Blog Post

FSDW15 Intro: Emily Kugler

Hello, Everyone!

I'm currently a Visiting Scholar at Brown's Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice, and will be starting a position in Howard's English Department this Fall. My preferred pronouns are she/her/etc.


For the workshop, I'm sharing an article in progress that I hope to make into a book chapter. The larger project deals how both historical networks and imagined (e.g., fictional) networks fit into representations of class, nation, and empire. I'm particularly interested in texts by women in the Anglophone Atlantic world that both critique empire or nation, while relying those systems they critique to circulate their texts. I'm also curious about how readers respond to and in many cases, alter these texts. The piece I'm sharing here deals with Mary Prince's narrative, which is widely considered to be the first slave narrative in English by a woman. There is a lot going on and I am trying to decide what to cut and what to expand. There's the use of networks (religious, political, imperial) within the text, as well as the way that pamphlet itself evolved and was represented by different groups: Mary Prince, her transcriber (future Canadian novelist Susanna Strickland Moodie), her editor (Scottish poet, "father" of South African literature, abolitionist Thomas Pringle), her readers (including the first all women anti-slavery group in England, whose voices appear in later editions), and finally recent scholars (why and how do we use this text?). I've also created some maps and visualizations for this project to think things through, and am undecided on whether they should go into the article version.


There's also a larger issue I'm trying to suss out for this project. My first book dealt with English representations of the Ottoman Empire. Technically, it was at 18th-Century Studies book (and the title frames it as such), but I actually covered 17th-19th with a little bit of 20th-century work. One of the questions I'm grappling with for this project is the chronological span. There are a lot of issues involving Atlantic women writing publishing English that I see connecting the first British empire (16th-18th century) and the post-WWII rise of the Commonwealth. The theoretical framework of my research and my teaching are heavily influenced by post-colonial scholars and authors. I'd like to show this more in this current book project,but much of the 18th-19th-century materials I'm working with are very rich and I want to really lay out the context. Advice on whether to expand the temporal scope or just expand the earlier section would be welcome.


I'm in Providence, so I'm on EST. You can reach me through Twitter @EMNK and my email address is listed on the group page. My website is at


I'm so excited to be participating in this workshop. Looking forward to hearing more from all of you.



Dear Emily,


Your work sounds really fascinating!


Sounds like a very exciting project, Emily. How about dividing the book in one or more parts to address the chronological span issue?