Zoomcast with Alisha Walters
Zoomcast Production Details
Pearl Chaozon Bauer interviews Alisha Walters, Assistant Professor of 19th Century British Literature and Culture at Penn State University, Abington College. Their conversation focuses around the importance of re-training ourselves as Victorian Studies faculty and scholars, not only to support our students’ needs but, more importantly, for our field’s survival. Walters begins by discussing the necessity of querying our graduate school training, then segues into her experiences of moving from teaching in predominantly white Canadian institutions to teaching on an American campus in suburban Philadelphia at the start of the Trump administration. Chaozon Bauer and Walters also confront Victorian Studies as a largely white field and, for this reason, the value of reaching out to others outside of the discipline. For example, Walters’ more recent scholarship engages with Black Studies and 19th-century American Studies. The interview closes with a meditation on the moves Victorian Studies must consider and make in order to evolve and survive in the changing landscape of higher education.
This cluster of Zoomcasts begins with our journeys as scholars initially trained in a national literature that has been integral to producing fantasies of white British superiority and, more importantly, why we advocate to “undiscipline” Victorian studies as a way to inspire new modes of antiracist teaching in our classroom spaces. Because these reflections come from our personal experiences, we don't intend to speak on behalf of others and are sharing from the position of our own identities, bodies, institutional locations, and backgrounds as a way to spark thought and discussion.
Alisha R. Walters is an Assistant Professor of Victorian Literature and Culture at Penn State University, Abington College. Her work examines representations of race and racial mixture in the nineteenth century, and her research focuses on the tensions between scientific and affective ideas of race, particularly in depictions of people of color in Victorian fiction. She also writes about colonial and literary depictions of food, as she considers what Victorians wrote about food and the dynamic process of national identity formation. Her work has appeared in journals such as Victorian Literature and Culture, Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies, and Women’s Writing.
Page/Zoomcast Citation (MLA)
“Zoomcast with Alisha Walters.” Pearl Chaozon Bauer, host. Undisciplining the Victorian Classroom, 2021, https://undiscipliningvc.org/html/zoomcasts/walters.html.