Jean Fernandez is an Associate Professor of English. She received her PhD from the University of Iowa, where she was a Seashore Dissertation Fellow and a Freda Dixon Malone scholar. Her research and teaching interests include Victorian fiction, autobiography, narratology, women's writing, empire studies, imperial aesthetics, literary theory, and literacy studies.
Her published work includes “Master's Made Away With: Servant Voices and Narrational Politics in ‘The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’” in LIT: Literature Interpretation Theory, (Oct-Dec 2004); “Graven Images: The Woman Writer, The Indian Poetess and Imperial Aesthetics in Letitia Elizabeth Landon's ’Hindoo Temples and Palaces at Madura’” in Victorian Poetry, (Spring 2005); “Hybrid Narratives : The Making of Character and Narrative Authority in Rudyard Kipling's ‘His Chance in Life’” in Victorian Literature and Culture,(Spring 2008) and "Thady's Grey Goose Quill: Historiography and Literacy in Maria Edgeworth's ‘Castle Rackrent’” in New Hibernia Review, (Autumn 2009).
Her book, Victorian Servants, Class and The Politics of Literacy (Routledge, 2009) explores the impact of mass literacy debates during the nineteenth century upon class relations within the domestic sphere. It tells the story of the Victorian servant's encounter with literacy as imagined and represented in material culture of the age, in fiction by Mary Wollstonecraft, Catherine Crowe, Emily Bronte, Elizabeth Gaskell, William Wilkie Collins, and R.L. Stevenson, nonfiction by Hannah Cullwick and anonymous pamphleteers, and autobiography by Victorian servants. Dr. Fernandez has presented her work internationally at Oxford University, UK and is currently working on her second book project tentatively titled The Poetics of Imperial Space: Imperial Geography and the Literary Imagination in Nineteenth-Century Britain.