Miranda Butler

Student Representative, Speculative Fictions and Cultures of Science Designated Emphasis, 2016-2017

M.A. in English, UC Riverside

B.A. in English and Creative Writing – Fiction, University of Arizona

Research Areas:

Nineteenth-Century British/Victorian Literature, Literature and Science, Evolutionary Biology, Media Technologies, Sound Studies and Phonetics

Research Interests:

I research nineteenth-century scientific discourse, especially in evolutionary biology and comparative anatomy, as it relates to Victorian visual cultures, media technologies, and nineteenth-century fiction. As Darwinian questions of biological inheritance have evolved into present-day studies of DNA and genomics, I also trace these Victorian threads into twenty-first century spheres, both scientific and science fictional.

My current work combines my interests in nineteenth-century media and STS with my academic background in linguistics to investigate Victorian shorthand, phonotypy, and coding, as these practices express the relationship between media technologies, sensory perception, and the transmission of information. Particularly, I am researching the widespread popularity of telegraphic Morse code and Pitman’s phonographic shorthand. Building on the work of Gillian Beer and George Levine, my project analyzes the metaphors of reading, translating, interpreting, and decoding, that medical professionals use to understand life and inheritance, from both the nineteenth-century biological/evolutionary and twenty-first century chemical/molecular points of view.

Recent Activity:

Conference Papers & Presentations

British Association of Victorian Studies, Neo-Victorian Reviews: “She seems dead, but she’s a vampire, right? Remediating Carmilla through Millennial Webculture.”

Panel Chair: Biopolitics and Ecology: Neoliberalism, Catastrophe, and Resilience; and Presenter: “A Canticle for Benjamin: The Radioactive Decay of History and its Redemption through the WIPP Permanent Markers Project.” The Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts Conference. Houston, TX. November 2015.

“Cartes-De- Visite: Victorian ‘Social’ Media.” The Victorian Interdisciplinary Studies Association of the Western United States, 2014 Conference. California State University, Fullerton. October 2014.

“I’m Evo-Devo: Darwin, Neolution, and The Posthuman in Orphan Black.” Science Fiction and Technoculture Studies Designated Emphasis Conference, University of California, Riverside. March 2014.

“Eufuia: The Nineteenth-Century Rise of English as a Form of Elevation.” The State of English Symposium, University of California, Riverside. March 2014.

“Speculative Fiction in Retrospect: Thing Theory and Astounding Science Fiction,” Southwest/Texas Popular Culture Association & American Culture Associations Conference, Albuquerque NM, February 2013

Honors & Awards:

  • Outstanding Teaching Assistant award, 2014-2015, UCR’s University Writing Program.
  • Nominee, UCR’s Graduate Students in English Association Departmental Service Award, 2014-2015.
  • William H. Scheuerle Graduate Student Paper Award for the best paper by a graduate student: “Cartes-de- Visite: Victorian ‘Social’ Media.” Presented at the Victorian Interdisciplinary Studies Association of the Western United States, October 2014.
  • 2013 Rhodes Scholarship Candidate, October 2012.
  • Winner, National Novel Writing Month: November 2009, 2013, 2014, 2015

Affiliations & Service

  • Co-Curator, Frankenstein bicentennial exhibit at the Eaton Collection (forthcoming, 2018)
  • Research Assistant, Eaton Collection Fanzine Project (Summer 2016)
  • Stack Reader, The Getty Research Institute.
  • Member, Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts (SLSA)
  • Member, North American Victorian Studies Association (NAVSA)
  • Graduate student attendee, Dickens Universe 2016
  • Voting Member, American Synesthesia Association
  • Chair of Catering, (dis)junctions Conference, University of California Riverside, 2015.
  • Vice President, Graduate Students in English Association, 2014-2015.
  • Member, Phi Beta Kappa.
  • Programming Assistant, The Big Read Project, Tucson, AZ, 2012.