Q&A: Kate Faber Oestreich

Oestreich HeadshotKate Faber Oestreich is Assistant Professor of Literature, Writing, and New Media at Coastal Carolina University. In the past year, Kate’s article “Sue’s Desires: Sexuality and Reform Fashion in Jude the Obscure” was published in the Victorians Institute Journal. Her scholarship and scholarly reviews have also appeared in The CEA Critic, ARIEL: A Review of International English Literature, Nineteenth Century Gender Studies, and the edited collection Straight Writ Queer: Non-normative Expressions of Heterosexual Desire in Literature. Oestreich serves on NCSA’s website committee and is an Executive Board committee member of the Athenaeum Press. She is currently finishing an article exploring digital mediations of the paratextual photographs within Virginia’s Woolf’s Orlando, a portion of which will shared during her talk at this year’s NCSA conference in Boston.

Which country / decade of the nineteenth century would you like to live in if you could go back in time? Absolutely England, 1885-95. Some women were still wearing bustles and corsets, others Liberty dresses; the British Arts and Crafts Movement was flourishing; the Fabian Society and Marxist Social Democratic Federation were trying to revamp marriage; the first three volumes of the OED were published; and Hardy and Wilde were writing.

What historical figure would you love to see in 21st century life? Around the age of seven, I fell in love with Laura Ingalls Wilder, and tore through the entire series. One of my earliest memories is dreaming up Laura’s reactions to late 20th-century technology, which I still think would be fascinating to observe.

Who was your favorite professor in graduate school and why? Marlene Longenecker, Ohio State University. She was generous, erudite, observant, and wickedly funny. To hear her read aloud lifted one’s soul. And her own writing—even paper comments, graduate reports, Facebook posts, and emails—was virtually an art form. She lost her battle with leukemia two months ago, and the world will not be the same.

Is there anything from the nineteen century you wished would come back into fashion? The clothing in general. I recognize this desire as illogical for many reasons, but those dresses and suits have always appealed to me on an aesthetic level.


Do you have a monograph, edited collection, or scholarly article that will be soon or was published within the last year? Are you the recipient of a grant that has not long ago or will soon reach one of its project milestones?  Have you recently won an award related to your scholarly or pedagogical work in the nineteenth century?

If so, we want to hear from you!

Please send one or two sentences describing your accomplishment to Kate Oestreich at koestrei@coastal.edu, and we will be back in touch regarding when you will be featured on 19 cents.

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About koestrei

I am an Associate Professor of Literature, Writing, and New Media at Coastal Carolina University. I earned a bachelor’s degree in English in 1997, a master’s degree in English in 2003, and a Ph.D. in English in 2008 from The Ohio State University. My areas of specialization include English literature of the long nineteenth century; digital storytelling and adaptation; critical theory, especially those concerned with new media, feminism, cultural materialism, and sartorial semiotics. I am currently writing (with Jennifer Camdem, PhD) a book entitled, _Digitizing Jane Austen and Mary Shelley: Pemberley Digital and Feminist Transmediation of Nineteenth-Century Classics_. I have published articles that include “'Orlando about the year 1840': Woolf’s Rebellion against Victorian Sexual Repression through Image and Text" (Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies), “Sue’s Desires: Sexuality and Reform Fashion in Jude the Obscure” (Victorians Institute Journal), “Gothic Remediation: The Castle of Otranto and The Monk” (The CEA Critic, co-authored with Daniel J. Ennis), and "Deviant Celibacy: Renouncing Dinah's Little Fetish in Adam Bede" (edited collection Straight Writ Queer: Non-normative Expressions of Heterosexual Desire in Literature). My dissertation is entitled, Fashioning Chastity: British Marriage Plots and the Tailoring of Desire, 1790-1930 (2008). I have also published scholarly reviews in Nineteenth Century Gender Studies and ARIEL: A Review of International English Literature, presented my scholarship at both national and international conferences, garnered grants from Horry County Higher Education Commission and the Coastal Educational Foundation, and been an invited guest lecturer at Beijing Language and Culture University in Beijing, China. It has been my pleasure to have taught a variety of undergraduate and graduate classes on literature, new media, film, and composition at Coastal Carolina University, as well as similar undergraduate courses at The Ohio State University and Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington. I joined the Coastal faculty in 2008. In my spare time, I chase around my children, ages 4 and 7; binge watch historical docu-dramas; and obsess over organizing my Pandora and podcast playlists, as well as my closets.

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