Katherine J. Anderson

she/her, Assistant Professor


Professor Anderson’s first monograph, Twisted Words: Torture and Liberalism in Imperial Britain (The Ohio State University Press, 2022) argues for the centrality of torture to Victorian history and culture, and consequently, the importance of Victorian history and culture to a global and historical understanding of torture. Tracing acts and rhetorics of torture in India, Jamaica, southern Africa, Oceania, and Britain itself, Anderson situates state-sanctioned exceptional violence in relation to nineteenth-century liberalism and changing narratives of citizenship and human rights, establishing a longer historical genealogy of torture and terrorism sanctioned explicitly by liberal Western governments. Her work has appeared in Victorian Review and the edited collection Traumatic Tales: British Nationhood and National Trauma in Nineteenth-Century Literature (Routledge, 2017) and she’s also written for public outlets such as Public Books and The Critical Flame. Anderson’s research and teaching interests include empire, postcolonial, and global studies; gender and sexuality studies; critical terrorism studies; political theory and philosophy; human rights; moral philosophy; phenomenology; Anglophone and post-9/11 literatures. She’s currently at work on a second monograph that examines the ethics, technologies, and ecologies of biochemical warfare as represented by nineteenth-century writers.

Research Interests

  • British and Anglophone Literature
  • Victorian Studies
  • Empire and Postcolonial Studies
  • Critical Terrorism Studies
  • Phenomenology
  • Gender and Sexuality Studies
  • Moral and Political Philosophy