Olivia Ferguson

Thesis title: Caricature and the Novel after Waterloo


  • M.A. English Literature, University of Victoria (British Columbia, Canada)
  • B.A. English Literature (Hons) and Linguistics, McGill University (Québec, Canada)

Responsibilities & affiliations


  • Web administrator for the Marshallese Arts Project
  • Editorial assistant for the new Edinburgh edition of the collected works of Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Active member of Scottish Writing in the Nineteenth Century (SWINC)
  • Coordinator of the James Tait Black Prize for biography (2016-18)
  • Organiser of the postgraduate 19th Century Reading Group (2016-18)


  • Administrative assistant, Centre for the History of the Book (2014-16)
  • Co-organiser of the English Literature postgraduate Work in Progress seminar series (2015-16)
  • Organiser of postgraduate writing groups and retreats, including LLC Writes (2014-16) and EdJoWriWe (2015, 2016)

Undergraduate teaching

  • Tutor for Pre-honours course Scottish Literature 2

Research summary

My doctoral research concerns caricature, broadly conceived as an artistic idiom, with a focus on the novel in the years immediately following the Battle of Waterloo.

My broader research interests include:

  • eighteenth and nineteenth century literature
  • book history and the history of reading
  • historical linguistics and sociolinguistics
  • textual criticism
  • information science and metadata standards
  • digital scholarship and criticism
  • visual culture
  • the Gothic
  • caricature, parody, and pastiche, including photosatire
  • comics and graphic novels
  • the Frankfurt School

Current project grants

Wolfson Foundation Postgraduate Scholarship in the Humanities (2014-2017); Doctoral Fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (2014-2018)

  •  Historicizing Austen's 'Caricatures'. (Forthcoming in Persuasions On-Line.)
  • Venus in Chains: Slavery, Connoisseurship and Masculinity in The Monk. (Forthcoming in Gothic Studies.)
  • Wellington’s Rats in the Illustrated Devil’s Walk. Notes and Queries 61.1 (2014): 54-56.
  • Camp Ulysses: Versioning, Collation, and the Digital Ulysses at the University of Victoria, 6-15 June 2013. James Joyce Quarterly 49.2 (2012): 217-20.


  • Historicising Austen's 'Caricatures'. Presented at 'Sanditon at 200' conference: Trinity College, University of Cambridge, 29-31 March 2017.
  • King of the Bean: Saturnalia in Graphic Satires on the Congress of Vienna, 1815. Presented at 'Scotland and France in 1815' symposium organised by Scottish Writing in the Nineteenth Century (SWINC): Edinburgh, 24 March 2017.
  • Gigantic Dwarfs: Caricature and its Discontents in Mary Shelley's Fiction. Presented at 'Romanticism and its Discontents' conference organised by North American Society for the Study of Romanticism (NASSR): Berkeley CA, 11-14 August 2016.
  • Lyric, Liberty, and Contaminating Associations in Robert Peddie’s Dungeon Harp. Presented at  ‘Victorian Communities’ conference organised by Victorian Studies Association of Western Canada (VSAWC): Banff AB, 26-7 April 2014.