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Waiyee Loh

Postdoctoral Associate, Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies

I received my PhD from the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies at Warwick in 2016. My doctoral research was funded by a three-year Chancellor’s International Scholarship from Warwick, and I have recently completed an Early Career Fellowship at Warwick’s Institute of Advanced Study. My work opens the field of World Literature to the study of transnational popular culture, while bringing the close attention to detail that is characteristic of literary criticism to bear on the analysis of popular cultural texts such as Japanese manga, Korean television dramas, and Chinese Internet novels. Work stemming from my doctoral research has appeared and is forthcoming in the peer-reviewed journals Textual Practice, Neo-Victorian Studies, Mechademia, and the Journal of Postcolonial Writing.

My PhD dissertation, “Empire of Culture: Contemporary British and Japanese Imaginings of Victorian Britain,” examined representations of Victorian Britain in contemporary British historical fiction and Japanese girls’ comics (1980 – present). It asks how the historical flow of goods and ideas from Britain to Japan informs how the two countries today focus on producing and exporting cultural commodities such as Harrods tea and girls’ comics. By reading texts ranging from A. S. Byatt’s novel Possession and its Hollywood film adaptation to Harrods advertising and the Lady Victorian manga series, I revealed the rich synergies between these seemingly disparate bodies of literature. I am currently transforming my PhD dissertation into a book, "Empire of Culture: Neo-Victorian Fiction and the Global Creative Economy."

I am also developing a second project, provisionally titled “East-West Romance: Popular Culture in East Asia and the Formation of Transnational Communities.” This project examines popular love-story narratives set against the rise of global cities in East Asia, and it explores how the transnational circulation of highly emotional popular culture texts creates transnational communities united by feelings of love, friendship, and kinship.

In my teaching, as in my research, I am committed to close reading both literary and popular cultural texts from a global perspective. I recently taught advanced undergraduates in “The English 19th-Century Novel,” where I drew on global history to encourage students to question the concept of “Englishness” that frames their object of study. Previously, I taught “Modern World Literatures” to first-year students and “Introduction to Cultural Studies” to cross-faculty students.

I have also worked as a Research Assistant for the Global Nineteenth-Century Studies at Warwick Network.

On a personal level, I enjoy reading and drawing comics, which I also use as a pedagogical tool in my classes.

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Waiyee Loh

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