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Lynn Voskuil


Associate Professor

Phone: (713) 743-2972
Office: 235A Roy Cullen Building

Lynn Voskuil teaches and publishes in the areas of Victorian literature and culture, empire studies, gender studies, and environmental studies. She is currently completing an interdisciplinary book manuscript entitled “Horticulture and Imperialism: The Garden Spaces of the British Empire, 1789-1914.” Supported by an NEH Fellowship, this project shows how popular horticulture both promoted and challenged the expansion of the British empire in the nineteenth century. Voskuil is also the author of Acting Naturally: Victorian Theatricality and Authenticity (University of Virginia Press) and the editor of Nineteenth-Century Energies: Literature, Technology, Culture (Routledge). In addition, her essays have appeared in a wide variety of journals and collections, including ELH, Victorian Studies, Nineteenth-Century Contexts, Studies in Romanticism, The Blackwell Companion to George Eliot, and the recent volume Strange Science: Investigating the Limits of Knowledge in the Victorian Age.

Voskuil is a past President of Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies, an international professional association that involves scholars from a variety of fields. She is also very active in vcologies, a multi-institutional group of Victorian scholars who collaborate on the study of ecology and environment in the nineteenth century. At the University of Houston, she is a founding member of the Empire Studies Collective and a faculty affiliate of the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Program.




  • Ph.D., University of Chicago
  • M.A., University of Chicago
  • B.A., Covenant College

Selected Honors, Awards, Grants

  • National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Award for Faculty (declined)
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend
  • Martha Gano Houston Research Professorship
  • Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award
  • Women’s Studies Faculty Research Grant

Selected Publications


  • "Horticulture and Imperialism: The Garden Spaces of the British Empire, 1789-1949." In
  • "British Energy Systems, 1790-1914: Science, Industry, Culture." Co-editor, with David
    Womble. Routledge Historical Resources Program, Taylor and Francis. Under contract.
  • "Nineteenth-Century Energies: Literature, Technology, Culture." Routledge, 2016.
  • "Acting Naturally: Victorian Theatricality and Authenticity." University of Virginia Press,
    2004. "Choice" Outstanding Academic Title, 2005.

Essays and Chapters

  • “Victorian Plants: Cosmopolitans and Invasive.” Special issue of "Victorian Literature and Culture, The Wide Nineteenth Century," edited by Sukanya Banerjee, Ryan Fong, and Helena Michie, 49.1 (2021): 27-53.
  • "From Specimen to System: Botanical Scale and the Environmental Sublime in Joseph Dalton Hooker's Himalayas." In Ecological Form: System and Aesthetics in the Age of Empire, edited by Nathan K. Hensley and Philip Steer. New York: Fordham University Press, forthcoming 2018.
  • Victorian Orchids and the Forms of Ecological Society.” In Strange Science: Investigating the Limits of Knowledge in the Victorian Age, edited by Shalyn Claggett and Lara Karpenko, 19-39. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2017. (The entire Strange Science volume is available here for free download.)
  • "Sotherton and the Geography of Empire: The Landscapes of Mansfield Park." Studies in Romanticism 53, no. 4 (Winter 2014): 591-615.
  • "George Eliot Among Her Contemporaries: A Life Apart." In The Blackwell Companion to George Eliot, edited by Amanda Anderson and Harry Shaw, 233-246. Oxford: Blackwell, 2013.
  • Camellia sinensis, Robert Fortune, and the Nineteenth-Century Global Imagination.” Nineteenth-Century Contexts 34, no. 1 (2012): 5-18.

Selected Lectures and Presentations

  • "Tracking Globally Mobile Plants"
  • "Space Travel: Vagrant Victorian Ecosystems"
  • "Arboretum Britannicum: Algernon Blackwood's Seductive Trees"
  • "The Peepul, the Banyan, and the Baobab: Territories of Rootedness in British South Asia"
  • “Botanical Form, Imperial Space, and Victorian Economies of Scale"
  • “Wardian Cases, Traveling Plants, and the Emergence of Global Ecologies"
  • "Form as Evidence: Darwin's Plants"


Selected Courses


  • ENGL 3301: Introduction to Literary Studies
  • ENGL 3316: Literature of the Victorian Age
  • ENGL 3318: British Novel after 1832
  • ENGL 3362: Women in Literature
  • ENGL 6311: Literature and the Environment
  • ENGL 7325: The British Empire
  • ENGL 7396: Postcolonial Ecocritique
  • ENGL 8360: Nineteenth-Century British Novel
  • WOST 6301: Feminist Theory and Methodology

Botanical images are from Richard Wight, Illustrations of Indian Botany; Principally of the Southern Parts of the Peninsula (Glasgow, 1831). Reproduced by kind permission of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Do not reprint, on web or elsewhere, without permission from Lynn Voskuil.