Dissertation Title (working): “Ruck, Muck, and a System of Truth: The Victorian Rhetoric of Spiritualism v. Science.”
Supervisor: Dr. Grace Kehler
Barbara Ferguson is a PhD student with a focus on nineteenth-century British literature, particularly the discussions surrounding science and Spiritualism, widely publicized in the late decades of the 1800s. The language of the increasingly heated debate sought to demarcate what constituted legitimate science and its practitioners, with the contested territory being, in essence, the boundaries of the human mind and body. Carried by the print media to an unprecedented number of literate readers, the ‘sides’ of this conversation echoed through the public consciousness and English literature for decades.
Additional research interests include Victoriana in general, pedagogy, book culture/print history, speculative fiction, and modern pop culture, especially the evolution of folkloric monsters.
As B. D. Ferguson, her writing has appeared in The Peterborough Examiner, The Queen’s Alumni Review, and Brought to Light: More Stories of Forgotten Women, as well as e-zines such as Dark Recesses, The Lorelei Signal and Hamilton Review of Books. Her debut book, Next Episode, was released by Seraphim Editions in 2016.
Presenter: “A Text for this Course: Early Science Education Transitions to Print” at Form, Function, Intent: Materiality and the Codification of Knowledge (BHPC Colloquium, University of Toronto), March 2017
Literary readings: Peterborough, Toronto, Hamilton (ongoing)
(underway) “The Branded Future: Brand-Placement Implications for Present Viewers and Future Narratives.” Undergoing review for November 2017