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Eugenia Zuroski, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of English

Email: zuroski@mcmaster.ca
Phone: 905-525-9140 ext. 23720
Office: Chester New Hall, Room 403

Areas of Interest

British literature and culture of the long eighteenth century; race, orientalism, cosmopolitanism, and empire; material culture and global trade; politics of form and feeling; narrative and prosody; genealogies of subjectivity


Eugenia (Gena) Zuroski (PhD Brown 2005; MA Brown 2000; BA Summa Cum Laude Columbia 1998) has been a member of the Department of English and Cultural Studies at McMaster since 2009. Gena is author of the book A Taste for China: English Subjectivity and the Prehistory of Orientalism (Oxford University Press, 2013), which argues that chinoiserie played an integral role in the formation of modern English subjectivity. Tracing a shift in the relationship between English selves and “things Chinese” from the Restoration through the early nineteenth century, this study shows how both orientalism and privatized subjectivity take shape through cultural processes of disavowing earlier ideals, including cosmopolitanism and aristocratic power. Gena has published articles in Novel: A Forum on Fiction, Eighteenth-Century Studies, and Journal18.

In addition to her teaching and research, she serves as editor of Eighteenth-Century Fiction, winner of the 2017 CELJ Voyager Award. She has edited special issues of ECF on “Exoticism & Cosmopolitanism” (Fall 2012) and “The Senses of Humour” (Summer 2014, co-edited with Patrick Coleman [Dept. of French & Francophone Studies, UCLA]).

The recipient of a SSHRC Insight Grant, Gena is currently writing two new books. A Funny Thing: The Exotic Detail in Eighteenth-Century Culture argues for the emergence of politically relevant forms of “funniness” in eighteenth-century literature, aesthetics, and subjectivity. Disgust and Its Others in the Long Eighteenth Century examines the political mobilization of disgust in eighteenth-century literature and art, to argue that while the culture’s “grotesque” thinking about sexuality and social status generates promising new forms of both public and private feeling, its reconsolidation of disgust around racial difference distributes emergent political possibilities unevenly across racialized subjects. Gena is also co-editing a 2-part special issue of ECF on “Material Fictions” with Michael Yonan (Dept. of Art History and Archaeology, U of Missouri), to be published in late 2018 and early 2019.




A Taste for China: English Subjectivity and the Prehistory of Orientalism. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013. Paperback edition, 2018.


Refereed Book Chapters:

“Tea and the Limits of Orientalism in De Quincey’s Confessions of an English Opium-Eater.” Writing China: Essays on the Amherst Embassy (1816) and Sino-British Cultural Relations. Eds. Peter J. Kitson and Robert Markley. Essays & Studies 2016. Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 2016. 105–131.

“Defoe’s Trinkets: Figuring Global Commerce in the Early Eighteenth Century.” In Global Economies, Cultural Currencies of the Eighteenth Century. Eds. Michael Rotenberg-Schwartz and Tara Czechowski. New York: AMS Press, 2012. 197-214.


Refereed Journal Articles:

State of Canadian Scholarly Journal Publishing: Eighteenth-Century FictionScholarly and Research Communication 9.1 (Feb. 2018), http://src-online.ca/index.php/src/article/view/284/536.

Nautilus Cups and Unstill Life. Journal18, Issue 3 Lifelike (Spring 2017), http://www.journal18.org/1493.

Nature to Advantage Drest”: Chinoiserie, Aesthetic Form, and the Poetry of Subjectivity in Pope and SwiftEighteenth-Century Studies 41.3 (2009): 75–94.

Disenchanting China: Orientalism and the Aesthetics of Reason in the English NovelNovel: A Forum on Fiction. 38.2-3 (2005): 254–71.


Special Issues and Critical Introductions:

“The Senses of Humour/Les Sens De l’Humour [Special Issue].” Eds. Eugenia Zuroski Jenkins and Patrick Coleman. Eighteenth-Century Fiction. 26.4 (2014): 505-14.

