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Personal profile


Veronica Alfano is a Research Fellow in the English Department. She specializes in Victorian poetry and poetics, with particular interests in lyric theory, gender and sexuality, memory, and media studies.

Evaluating both textual and cultural patterns, Veronica's research taps into the current 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, and the collections Victorian Verse (forthcoming) and Economies of Desire at the Victorian Fin de Siècle: Libidinal Lives. 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”). 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. She also leads the NAVSA Poetry Caucus.

Her current projects focus on Tennyson's Maud, on Edward Lear's limericks, and on poetic neologisms in the context of Victorian philology.

Education/Academic qualification

English Literature, Ph.D., Princeton University


Research Outputs

The lyric in Victorian memory: poetic remembering and forgetting from Tennyson to Housman

Alfano, V., 2017, Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan. 372 p. (Palgrave Studies in Nineteenth-Century Writing and Culture Series)

Research output: Book/ReportBook

  • Virtual Victorians: networks, connections, technologies

    Alfano, V. (ed.) & Stauffer, A. (ed.), 2015, New York: Palgrave Macmillan. 281 p.

    Research output: Book/ReportEdited Book/Anthology

  • Technologies of forgetting: phonographs, lyric voice, and Rossetti's Woodspurge

    Alfano, V., 2017, In : Victorian Poetry. 55, 2, p. 127-161 35 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    1 Citation (Scopus)

    Morris and masculinity: re-reading "Riding Together"

    Alfano, V., 2020, In : Journal of Pre-Raphaelite Studies-New Series. 29, p. 27-47 21 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    A. E. Housman's Ballad Economies

    Alfano, V., 2016, Economies of desire at the Victorian fin de siècle: libidinal lives. Ford, J., Edwards Keates, K. & Pulham, P. (eds.). New York ; London: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, p. 35-61 27 p. (Routledge Studies in Ninetenth-Century Literature; no. 16).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  • 1 Citation (Scopus)


    Donald Gray Prize

    Veronica Alfano (Recipient), 2018


  • Joseph R. Dunlap Memorial Fellowship

    Veronica Alfano (Recipient), 2014

    Prize: Honorary award

  • McCosh Teaching Award

    Veronica Alfano (Recipient), 2011

    Prize: Teaching award

    Mellon Fellowship in Humanistic Studies

    Veronica Alfano (Recipient), 2005

    Prize: Honorary award


    • 1 Editorial work

    Victorian Poetry (Journal)

    Veronica Alfano (Editor), Lee O'Brien (Editor)

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial work