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Eugenia Zuroski, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of English

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; #BIPOC18 and #Bigger6


Eugenia 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]). Most recently, she co-edited a 2-part special issue of ECF on “Material Fictions” with Michael Yonan (Dept. of Art History and Archaeology, U of Missouri), published in late 2018 and early 2019.

The recipient of a SSHRC Insight Grant, Gena is currently completing the book A Funny Thing: The Exotic Detail in Eighteenth-Century Britain, which argues for the emergence of politically relevant forms of exotified “funniness” in eighteenth-century literature, aesthetics, and subjectivity.  She has been invited to present portions of this project at the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities 18th/19th-Century Colloquium at Vanderbilt University; the Columbia University Seminar in Eighteenth-Century European Culture; the Centre for Eighteenth-Century Studies Research Seminar at the University of York, UK; and the University of East Anglia Research Seminar.

Gena serves on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Society of Learned Journals, the Executive Board of the Canadian Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, the Editorial Board of Scholarly and Research Communication, and the Advisory Board of the Hamilton Review of Books. She is also Faculty Co-Chair of McMaster’s President’s Advisory Committee on Building an Inclusive Community (PACBIC); member of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ASECS) committee for Diversity, Equity, Inclusivity, and Accessibility (DEIA); and incoming co-chair of the ASECS Race and Empire Caucus.

Her first chapbook of poetry, Hovering, Seen, was published by Anstruther Press in 2019.




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


Hovering, Seen. Poetry chapbook. Toronto: Anstruther Press, 2019.


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:

“Evelina’s Laughter: The Novel’s Queerer Theories.” In “The Novel as Theory,” a special issue of The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation 61.1 (Spring 2020).

“British Laughter and Humor in the Long Eighteenth Century.” Literature Compass 16.3–4 (Apr. 2019).

“Nautilus Cups and Unstill Life.” Journal18, Issue 3 Lifelike (Spring 2017).

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

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


Special Issues and Critical Introductions:

“Material Fictions, Part 2 [Special Issue].” Eds. Eugenia Zuroski and Michael Yonan. Eighteenth-Century Fiction. 31.2 (2019).

“Material Fictions, Part 1 [Special Issue].” Eds. Eugenia Zuroski and Michael Yonan. Eighteenth-Century Fiction. 31.1 (2018).

Co-authored with Michael Yonan. “Material Fictions: A Dialogue as Introduction.” Eighteenth-Century Fiction. 31.1 (2018): 1–18.

“The Senses of Humour/Les Sens De l’Humour [Special Issue].” Ed. Eugenia Zuroski Jenkins. Eighteenth-Century Fiction. 26.4 (2014).

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).

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


Professional Essays and Contributions:

“Academic Land Acknowledgment for Settler Scholars.” Guest post at the ASECS Graduate Student Caucus blog, 25 February 2020.

“‘Where Do You Know From?’ An Exercise in Placing Ourselves Together in the Classroom.” MAI: Feminism & Visual Culture 5, special issue on “Feminist Pedagogies,” ed. Clara Bradbury-Rance (Winter 2020). 

“The realities of journal publishing: a view from Canada’s not-for-profits.” Co-authored with the other members of the CALJ Board of Directors. University Affairs, 28 May 2019.

“State of Canadian Scholarly Journal Publishing: Eighteenth-Century Fiction.” Scholarly and Research Communication 9.1 (Feb. 2018).


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 52.1 (2019): 131–35.

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: Collective Ways Forward.” Roundtable response, co-authored with Katarzyna Bartoszynska. 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.