Lydia Craig

PhD candidate, Loyola University Chicago



​I am a fifth year PhD candidate in the Victorian Studies program at Loyola University Chicago's English Department. Additionally I hold a Master's Degree in English from LUC with a concentration in Early Modern Drama and a BA in English and History from the University of Georgia. 

In 2016 I co-founded The Loyola University Chicago Victorian Society (LUCVS) and its Day Conference with fellow Victorian Ph.D students in the English Department. From 2016-2017 I taught two sections of freshman writing pedagogy at LUC. In spring 2019, I taught a course at LUC on class in the Victorian novel. Currently, I am co-chair of the Dickens Society Communications Committee.

​Areas of interest include Creative Writing, Dickens Studies, Digital Humanities, Dramatic Theory, Early Modern Drama, Fiction, Poetry, Textual Studies, and Victorian Studies​​.


Upcoming Conferences

Giving a paper on Chicago law and race at the NCSA "Radicalism and Reform" in Rochester, NY. 19-21 March 2020.

(Postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic)

"The Wreck at Sea (1838): Fictionalizing Grace Darling on Stage." “Dramatizing Fiction and the News on the Victorian Stage." The 44th Comparative Drama Conference. Orlando, FL. 2-4 April 2020. 

(Postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic)

"Positing a Critical Source Text for Wuthering Heights" at the Midwest Victorian Studies Association Conference in Chicago, IL, 24-25 April 2020.

(Postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic)

"What Dickens Brought Back: Martin Chuzzlewit’s Slang as Public Contagion" at The Dickens Society Symposium in London, England, UK. July 2020. 


Recent Publications

Forthcoming: “‘A horrid female waterman’: The Contentious Legacy of Grace Darling in Charles Dickens’s
Our Mutual Friend.” 

March 2020

Dickens and Women Re-observed. Edited by Edward Guiliano. Edward Everett Root Publishers Co. Ltd.

​“The Devastating Impact of Lord Wharton’s Bible Charity in Wuthering Heights.”  Edited by Deborah Logan.

 Victorians: A Journal of Culture and Literature. No. 134, pp. 234-249.

Fall 2018

Since 1695, the Lord Wharton Bible Charity has bestowed distinctive Bibles and two religious books to Yorkshire children able to recite certain Psalms and the catechism. Evidence for the Brontë siblings’ familiarity with the charity’s project includes their respective literary criticism of the misuse of rote Scriptural memorization and quoting and the presence of two Wharton Bibles owned by the Brontës in the Brontë Parsonage Museum Library. Descriptions of the charity’s project appear in Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights (1847), representing the catalyst for Catherine and Heathcliff’s growing alienation and resistance to Christianity.

“Tweeting Tippins: Using Digital Media to Recreate Our Mutual Friend’s Serialization." The Dickens Quarterly, vol. 35, issue 2, pp. 149-158.

June 2018

Recently, the University of Birkbeck’s digital serialization of Dickens’ late novel Our Mutual Friend (May 2014-Nov 2015) represented a modern “update” of the original reading experience. While simultaneously providing the original source text, the project innovatively brought immediacy and cultural relevancy to the characters’ original personalities and peculiarities through tweets containing a blend of textual references, anachronistic hashtags and wit, and historical fact. These tweets were then collected through the social network service Storify, narrated as a cohesive storyline, and emailed to participants. By exploring my own involvement in the project – tweeting as the ravishing temptress Lady Tippins and authoring September 2014’s blog post – I demonstrate how such a project incorporating and adapting various media platforms and apps can revitalize contemporary interest in Charles Dickens’ novels, promote interdisciplinary exchange, and even recapture part of the initial excitement and anticipation experienced by Dickens’ first readers.

​​​"The Juvenile and the Erudite: A Study of the Marginalia in Newberry Case Y 12.T219." JMMLA, vol. 50, no. 2, pp.11-29. 

Fall 2017

Early Modern readers could utilize a printed book to promote literacy, practice penmanship, reinforce social standing, and, finally, as an aid for developing educational and moral learning. The marginalia done by two hands within Newberry Case Y12.T219, also known as the Duke of Roxburghe’s copy of All the Workes of John Taylor (1630), provides clues as to the identity of the marginalia-writers and demonstrates how multiple generations could engage with such a volume, Robert Ker by emotionally responding to its textual themes and using the object as a base for letter-writing, while his grandson William Drummond idly copied its illustrations and modified its text. Furthermore, I argue that the distinctive eighteenth-century Roxburghe rebinding increased its value well beyond that of the folio text itself, causing it to be prized by subsequent owners as a rare object signifying their own prestige, intellectualism, and distinguished connection to the literary world. Finally, I deduce this book’s subsequent genealogy after the Roxburghe sale. Based on my findings, I postulate one avenue through which Ohio hardware tycoon Henry Probasco located and acquired this book and possibly other works in his six thousand–volume collection now permanently housed in Chicago’s Newberry Library (est. 13 April 1892).


Overview of Courses

As instructor of record

Undergraduate Literature Course
ENGL 273 "Class in the Victorian Novel"

15 January - 3 May 2019

Besides close-reading and discussing several novels depicting class tensions, such as Charles Dickens's Our Mutual Friend (1865) and Wilkie Collins's The New Magdalen (1871), students learned how to conduct primary and secondary source research, update Wikipedia pages, and improve their academic writing skills.

Undergraduate Writing Course
UCWR 110-037 "Writing Responsibly"

17 January - 5 May 2017

While learning how to read, critique, and respond to academic writing on various social, political, and cultural topics, students mastered several kinds of academic essays, including Close Reading, Rhetorical Analysis, Synthesis, and Research.

Undergraduate Writing Course
UCWR 110-054 "Writing Responsibly"

30 August - 15 December 2016

While learning how to read, critique, and respond to academic writing on various social, political, and cultural topics, students mastered several kinds of academic essays, including Close Reading, Rhetorical Analysis, Synthesis, and Research.


Contact Me!

Send an email if you have a question about my research, teaching activities, or professional activities.


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