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Barbara D. Ferguson (she/her)


Dissertation Title: (working): “Ruck, Muck, and a System of Truth: The Victorian Rhetoric of Spiritualism v. Science.”

Supervisor: Dr. Grace Kehler

Area of Research: 19th Century Literatures and Cultures, Science, Spiritualism, Speculative

Additional Information: Twitter

Barbara Ferguson is a PhD candidate 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. This research is supported by funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

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 Haunting in Space and Time: Vernon Lee’s ‘Oke of Okehurst'” Victorian Popular Fiction Association Annual Conference (Greenwich UK), July 2019.

Presenter: “A Meeting of Minds: The Interdisciplinary Sociality of Psychical Research.” Victorian Studies Association of Western Canada Annual Conference (Calgary, AB), May 2019.

Presenter: “The ‘Mouthpiece of Many’: Authorship, Spiritualism, and W.T. Stead.” Ghostly Bodies Panel, Victorian Studies Association of Western Canada/Research Society for Victorian Periodicals Joint Conference (Victoria, BC), July 2018.

Presenter & Panel Chair: Blade Runner 2049 Panel, “Return of the Branded Narrative: Continued Implications of Brand Placement for Present Viewers and Future Narratives.” (Popular Culture Association of America Annual Conference, Indianapolis), March 2018.

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.

Fiction Readings:

Waterdown ArtsFest, Aug. 2018; International Women’s Day Reading, Westdale Library, Hamilton ON. Feb. 2017; Junction Reads Reading Series, Toronto, Feb. 2017; Visiting Author Day, Thomas A. Stewart Secondary School, Peterborough, Dec. 2016; Seraphim Editions’ Fall 2016 Book Launch, Hamilton, Aug. 2016; Different Drummer Books, Burlington, Jan. 2016.


“The Branded Future: Brand-Placement Implications for Present Viewers and Future Narratives.” InVisible Culture, vol. 27, Nov. 2017. Speculative Visions.

(non-academic) Next Episode (Seraphim Editions) 2016.

Fictions & other works listed at

Radio Appearances:

ArtWaves (host Bernadette Rule). Ten appearances from 2008-17.