Gena Zuroski Jenkins, PhD


Professor of English
Location: Chester New Hall, Room
Phone: 905 525 9140 ext. 23720

  • Research
  • Profile
  • Publications
A specialist in eighteenth-century British literature and culture, Eugenia (Gena) Zuroski Jenkins (PhD Brown 2005; MA Brown 2000; BA Summa Cum Laude Columbia 1998) has been a member of the Department of English and Cultural Studies at McMaster since 2009. Her research and teaching interests include genealogies of the modern subject; orientalism and cosmopolitanism; material culture; and relationships among literary genres in the long eighteenth century.

Gena is author of the book A Taste for China: English Subjectivity and the Prehistory of Orientalism (Oxford University Press, 2013), which argues that chinoiserie played an integral role in the formation of modern English subjectivity. Tracing a shift in the relationship between English selves and “things Chinese” from the Restoration through the early nineteenth century, this study shows how both orientalism and privatized subjectivity take shape through cultural processes of disavowing earlier ideals, including cosmopolitanism and aristocratic power. The recipient of a SSHRC Insight Grant, she is currently researching her next book project, a study of the emergence of "funniness" in eighteenth-century literature, aesthetics, and subjectivity. Gena has published articles in NOVEL: A Forum on Fiction and Eighteenth-Century Studies. In addition to her teaching and research, she serves as editor of Eighteenth-Century Fiction and and has edited special issues of ECF on “Exoticism & Cosmopolitanism" (Fall 2012) and "The Senses of Humour" (Summer 2014).

A Taste for China: English Subjectivity and the Prehistory of Orientalism. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013.

“Defoe’s Trinkets: Figuring Global Commerce.” In Global Economies, Cultural Currencies of the Eighteenth Century, ed. Michael Rotenberg-Schwartz. New York: AMS Press, 2010.

Nature to Advantage Drest”: Chinoiserie, Aesthetic Form, and the Poetry of Subjectivity in Pope and Swift. Eighteenth-Century Studies 41.3 (2009): 75–94.

Disenchanting China: Orientalism and the Aesthetics of Reason in the English Novel. Novel: A Forum on Fiction 38.2-3 (2005): 254–71