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Li Liu


Thesis Working Title

‘What Do Texts Want?’: The Want and Liminality of Working-Class Women in Mid-Victorian Bourgeois Paternalistic Literature

Research Interests

My research investigates a shared 'liminality' (the unstable state between child and adult, human and nonhuman) specifically about working-class female characters in what I call 'mid-Victorian bourgeois paternalistic literature' (fiction written by and for the middle class, with bourgeois ideologies as the dominant voice in narration). I explore how the dynamic and contradictory bourgeois ideology of class and gender destabilizes the narrative framing of certain characters. My research interests include:

  • Victorian literature
  • Narrative theories
  • Feminism
  • Marxism
  • Infantilization, animalization, and reification in Victorian discourse
  • Victorian bourgeois ideology, esp. in terms of class and gender

Dr. Jen Baker and Dr. Michael Meeuwis


2019 – Present: PhD in English and Comparative Literary Studies, The University of Warwick.

2017 – 18: MA Comparative Literature, University College London [Distinction]

2013 – 17: BA English, Anhui University [Grade: 90.23/100, thesis distinction]

2014 – 15: Exchange Programme, Providence University [Grade: 91/100]


2021: Co-author and Co-translator of ‘Leafing through Ali Smith’s Autumn: A Roundtable Discussion Amongst Young Researchers’ (从阿莉•史密斯小说《秋》看英国脱欧:青年学者圆桌会), New Perspectives on World Literature/ World Literature Recent Developments (外国文学动态研究), 6 (2021), 25–37 <>. For the English version, see



5 – 8 January 2023 (forthcoming): ‘Dombey and Son and Lover: Class Conflicts between Middle-Class Parents and Working-Class Children’, MLA 2023, San Francisco, US

8 – 10 July 2022 (forthcoming): ‘Good! Hear, hear! Hurrah!’: Hard Times as Public Performance’, The 27th Annual Dickens Society Symposium, hosted by City, University of London, UK

28 – 30 June 2022 (forthcoming): ‘First-Person/Third-Person Shift: Narrative Instability and Character Liminality in George Eliot’s Adam Bede’, 2022 International Conference on Narrative, the ISSN’s 37th Annual Gathering, hosted by the University of Chichester, UK

12 – 14 July 2021: 'Seeing Jenny Wren as a "Child" Through the Bourgeois Lens: Narrative Distance and Absence in Our Mutual Friend', The 26th Annual Dickens Society Symposium (virtual due to the pandemic)

13 – 15 November 2020: ‘A Scandal of a Scandal: Flânerie in Modern Babylon’, 92nd Annual Conference of the South Atlantic Modern Language Association (SAMLA 92)(virtual due to the pandemic)


11 July, 2020: Co-organised with Ruby Turok-Squire, 'Rainbows in Our Windows: Childhood in the Time of Corona', a one-day international, interdisciplinary conference (virtual due to the pandemic). The conference proceedings were collected and edited in a special issue of Issues in English.

11 May 2020: Co-organised with Chunyan Jia, Anna Rivers, and Ruby Turok-Squire, '16th Annual English Postgraduate Symposium', a one-day roundtable showcasing the work of the University of Warwick’s postgraduates in English and Comparative Literary Studies and related disciplines (virtual due to the pandemic)


2021 – 22: Seminar Tutor, EN122 Modes of Reading, University of Warwick

2020 – 21: Seminar Tutor Assistant, EN122 Modes of Reading, University of Warwick


2020: WRSA Bursary Fund for Rainbows in Our Windows Conference (£100)

2019-2023: CSC-Warwick Joint Scholarship (three-year tuition waiver+£1200 pounds per month maintenance stipend)


March 2022 – March 2023: MLA Convention

February 2022 – February 2023: The International Society for the Study of Narrative

May 2021 – May 2022: The Dickens Society

July 2020 June 2021: The South Atlantic Modern Language Association (SAMLA)

Li Liu

Li Liu

PhD candidate, Senior Graduate Teaching Assistant, Dept of English & Comparative Literary Studies

Student email address:

Staff email address:

Office hour: Fridays 3-4 pm

Room: FAB6.06