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Patricia Matthew

Associate Professor, English

Dickson Hall 357
BA, Centenary College of Louisiana
MA, Northwestern State University
PhD, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
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I teach courses in British Romanticism, the history of the novel, and British abolitionist literature. I am the co-editor of a special issue for Romantic Pedagogy Commons and have published essays and reviews in Women’s Writing, Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies, and the Keats-Shelley Journal. I am the editor of Written/Unwritten: Diversity and the Hidden Truths of Tenure (University of North Carolina Press, 2016) and have published essays and books reviews on diversity in higher education in PMLA, The ADE Bulletin, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, The New Inquiry and The Atlantic. My work on diversity has been featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, and The Los Angeles Review of Books. In addition to essays on race and popular culture, I am currently writing a monograph about sugar, gender, and British abolitionist literature.


British Romanticism (poetry and fiction), the history of the novel, abolitionist British literature, and women's writing.



Research Projects

Current Book Project: "And freedom to the slave"

My book “And freedom to the slave:” Sugar and the Afterlives of Abolition is the first Black feminist analysis of England’s abolitionist campaign and its influence on current representations of race and gender. It brings together eighteenth and nineteenth-century literary texts, medical diaries, domestic objects, portraits, and contemporary film, sculpture, and portraiture to show how essential Black women and men as philanthropic objects have been to white women’s political progress. The book moves between the late eighteenth and twenty first centuries and among British abolitionist culture, accounts of West Indian planation life, and contemporary Black art. Taking the 1790 anti-sugar protests as its starting point, “And freedom to the slave” connects figures including Mary Wollstonecraft, Jane Austen, and Maria Edgeworth to contemporary Black artists including Amma Asante, Sanford Biggers, Peter Brathwaite, and Kara Walker. In doing so, it reveals how deeply the Regency-era’s genteel parlor culture is intertwined with the violence of the transatlantic slave trade and confronts the far reach of early abolitionist constructions of Blackness. Currently under an advance contract with Princeton University Press.