Laura Peters

Research activity per year

Personal profile


I am currently Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic Development and Sustainability). My main research areas lie in the area of Victorian literature and culture, with a specific focus on the interrelationship between empire, science and identity formation. My most recent book, Dickens and Race (MUP, 2013) explores how Dickens's views on race were informed by childhood reading, travel narratives and the scientific narratives of development. It was featured on the AHRC website here. My recent co-edited collection Rereading Orphanhood: Texts, Inheritance, Kin is now published (EUP 2020).

My first book, Orphan Texts: Victorian Orphans, Culture and Empire (MUP, 2000) examined how orphans came to embody difference in Victorian writing and culture. I have also recently edited the volume, Dickens and Childhood, for the six volume Ashgate Library of Essays on Charles Dickens (2012) brought out in celebration of the bicentenary of his birth.

I also maintain an interest in issues of race in contemporary writing.


PhD (English Literature, University of Kent at Canterbury)

MA (Modern Literature, University of Kent at Canterbury)

BA Hons (Trinity College, University of Toronto)

Professional affiliations

British Association of Victorian Studies (BAVS)

Dickens Fellowship



Throughout my career I have taught a range of modules covering Victorian literature, contemporary literature, Canadian literature, post-colonial writing and women's writing. Most recently I have taught modules on Charles Dickens, Writing by Women of Colour, Literature and Empire, Victorian literature and London in Literature.

PhD supervision:

Daniela Evans, Motherless: Orphans and Attachment in Mid-Victorian Literature (completed 2010, minor corrections)

Judy Bainbridge, 'The Nineteenth-Century School Story'

Tamara Wilson, 'A Requiem for my Father'

I would welcome applications for postgraduate research in any area related to my research.