Lisa Robertson

Assistant Professor



Carleton Hall 329

1 506 458 7411

Lisa C. Robertson’s research focuses on the literature and culture of the long nineteenth century in Britain. In particular, she is interested in the literary representation of architecture and the built environment – especially the ways in which this representation is inflected by questions of politics, history, and identity.

Her first book, Home and Identity in Nineteenth-Century Literary London (EUP, 2020), explores new designs for domestic buildings in Britain’s nineteenth-century metropolis and the ways that these spaces – and their representations in literature – give expression to shifts in both individual and collective understandings of gender, sexuality and class.

She is, with Flore Janssen (Utrecht), editor of Margaret Harkness: Writing Social Engagement, 1880–1921 (MUP, 2019), which is the first collection to bring together scholarship on Harkness as an author, traveller, and activist. The research for this collection resulted in a related project, The Harkives: an open-access digital archive of resources by and about Margaret Harkness, developed with the purpose of encouraging research into her life and work.

She has published research on the collegiate writing of Amy Levy in English Literature in Transition, 1880–1920 and on spatial practice at Westfield College, one of the earliest residential colleges for women in Britain, in Women’s History Review. One strand of her current research returns to this interest in collegiate culture and considers the ways that unconventional generic forms such as college verse and autofiction offered cultural space for the expression of dissident gender and sexual identities. Another strand focuses on feminist utopian fiction in the four decades around the turn of the twentieth century and explores how conceptualisations of city planning in these texts capture the ideological tensions within contemporary feminist communities.

For ten years she has served on the committee of the Literary London Society, most recently as Secretary. Since 2015 she has been an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (UK). She welcomes enquiries from potential graduate students interested in the literature and culture of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Britain, particularly as it relates to themes of space and place or gender and sexuality.