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Dr. Elizabeth  Outka
Dr. Elizabeth Outka
Associate Professor of English

Professor Outka’s research focuses on late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century literature and culture. She has written on a range of topics, from consumer culture, to postcolonial representations of trauma, to disability studies.  Her forthcoming book, Raising the Dead, investigates how one of the deadliest plagues in history—the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic—seems to disappear from cultural memory but actually infuses modernist literature and helps fuel the emergence of zombies and the popularity of séances.  

Her first book, Consuming Traditions (Oxford UP 2009) examines the marketing of authenticity in turn-of-the-century Britain. The book analyzes how the selling of objects and places allegedly free of commercial taint marks a crucial turn in modern culture and offers a new way to understand literary modernism and its complex negotiation of tradition and novelty. The book explores works by a wide range of writers, including E. M. Forster, Virginia Woolf, and James Joyce.

Grants and Fellowships
National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, 2016-2017.
Faculty Research Summer Fellowship, University of Richmond, 2016.
Enhanced Sabbatical Grant, University of Richmond, 2015-2016.
Faculty Research Summer Fellowship, University of Richmond, 2015.

Faculty Research Summer Fellowship, University of Richmond, 2014.

Faculty Research Summer Fellowship, University of Richmond, 2013.

Faculty Research Summer Fellowship, University of Richmond, 2012.

Faculty Research Grant, University of Richmond, 2011.
Faculty Research Summer Fellowship, University of Richmond, 2010.

Fellowship, Bonner Center for Civic Engagement, University of Richmond, 2009.

The James D. Kennedy, III Endowed Faculty Fellowship, University of the South, 2006-2008.
John B. Stephenson Fellowship, Appalachian College Association, 2004.
Academic Initiative Grant, University of the South, 2004.
Faculty Research and Travel Grant, University of the South, 2003.
Elizabeth Garret Fellowship, University of Virginia, 2000.
William B. Christian Fellowship, University of Virginia, 2000.

Distinguished Educator Award, University of Richmond, 2015.
Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award, English Department, University of Virginia, 1997-1998.
All-University Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award in Arts and Humanities, University of Virginia, 1998.


Consuming Traditions: Modernity, Modernism, and the Commodified Authentic. Oxford University Press, 2009. Paperback edition 2012.


“The Transitory Space of Night and Day.” Essay for A Companion to Virginia Woolf. Ed. Jessica Berman. New York: Wiley Blackwell. Forthcoming 2016.

“Teaching the First World War through Community-Based Learning.” Options for Teaching Representations of the First World War.  Eds. Debra Rae Cohen and Douglas Higbee. NYC: Modern Language Association. Forthcoming 2016.

“Consumer Culture.” Essay in The Cambridge Companion to Modernist Culture. Ed. Celia Marshik. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. 2014. 81-95.

Nostalgia and Modernist Anxiety.” Afterword for Modernism and Nostalgia: Bodies, Locations, Aesthetics. Ed. Tammy Clewell. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. 252-261.

Dead Men, Walking: Actors, Networks, and Actualized Metaphors in Mrs. Dalloway and Raymond.” NOVEL: A Forum on Fiction 46.2 (2013) 253-274.

Trauma and Temporal Hybridity in Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things.”  Contemporary Literature. 52.1 (2011) 21-53.  

Buying Time:  Howards End and Commodified Nostalgia.” NOVEL: A Forum on Fiction. 36.3 (2003): 330-350.

The Shop Windows Were Full of Sparkling Chains: Consumer Desire and Woolf’s Night and Day." Virginia Woolf Out of Bounds. Ed. Jessica Berman and Jane Goldman. New York: Pace UP, 2001. 229-235.


“Violent Ends, Modernist Means.” Review of Sarah Cole’s At the Violet Hour:  Modernism and Violence in England and Ireland. New York:  Oxford UP, 2012.  NOVEL: A Forum on Fiction. 48.2 (2015): 313-316. Forthcoming August 2015. 

Review of Jane Elizabeth Fisher’s Envisioning Disease, Gender, and War: Women’s Narratives of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.  Clio:  A Journal of Literature, History, and the Philosophy of History. 43.3 (2014): 37-43.

Ph.D., University of Virginia
B.A., Yale University
Contact Information
(804) 287-1806
(804) 289-8313 (Fax)
Areas of Expertise
Twentieth-century British and Irish literature and culture
History of the novel