Co-authored with Patrick Coleman. “Introduction: The Senses of Humor.” Eighteenth-Century Fiction, Vol. 26, No. 4 (2014): 505–14.

“Exoticism and Cosmopolitanism [Special Issue].” Ed. Eugenia Zuroski Jenkins. Eighteenth-Century Fiction. 25.1 (2012): 1-242.

“Introduction: Exoticism, Cosmopolitanism, and Fiction’s Aesthetics of Diversity.” Eighteenth-Century Fiction, Vol. 25, No. 1 (2012): 1–7.


Public Writing:

“Our Perpetual Mortality.” 18 May 2018.

“Holding Patterns: On Academic Knowledge and Labour.” 5 Apr. 2018.

“A Lost Book Found.” The Hamilton Spectator, 4 Feb. 2017.

“The Story of an Old Name.” Avidly (of the LARB), 16 Sept. 2016.


Book Reviews, etc.:

The Fairy of Misfortune: or, the Loves of Octar and Zulima by Edward Du Bois”; “The Bonze, or Chinese Anchorite by Monsr. D’Alenzon”; “Heroic Virtue: or, the Noble Sufferers (anonymous)”; and “Chinese Tales: or, The Wonderful Adventures of the Mandarine Fun-Hoam by Thomas-Simon Gueullette.” The Cambridge Guide to the Eighteenth-Century Novel, 1660–1820, ed. April London. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (in production).

“Reorienting the Novel’s Rise”: review of The Age of Silver: The Rise of the Novel East and West by Ning Ma. Novel: A Forum on Fiction (in production).

Review of Black Star by Maureen Medved. Quill and Quire, July 2018.

“Half-man, half-horse”: review of Becoming Centaur: Eighteenth-Century Masculinity and English Horsemanship by Monica Mattfeld and Farewell to the Horse: The Final Century of Our Relationship by Ulrich Raulff. Literary Review of Canada, May 2018.

“Goode for All Infermitys”: review of Preserving on Paper: Seventeenth-Century Englishwomen’s Receipt Books by Kristine Kowalchuk. Literary Review of Canada, May 2017.

“A Man’s World”: review of Becoming the Gentleman: British Literature and the Invention of Modern Masculinity, 1660–1815 by Jason Solinger. Novel: A Forum on Fiction 48.2 (2015), 304–07.

“Novel Objects, Virtual Subjects”: review of The Self and It: Novel Objects in Eighteenth-Century England by Julie Park. Novel: A Forum on Fiction 45.1 (2012): 116–19.

Review of The Hypothetical Mandarin by Eric Hayot. Clio: A Journal of Literature, History, and the Philosophy of History Vol. 40, No. 2 (2011): 265–69.

“Commodification/Consumer Culture.” The Encyclopedia of Literary and Cultural Theory, ed. Michael Ryan et al. West Sussex: Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2011. 965–69.

“American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang.” Greenwood Encyclopedia of Comic Books and Graphic Novels, ed. M. Keith Booker. Santa Barbara: Greenwood Press, 2010.  24–26.

Review of Thomas Burke’s Dark Chinoiserie: Limehouse Nights and the Queer Spell of Chinatown by Anne Veronica Witchard. The Space Between: Literature and Culture, 1914–1945 Vol. 6, No. 1 (2010): 160–62.

“Imagining the Female Nation,” review of Women Writing the Nation by Leanne Maunu, The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation 48 supplement (2008).


Roundtables and Conversations:

“ASECS and V21.” Co-chair of roundtable, ASECS 2018, with Katarzyna Bartoszynska; with Stephanie Insley Hershinow, Travis Chi Wing Lau, Jonathan Kramnick, and Anna Kornbluh. Papers cross-posted at ECFV21, and The 18th-Century Common

“Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto,” a mini-conference at the Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University, November 2017 (video).

“Srinivas Aravamudan’s Enlightenment Orientalism: Resisting the Rise of the Novel: A Roundtable Discussion.” With Katherine Binhammer, Daniel O’Quinn, Mary Helen McMurran, and Srinivas Aravamudan. Lumen 33 (2014): 1–26.