Professor Nancy Henry has been awarded a National Endowment for Humanities Research Fellowship for 2014-2015. These highly competitive Fellowships (only about 7% of applicants receive funding) provide “support” for “individuals pursuing advanced research that is of value to humanities scholars, general audiences, or both” (NEH).
Dr Henry’s Fellowship will support the completion of her book project Women and the Nineteenth-Century Cultures of Investment. In the abstract for the project, Henry writes that this book
defines the cultures that emerged in response to the democratization of the stock market in nineteenth-century Britain when investing provided legal access to financial independence. Women voted in shareholder meetings, as they could not in political elections, and their experiences as investors complicate notions of separate domestic and public spheres. In fact, women writers often invested income from their writing, becoming contributors to national and global economies. In fiction, Victorian novels represent those economic networks in realistic detail and are preoccupied with the intertwined economic and affective lives of characters. Analyzing evidence about real investors together with a wide range of fictional examples, I argue that investing was not just something women did in Victorian Britain; it was a distinctly modern way of thinking about independence, risk, global communities and the future in general. (19c Seminar)
Professor Henry’s research and teaching interests are in Victorian literature with special emphases on nineteenth-century cultures of finance, colonialism and imperialism. She also has interests in textual criticism, biography and the life and writings of George Eliot. She is the author of three books on George Elliot, including the very highly regarded The Life of George Elliot: A Critical Biography, published by Wiley-Blackwell Press in 2012.