Katherine J. Anderson

Assistant Professor


A specialist in nineteenth-century British literature and culture, Anderson has published on torture, military trauma, and martyrdom in relation to Victorian studies, and is finishing a book manuscript entitled Twisted Words: Torture and Liberalism in Imperial Britain. The project 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, South Africa, the South Pacific, and Britain itself, Anderson situates state-sanctioned exceptional violence in relation to nineteenth-century liberalism and changing narratives of citizenship and human rights. Twisted Words thus helps us better understand the global implications of contemporary state violence by establishing a longer historical genealogy of torture and terrorism sanctioned explicitly by liberal Western governments. Her 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 literature.

Research Interests

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