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Research interests

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Research interests (short)

  • 19th century American culture, especially discourses of work, home and daily experience
  • Transatlantic culture, especially art colonies, salons and coteries
  • American regionalism
  • The American West

Research interests

To date a substantial part of Professor Janet Floyd's research has been concerned with the 19th century American West and, within that field, with re-examining responses to critical episodes in Western American history.  Her first monograph, Writing the Pioneer Woman (2002), engaged with North American debates about the iconic figure of the female pioneer, examining a range of 19th century life writings, published and private, that recorded and recreated migration and settlement on the ‘frontier.’  Her second monograph, Claims and Speculations: Mining and Writing in the Gilded Age (University of New Mexico Press, 2012), considered the writing generated by the great gold and silver strikes of the late 19th century, and the challenges that the mining rushes presented to those seeking to depict those extraordinary and highly unpredictable events. She has also published on the periodical culture of San Francisco and Virginia City during the 1860s and 1870s.

Generally, Professor Floyd research focuses on recovering the range of textual response to key experiences for 19th century Americans, in particular migration and conceptions and routines of domestic life.  She has longstanding interests in the literature of the domestic and in debates produced by the appearances of the domestic in the public sphere.  These concerns have produced three collections of essays: Domestic Space: Reading the Nineteenth-Century Interior (1999), co-edited with Inga Bryden, Becoming Visible: Women’s  Presence in Nineteenth-Century America (2010), co-edited with Alison Easton, R. J. Ellis and Lindsey Traub, both outcomes of international conferences, and The Recipe Reader (2003), co-edited with Laurel Forster. She continues to publish on food writing and cookbooks.

Professor Floyd is currently working on the friendship networks developed by American artists and writers in the decades after the Civil War.  As with much of her work, this project has a Transatlantic setting: she is looking at enclaves and colonies across the US and Europe between 1875 and 1890. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, University of Sussex

Award Date: 1 Jan 1995

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