Keynote Speakers and Plenary Panelists

Keynote Speakers

Susan Stryker

Susan Stryker is Professor Emerita of Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Arizona. Since retiring she has been a Presidential Fellow and Visiting Professor of Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies at Yale University (2019-2020), Barbara Lee Distinguished Chair in Women’s Leadership, Mills College (2020-2022), and Marta Sutton Weeks External Faculty Fellow, Stanford University Humanities Center, 2022-23.  She will join the faculty in Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of Southern California in 2024. Former founding executive co-editor of TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly, Dr. Stryker continues to serve as co-editor of the Duke University Press book series ASTERISK: gender, trans-, and all that comes after. She is the author of Transgender History: The Roots of Today’s Revolution (2008, 2017), co-editor of the multi-volume Transgender Studies readers, and co-director of the Emmy-winning documentary film Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton’s Cafeteria (2005). A collection of her essays, When Monsters Speak, edited by McKenzie Wark, is forthcoming from Duke in 2024. Dr. Stryker is currently working to complete a book manuscript, Changing Gender, under contract to Farrar Straus Giroux.

Dr. Stryker’s keynote will be held on Friday, March 22, from 4:45 to 6:15 at the Hyatt Regency.

Deborah Denenholz Morse, Ph.D.

Deborah Denenholz Morse

The inaugural Sara E. Nance Eminent Professor of English at William & Mary from 2017-22, Deborah Denenholz Morse was designated a Plumeri Faculty Excellence Scholar a second time for the years 2022-24. On the heels of her first set of lectures for The Great Courses, The Brontës: Romantic Passion and Social Justice (Audible, 2021), she is continuing her publicly engaged scholarship in a second series, entitled “Victorian Animals: Social Critique from Black Beauty to ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’” (forthcoming in 2024). Her work on the Brontës and Anthony Trollope and in animal studies has had a significant influence on Victorian studies. Her twelve articles and chapters on the Brontës form the basis of her monograph-in-progress, Brontë Violations, which traces the influence of social issues, particularly transatlantic abolition, on Brontëan narrative form; she is also co-editor of five Brontë volumes, including The Blackwell Companion to the Brontës (with the late Diane Long Hoeveler). Her work on Anthony Trollope includes the monographs Women in Trollope’s Palliser Novels and Reforming Trollope: Race, Gender, and Englishness in the Novels of Anthony Trollope; and two co-edited volumes, The Routledge Research Companion to Anthony Trollope (with Margaret Markwick and Mark Turner) and The Politics of Gender in the Novels of Anthony Trollope (with Markwick and Regenia Gagnier). With Martin Danahay, she edited the groundbreaking Victorian Animal Dreams, along with publishing several additional essays in animal studies. She is currently co-editing The MLA Approaches to Teaching Elizabeth Gaskell (with Deirdre d’Albertis), building on her seven published essays on Gaskell. Deborah’s newest project on contemporary Yorkshire writer Pat Barker continues her extensive feminist scholarship on twentieth- and twenty-first-century women writers from Kay Boyle to A. S. Byatt.

Dr. Morse’s keynote will be held on Saturday, March 23, from 4:45 to 6:15 at the Hyatt Regency.

Plenary Panelists

Sarah Meer is Professor of Nineteenth-Century Literature at the University of Cambridge. She is the author of Uncle Tom Mania: Slavery, Minstrelsy, and Transatlantic Culture in the 1850s (2005), and American Claimants: The Transatlantic Romance, c. 1820-1920 (2020). She was also one of the co-editors of Transatlantic Stowe: Harriet Beecher Stowe and European Culture (2006). Most recently, she edited a special issue of Nineteenth Century Theatre and Film on Dion Boucicault. This included the first modern edition of a long-overlooked comedy, set in Dublin but first performed in Boston: Andy Blake; or, the Irish Diamond.

Lissette Lopez Szwydky is Associate Professor of English at the University of Arkansas, where she also serves as Associate Director of the Arkansas Humanities Center. She teaches and publishes in the areas of nineteenth-century literature and culture, adaptation studies, transmedia storytelling, gender studies, and career education. She is author of Transmedia Adaptation in the Nineteenth Century (Ohio State University Press 2020), co-editor of Adaptation Before Cinema (Palgrave 2023), and is currently working on a new book entitled “Frankenstein’s Bride: A Transmedia Cultural History of Her Own.” Szwydky spent four years working in academic administration before landing a tenure-track job, and she is committed to helping arts and humanities students prepare for professional life and helping faculty train to mentor students for a range of careers. She teaches undergraduate and graduate-level courses on exploring and preparing for a wide range of careers. You can read about her experience in “From Alt-Ac to Tenure-Track: The Need for Diversifying Faculty Experience” (published in MLA’s Profession), and you can follow her on Twitter @LissetteSz. 

Sharon Aronofsky Weltman is the Chair of the English Department at TCU, a Margaret Belcher Visiting Fellow in Victorian Studies at St Hugh’s College, Oxford, and co-editor of Nineteenth-Century Theatre and Film. She is the author of Ruskin’s Mythic Queen (1999) and Performing the Victorian (2007). Her Victorians on Broadway: Literature, Adaptation, and the Modern American Musical (2020), won the 2021 SCMLA Book Prize and was named a “MUST READ” theatre book by Playbill. Her article “Melodrama, Purimspiel, and Jewish Emancipation” on Elizabeth Polack, the first Anglo-Jewish woman playwright, won the 2020 Nineteenth Century Studies Association Best Article Prize.