Photo of Judith Stoddart. Older stately woman with shorter light brown hair, wearing black blouse.

Judith Stoddart

Associate Professor
Nineteenth Century British Literature
Interim Associate Provost of Graduate Education and Dean of Graduate School

Office: C623 Wells Hall; 212 Chittenden Hall
Phone: (517) 432-2205

Judith Stoddart’s interests in Victorian literature and culture include theories of print culture and visual culture (including painting, photography, and industrial exhibitions) and the changing conceptions of subjectivity and subject–object relations in the period. Her current book project, Pleasures Incarnate, explores ways in which ideas of circulation in the nineteenth century impinge on various models of subjectivity from 1830–1930. She looks at the circulation of bodies—through museums, exhibitions, and architectural structures—and of objects—paintings, illustrations, photographs. The chapters examine specific moments in the period when the terrain of the aesthetic seems peculiarly contorted, when conventional subject–object relations are strained by the changing conceptions of both terms in that relation, and when emotion—and most often sentimentality—becomes a kind of pragmatic tool casting that relation as primarily aesthetic. 

As part of the transatlantic modernities emphasis, Stoddart has co-taught two courses on comparative transatlantic studies: nineteenth-century cultural studies (with Steve Rachman) and theories of modernity (with Justus Nieland). In graduate and undergraduate courses, Stoddart integrates visual and textual studies (for example, courses on theories of realism and the idea of portraiture). Several of her graduate students are working on dissertations that incorporate visual studies (e.g., colonial photography and illustrations, antiquarian photography, landscape painting) with novels, travel writing, and philosophical essays. Undergraduate honors students whose theses she has directed have worked across disciplines to examine portraiture, periodicals, and eighteenth- and nineteenth-century French and British philosophy. 

In the Graduate School, Stoddart is engaged in research on doctoral student career development and doctoral completion and attrition. Currently, she is project director of the Council of Graduate Schools Ph.D. Completion Project Grant, which focuses on doctoral attrition in 11 programs. Over the three years of the grant, she will pilot and assess a series of Graduate School initiatives with these programs, with the goal of increasing doctoral completion rates and time to degree.

Stoddart co-organizes four conferences each year on academic and non-academic careers for doctoral students, and she works as part of the conflict resolution team in the Graduate School, presenting workshops and training programs for faculty and graduate students at MSU and at universities across the country.


ENG310C: Literature in English: 1789–1900
ENG459: Victorian Studies
ENG481: Modern Critical Theory
ENG886: Modern Criticism