LIBERAL INTERNATIONALISM: VICTORIAN LITERARY ENCOUNTERS WITH THE SOUTH
Professor Goodlad’s research interests include nineteenth-century British literature, cultural studies, gothic genres (from the eighteenth century to the present day), and literature in relation to contemporary understandings of liberalism, globalization, and development. She is the author of Victorian Literature and the Victorian State: Character and Governance in a Liberal Society (2003) and coeditor of a forthcoming volume on gothic subculture.
In her current project, she explores nineteenth-century discourses of liberal internationalism and their connections to the present day. By focusing on Britain’s encounters with India and Italy—the one imperial, the other European and cosmopolitan—she seeks to illuminate the Victorian sense of national and world-historical mission during the century-long peak of Britain’s perceived global preeminence and the culmination of its liberal governing and social philosophies. Of particular interest is the experimental internationalism of Victorian novelists such as George Eliot, Anthony Trollope, and Wilkie Collins and of intellectuals such as John Stuart Mill and Harriet Martineau. To a greater or lesser extent, these Victorian writers recognized the faulty universalism of the liberal worldview and struggled to articulate modes of experience that would cross boundaries of nationality, race, and gender without capitulating to sexual oppression and imperial will-to-power. By focusing on questions of democracy, development, and international relations as they are represented in and reinvented by imaginative writing, Professor Goodlad aims to place literature in the service of cultivating new understandings of internationalism.