Susan Hamilton, PhD, MA, BA (Hons)


Faculty of Arts - English & Film Studies Dept



I am currently working on two projects. The first attempts a media history of 19thC animal welfare campaigns, including the role of photography in the articulation and documenting of practices for the “humane treatment” of animals, and the work of seriality in creating and maintaining communities of action. The second, tentatively titled Everyday Feminism: Serialising Women’s Politics in the Nineteenth Century Press, explores the intersecting histories of the nineteenth century press and feminism. It asks how shifting ideas about the press through the course of the century – from the educative ideal of the 1840s to the New Journalism of the 1880s, shape serial writing strategies by women journalists exploring women’s political disabilities in this period. This project considers the impact of emerging concerns about mass behaviour, serialization and the common reader, to explore the ways in which women journalists constituted diverse audiences in the periodical press.

Representative publications

“Dogs’ Homes and Lethal Chambers: the Humane Worlds of Victorian Homes for Lost Dogs." In Ron Morrison and Laurence Mezzano, eds., Animals in Victorian Literature and Culture. Forthcoming from with Palgrave Macmillan

“’[T]o bind together in mutual helpfulness’: Genre and/as Social Action in the Late Victorian Anti-Vivisection Press," Journal of Modern Periodical Studies 6.2 (2015): 134-60.

“Hajjin- Photographed from Life,” Victorian Review,40.1 (2014): 28-31.

"Reading and the Popular Critique of Science in the Victorian Anti-vivisection Press: Frances Power Cobbe’s Writing for the Victoria Street Society," Victorian Review 36.2 (2010): 66-79.

“Women’s Voices and Public Debate” Cambridge Companion to English Literature, 1830-1914. Edited by Joanne Shattock. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010.

"Marketing Antifeminism: Eliza Lynn Linton's' 'Wild Women' series and the possibilities of periodical signature," in Anti-Feminism and the Victorian Novel. Edited by Tamara Wagner, (Cambria, 2009).

Frances Power Cobbe and Victorian Feminism. Palgrave Macmillan, 2006.

Editor with Janice Schroeder. Women's Education in Britain, 1840 -1900. 6 volumes. History of Feminism Series. Routledge, 2007.

Editor, Animal Welfare and Anti-Vivisection, 1870 - 1910: Nineteenth-Century British Woman's Mission. 3 volumes. London: Routledge, 2004.

Editor, Criminals, Idiots, Women and Minors: Nineteenth-Century Writing by Women on Women. Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview, 1995, 2nd edition, 2004.


I would be happy to supervise students in the broad fields of Nineteenth century literature and cultural studies and Animal Studies. I have particular interests in: Victorian and early 20thc feminisms, Victorian and early 20thC media history, media and Victorian animal welfare campaigns. 

I am currently supervising three doctoral students and serving on three supervisory committees. Current and/or recent supervisions include: the language of spirituality in late Victorian feminist writing; the workhouse and 19thC print culture; 19thC vegetarianism and the idea of self-conduct; mid-19thC evangelical print culture; early 19thC Canadian periodicals.

Scholarly Activities

Research - Edmonton Humane Society Presentations

20160427 to 2016

Presentation One: The Returning Dog: The Rise of Victorian Dogs Homes

The 'returning dog," the story of the dog whose deep bond with humans brings her home against all odds, has been described as one of the defining myths of the mid-twentieth century, and was a key lens through which we understood pet ownership then, and perhaps remains so today. Understanding the rise of Victorian dogs homes -- how they came into being, how they operated -- allows us to explore the pre-conditions for this most pervasive and meaningful humanist myths. In trying to understand how dogs’ homes were first instituted and run, we’ll explore the tensions and connections between that mythic image of the returning dog and the place of dogs in the Victorian period.


Presentation Two:  Dogs' Homes and Lethal Chambers: a cultural history of Victorian Dogs Homes


Using materials drawn from Battersea Dogs Home and the Liverpool Temporary Home for Lost and Starving Dogs, we will look closely at the place of technology in the work Victorian dogs’ homes undertook to reunite dogs with people, sell them to new owners, and to kill the rest. How did these key animal welfare institutions use the representation of killing in order to advance, fund, and represent their twin businesses: the care and feeding of dogs considered “lost favourites” of the home and the killing of those dogs deemed “excess”?

More Information

Other - NAVSA 2017 Conference

20160427 to 20171031

I am lead organiser of the North American Victorian Studies Association conference, meeting in Banff, Alberta in October 2017.

More Information