on diverse source texts, including high modernist and popular fiction, journalism and advertisements, maps, travelogues, and London guides, authored by men and women, of origins rural and urban, English and colonial.
Evans is also at work on two new projects. The first uses computational methods to describe and analyze the geography of British fiction, 1880-1940, at scale. It pays particular attention to the roles of gender, ethnicity, and national origin in writers’ geographic imagination. The second examines airplanes, air power, and aerial views in British and Anglophone writing. Here, too, gender, ethnicity, and national identity are important but often forgotten parts of the story.
Select Courses: Writing India (undergrad), Sex and Gender in the Victorian Novel (undergrad), Novels of London (undergrad), Habits of Modernity: Gender, Mobility, and the Everyday (grad level, with Barbara Green).