Elizabeth Starr


Elizabeth Starr specializes in 19th-century British literature and narrative theory and teaches courses in the history of the novel, British literature, and writing.  She also serves as an advisor for the Westfield State chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, an English honor society. 

Her literary scholarship has focused on the way Victorian social-problem novels project authors and narrators onto urban industrial landscapes and place writing within nineteenth-century debates about the status of labor and profession.  Her research projects explore the creation of narrative spaces within the novel, short fiction, and illness narratives.  Professor Starr’s articles on the work of Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell, and George Eliot have appeared in Texas Studies in Literature and Language, Studies in the Novel, and Nineteenth-Century Literature.


  • Ph.D. in English, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2001
  • M.A. in English, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1995
  • B.A. in English, University of Houston, 1992

Courses Taught

  • English 101 - Composition I

  • English 102 - Composition II

  • English 212 - British Literature from 1780 to the Present

  • English 213 - Major British Writers

  • English 300 - Development of the Novel

  • English 311 - The British Novel

  • English 319 - Victorian Literature

  • English 326 - Women Writers

  • English 601 - Studies in Victorian Literature (Graduate Seminar)


“Manufacturing Novels: Charles Dickens on the Hearth in Coketown.” Texas Studies in Literature and Language 51.3 (2009): 317-340.
 “‘A Great Engine for Good’: the Industry of Fiction in Elizabeth Gaskell’s Mary Barton and North and South.” Studies in the Novel. 34.4 (2002): 385-402.
 “‘Influencing the Moral Taste’: Literary Work, Aesthetics, and Social Change in Felix Holt, the Radical.” Nineteenth-Century Literature. 56.1 (2001): 52-75.