Tabitha Sparks

 Tabitha Sparks
Contact Information
514-398-4400 Ext 09348
Email address: 
tabitha.sparks [at]

McGill University
Department of English
853 Sherbrooke Street West
Arts Building
Montreal, QC H3A 0G5 CANADA

Faculty Members
For 2017-2018: Visiting Associate Scholar at Pembroke College, Cambridge (UK)
Associate Professor of English; ​Associate Dean, Research and Graduate Studies, Faculty of Arts

B.A. (Bates College); M.A., Ph.D. (University of Washington), Associate Professor

Nineteenth Century
Teaching areas: 

19th Century Novel; literature and medicine; narrative theory.

Member: Advisory Committee on English Education, Province of Quebec

Taught previously at: 

University of Washington, Georgia Institute of Technology, Emory University.

Selected publications: 



Victorian Metafiction (forthcoming from University of Virginia Press, 2022)

A City Girl: A Realistic Story (1887) by Margaret Harkness. Ed. Broadview Press (2017)

Victorian Medicine and Popular Culture, co-edited with Louise Penner. (2015)

Family Practices: Doctors and Marriage in the Victorian Novel (2009)

The Brontës in Context: Harold Bloom's Classic Authors Series (2008)

Articles and Book Chapters

Realism.Palgrave Encyclopedia of Victorian Women’s Writing. Ed. Lesa Scholl. 2020.

Narrating sociality: Helen C. Black’s Notable Women Authors of the Day.Journal of Victorian Popular Fiction, December 2019.

“Absent Character: from Margaret Harkness to John Law.” Authorship and Activism: Margaret Harkness and Writing Social Engagement, 1880-1921. Lisa Robertson and Flore  Jansen, eds. Manchester: Manchester University Press (forthcoming 2018).

“Working-Class Subjectivity in Margaret Harkness’s A City Girl (1887)”, Victorian Literature and Culture (forthcoming 2017).

“Charlotte Brontë’s The Professor,” Blackwell's  A Companion to The Brontës (2016).

“Introduction.” Victorian Medicine and Popular Culture. Co-written with Louise Penner. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press (2015).

“Illness is Metaphor in the Victorian Novel: Reading Popular Fiction against Medical History.” Victorian Medicine and Popular Culture.  Co-Editor with Louise Penner.  Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press (2015) 22 pages.

"Literature in Medical School: why, how, and if,Hektoan Internation: A Journal of Medical Humanities (May 2014)

 “Wilkie Collins’s The Law and the Lady and Feminine Reason: ‘Quite Impossible, and nevertheless quite true!’”  Clues 31.2 (Winter 2014).

“Kate Marsden’s Leper Project: On Sledge and Horseback with a Missionary Nurse.” Picturing Women’s Health, 1790-1914, ed. Francesca Scott, Kate Scarth, and Ji Won Chung. London: Pickering & Chatto (Winter 2014).

“Dinah Mulock Craik’s Olive: Deformity, Gender, and Female Destiny.” Women’s Writing 20.3 (2013).

“Sensation Intervention: M.C. Houstoun’s Recommended to Mercy (1862) and the Novel of Experience.”  Women’s Writing 20.2 (2013)

“To the Madhouse Born: the Ethics of Exteriority in Lady Audley’s Secret.” New Perspectives on Mary Elizabeth Braddon.  Ed. Jessica Cox.  Amsterdam/New York: Rodolpi, 2012. 

“Lineage as Destiny in Catherine Cookson’s Our Kate: Reprising the Victorian Orphan Tale” and “Introduction” (with Julie Anne Taddeo), Catherine Cookson Country: On the Borders of Legitimacy, Fiction, and History. Ed. Julie Anne Taddeo. (Ashgate, 2012).

“Realism after Sensation: Hardy, Gissing, Meredith,” Blackwell's Companion to Sensation Fiction (2011).

"AIDS in Africa, Cultural Studies in Georgia," Cultural Studies vol. 19. No.4 (July 2005).

“Medical Gothic and the Return of the Contagious Diseases Acts in Stoker and Machen,” Nineteenth-Century Feminisms (Fall 2003).

“Narrative Injury and Surgical Cure: Wilkie Collins’s Poor Miss Finch and Heart and Science,” Journal of Narrative Theory (Winter 2002).

“Fiction Becomes Her: Representations of Female Character in Mary Braddon’s The Doctor’s Wife,” Mary Braddon in Context, eds. Marlene Tromp, Aerin Haynie, and Pamela K. Gilbert. State University of New York Press (2000).

Awards, honours, and fellowships: 
  • Pembroke College, University of Cambridge: Associate Scholar, 2017-2018 
  • NINES: Networked Infrastructure of Nineteenth-Century Electronic Scholarship Research Fellowship:Digital Humanities Institute. University of Victoria. June 2012.
  • Research Fellowship, Emory University’s Manuscript, Archive and Rare Book Library (MARBL): “Yellowbacks and Representational Self-Consciousness: Extending Realist Techniques to the Popular Novel.” Atlanta, GA. July 2- August 2 2009.
  • FQRSC équipe en émergence grant project: “Technologies, Media, and Representation in Nineteenth-Century France and England.” April 2009-April 2011.
  • Louis Dudek Award for Excellence in Teaching/McGill University, Department of English, 2004-5
  • Marion Brittain Postdoctoral Fellowship (Georgia Tech)
  • Center for Humanistic Inquiry Postdoctoral Fellowship (Emory)
  • NEH Institute Fellowship
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