Fiona Schroeder

Discipline: English

Project Summary

My thesis - ‘The Final Frontier: Extraterrestrial New Worlds and Anglophone Adventure Fiction, 1870-1914’ - examines the representation of extraterrestrial worlds in the popular literature and culture of the late Victorian and Edwardian period. The project considers the works of canonical science fiction authors such as Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, and Edgar Rice Burroughs, alongside a host of lesser-known writers from across the Anglophone world.

Reading this primary literature within the context of the closure of the world frontier, and in relation to contemporary processes and understandings of imperialism, geographical exploration, and globalization, my thesis considers how such texts reveal late-Victorian anxieties over the disappearance of terra incognita, the approach of a “closed and full” world (Rosalind Williams, The Triumph of Human Empire  x), and the sustainability of expansionism.

Wider Research Interests

My wider research interests include: early science fiction and scientific romances from across the Anglophone world; hollow-earth fiction; Victorian astronomy; British imperialism; imperial adventure fiction; Victorian geographies; unmapped or unknown spaces, and frontier spaces in Victorian literature; depictions of Antarctica in Victorian and Edwardian popular literature and culture; Victorian deep-sea exploration, and imaginings of the deep sea in Victorian literature; dinosaurs in Victorian and Edwardian popular culture; the works of H.G. Wells; the works of Jules Verne; nineteenth-century utopian fiction; urbanization, and urban landscapes in Victorian literature; globalization.

In addition to my academic research, I write and present The Lost Book Review, a monthly show for my local community radio station, Soundart Radio. In this programme I discuss forgotten works of Victorian and Edwardian Fiction, and try to make them interesting and accessible to a non-specialist audience.