B. A., Harvard University, Phi Beta Kappa

Ph.D., Princeton University

Courses Taught

  • Intro to Literary Study: Other Minds
  • Environmental Humanities
  • End Times: Global Fin-de-Siècle Literature
  • Science Fiction & Speculative Writing (lit & creative writing workshop)
  • Victorian Garbage: Disgust & Desire in British Literature & Culture (capstone)
  • Green Romanticism (Environmental Studies): Nature & Otherness in Transatlantic Literature & Culture
  • Jane Austen: Fiction, Film, Fan Cultures
  • “British” Literary Traditions: Canon-Making/ Breaking 
  • Steam, Speed, Modernity: Victorian/ Neo-Victorian Literature & Technology 
  • First-year writing: Utopia/ The Good Place; Frankenstein 200; Our Animal Selves; Technobodies
  • Questioning Literary Traditions: Gods, Monsters, Slaves, Rebels
  • Vampires, Voyagers, and Angels: Victorian Literature and Culture
  • Literature and Post/Colonialism: Worldmaking in Global Anglophone Literature

Research Interests

Primary fields: Victorian literature and culture, environmental studies, the history of science and technology, the novel, science fiction, neo-Victorian/ steampunk literature, global fin de siècles, utopian literature.

Other interests: 19th-21st-century British and American literature, Romantic poetry and prose, literature and film/ adaptation, serial media, Jane Austen, Anglophone writing, literary theory, cognitive theory, composition, ESL.



The Lives of Machines: The Industrial Imaginary in Victorian Literature and Culture. University of Michigan Press, 2011 (252 pp.) – British Society for Literature and Science Annual Book Prize Shortlist

“Contrivance: Faith, Persuasion, and Technology in Victorian Scientific and Literary Culture.” Book manuscript in progress.

Selected Articles and Essays

“Bad Romance and Failed Mediation: Spirit and Matter in Wells’s The Invisible Man and The Wonderful Visit.” Victorian Studies 62.2 (Winter 2020)

“Lost Hands and Prosthetic Narratives: William Dodd, Writing at the Industrial Join,” Victorian Hands: The Manual Turn in the Nineteenth Century. Ohio State University Press, 2020.

“‘Savages’ and Spiritual Engines: Feeling the Machine in Wells’s Time Machine and ‘Lord of the Dynamos.’” Cahiers victoriens et édouardiens 87.1 (February 2018) – Keynote address to the French Society for Victorian and Edwardian Studies, University of Nantes, February 2017.

“Trollope’s Living Media: Fox-Hunts and Marriage Plots.” Edinburgh Companion to Anthony Trollope. Edinburgh University Press, 2019.

“The Energy of Belief: The Unseen Universe and the Spirit of Thermodynamics.” Strange Science: Investigating the Limits of Knowledge in the Victorian Age. University of Michigan Press, 2017.

“Learning through Victorian Garbage: Disgust and Desire in an Interdisciplinary Capstone Course.” Teaching Victorian Literature in the 21st Century. Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.

“Spending Sprees and Machine Accidents: Martineau and the Mystery of Improvidence.” Harriet Martineau: Authorship, Society, Empire. Manchester University Press, 2010.

“‘Melancholy Mad Elephants’: Affect and the Animal Machine in Hard Times.” Victorian Studies 45.4 (Summer 2003) – Donald Gray Essay Prize, North American Victorian Studies Association, honorable mention

“Mesmerism, Martineau, and the ‘Night Side of Nature.’” Women’s Writing 9.3 (Fall 2002).

Stories Written on

Tamara Ketabgian

Professor of English
William and Gayle Keefer Chair of the Humanities

 Pronouns: She/her/hers  Email:  Phone: 608-363-2682  Schedule an Appointment  Office: Room 208, World Affairs Center

I have taught at Beloit since 2004, although before then I managed to live in every continental US time zone (not counting Yukon time!). At Beloit, I work with students to explore how storytelling can transform both our current world and worlds of the future.

I welcome mentoring student projects (critical and creative) on science fiction, climate fiction, the environmental humanities, neo-Victorian/ historical fiction, and narratives about data and modernity. Members of my classes often curate their own art exhibits (such as Green Romanticism and Frankenstein 200).

I published a book on mechanical models of feeling and community in the Victorian period, and enjoy teaching courses on literature, science, technology, environmental studies, media studies, literary adaptation, and evolving forms of human and posthuman identity. My current “passion project” explores fantasies of technological design and spiritual intelligence from Charles Babbage to the present.

My research has been recognized by fellowships and awards from the American Council of Learned Societies, the American Philosophical Society, the Associated Colleges of the Midwest, the British Society for Literature and Science, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the North American Victorian Studies Association. In the spring of 2024, I received the James K. Underkofler Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award.

When I’m not teaching or researching, you can find me running very slowly, hanging out with my family and cats, or ESL tutoring for Beloit’s Stateline Literacy Council. My parents came to the US as non-native English speakers from the Middle East (from the Armenian diaspora in Syria and Turkey), so I have a particular soft spot for foreign students and people interested in studying and traveling abroad. 

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