Will Glovinsky

Will Glovinsky is a doctoral candidate in the department of English and Comparative Literature, where he works on nineteenth-century British literature, the history of the novel, modernism, and postcolonial, empire, and affect studies. His dissertation, “Unfeeling Empire: Realism and Distant Intimacy in the British Novel, 1815-1930,” traces how formal developments in the realist novel – the rise of impersonal omniscient narration, and the gradual deflation of readerly affects – unfolded as linked responses to the heightened pressures that nineteenth-century colonial emigration and imperial careering placed on British ideals of domesticity and epistolary intimacy. Building on postcolonial theorists’ accounts of the tie between imperial self-alienation and colonial subjugation, the project examines how omniscient narrations in Britain’s imperial century helped to anesthetize the effects of social dispersion while also training readers in new, flatter modes of affective engagement with literary characters, and antagonists in particular.

Will’s essays and reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in Victorian Literature and Culture, V21collective.org, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Rumpus, The Millions, and elsewhere. At Columbia, he has taught several semesters of ENGL 1010 University Writing and has led a seminar in ENGL 3001 Literary Texts, Critical Methods. He currently co-convenes the Nineteenth-Century British Colloquium, serves on the Graduate Student Council (2016-2018), and is a departmental representative to the university’s Graduate Student Advisory Council (2017-2018). He received his BA in Comparative Literature from Swarthmore in 2012 and his MA & MPhil from Columbia (2015, 2017).

Academic Interests:

Modernism and imperialism, Victorian literature, cultural history of empire, travel writing, theory of the novel