B. A., Harvard University, Phi Beta Kappa

Ph.D., Princeton University

Courses Taught

  • Intro to Literary Study: Other Minds
  • 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
  • Serial Narrative: Print to Digital (capstone)
  • “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

Research Interests

Primary fields: Victorian literature and culture, the history of science and technology, the novel, science fiction, literature and environmental studies, 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

“‘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.

“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, forthcoming.

“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.

“Industrialism and Literature.” The Encyclopedia of Victorian Literature. Ed. Dino F. Felluga et al. Blackwell, 2015. 

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

“Foreign Tastes and ‘Manchester Tea-Parties’: Eating and Drinking with the Victorian Lower Orders” in Consuming Culture in the Long Nineteenth Century.  Lexington Press, 2007.

“‘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).

“The Human Prosthesis: Workers and Machines in the Victorian Industrial Scene.” Critical Matrix,11.1 (1997).

Tamara Ketabgian

Professor of English   608-363-2682   Room 208, World Affairs Center
  • Tamara Ketabgian
    (“ke-TAHB-jin”; she/her/hers)

I have taught at Beloit since 2004, although before then I managed to live in every continental US time zone (not counting Yukon time!). I grew up in LA, went to college and graduate school on the East Coast, and first worked as a professor at the University of Utah. My research focuses on Victorian literature, early science fiction, and the cultural history of technology.

I published a book on mechanical models of feeling and community in the nineteenth century and enjoy teaching interdisciplinary courses on literature, science, technology, environmental studies, media studies, literary adaptation, and evolving concepts of human and posthuman identity. I welcome pursuing projects with students interested in literary-historical criticism or in writing science fiction or neo-Victorian/ historical fiction. Students in my classes also often curate their own art exhibits (such as Green Romanticism and Frankenstein 200).

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. My articles have appeared in Victorian Studies, Victorian Review, Women’s Writing, and various collections. My current “passion project” explores fantasies of technological design and spiritual intelligence from Charles Babbage to the present.

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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