Personal profile


Veronica Alfano is a Lecturer in the Discipline of Literature within the Department of Media, Communications, Creative Arts, Language, and Literature (MCCALL). She specializes in Victorian poetry and poetics, with particular interests in lyric theory, gender and sexuality, memory, and media studies; she is happy to supervise projects in any of these areas, as well as in poetry and/or in nineteenth-century literature more generally conceived.

Evaluating both textual and cultural patterns, Veronica's research taps into the critical drive to reconcile historicist and formalist approaches to literature. She earned her doctorate in English from Princeton University, and her work has been supported by the European Commission, the William Morris Society of the United States, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Research interests

In her first monograph, The Lyric in Victorian Memory: Poetic Remembering and Forgetting from Tennyson to Housman (Palgrave, 2017), Veronica theorizes the links among mnemonic form, cultural nostalgia, and memory as a theme in lyric verse. She argues that lyric, an ideal vehicle for vague-yet-insistent recollection because of its concise repeatability, illuminates the Victorian era’s fascination with mourning and memorializing the past. Ultimately, Victorian poetry’s navigation between the longing for regressive atemporality and the reality of inevitable transience generates unstable forms of recollection that are shot through with impersonality and forgetfulness—and that embody the crisis of nineteenth-century amnesiac nostalgia.

Veronica has published articles and chapters in a wide range of venues, including Victorian Poetry, The Journal of Pre-Raphaelite Studies, Victorian Studies, International Journal of Humanities and Arts Computing, Victorians: A Journal of Culture and Literature, and the collections Victorian VerseLove Among the Poets, and Economies of Desire at the Victorian Fin de Siècle: Libidinal Lives. The North American Victorian Studies Association awarded her article “Technologies of Forgetting: Phonographs, Lyric Voice, and Rossetti’s Woodspurge” the 2018 Donald Gray Prize for the best essay published in the field. 

With Andrew Stauffer, she is co-editor of Virtual Victorians: Networks, Connections, Technologies (Palgrave, 2015); this book combines close readings of nineteenth-century texts, broad theoretical proposals about how we might consider virtuality in relation to Victoriana, and explorations of how scholars use specific digital humanities resources to reconstruct the literary past. With Lee O’Brien, she co-edited the summer 2019 issue of Victorian Poetry (on the topic of “Gender and Genre”). Other current projects include a co-edited multivolume compendium of primary source material on lyric in the long nineteenth century (forthcoming from Routledge), an anthology of Victorian verse (co-edited with Erik Gray and forthcoming from Broadview Press), and a monograph that examines neologisms in the work of Thomas Hardy, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Edward Lear, and others.

Education/Academic qualification

English Literature, Ph.D., Princeton University

Award Date: 19 Nov 2011

English and American Literature and Language, B.A., Harvard University