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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

English; Genres; Eighteenth-century British literature and culture; Orientalism and cosmopolitanism; Material culture; Politics of form; Genealogies of the modern subject


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 and and 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, she is currently writing a new book, A Funny Thing: Formal Prehistories of the Uncanny, which argues for the emergence of politically relevant forms of “funniness” in eighteenth-century literature, aesthetics, and subjectivity. She is also co-editing a special issue of ECF on “Material Fictions” with Michael Yonan (Dept. of Art History and Archaeology, U of Missouri): the deadline for manuscript submissions is 15 July 2017.




A Taste for China: English Subjectivity and the Prehistory of Orientalism. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013. http://global.oup.com/academic/product/a-taste-for-china-9780199950980







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. Brewer, 2016. 103-131.

“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:

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 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:

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

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

“Our Perpetual Mortality.” The Procrastination Salon (personal blog). 13 Apr. 2016.

“Against Aphorism; or, Why We Should Only Quote Austen in Long Passages.” The Procrastination Salon (personal blog). 24 Sept. 2013.