Dr Victoria Baena


BA History and Literature (Harvard College), MA, MPhil, PhD Comparative Literature (Yale University)

Research interests

My research focuses on the novel, narrative theory, and the politics of aesthetics from the late eighteenth through the twentieth centuries. In my current book project, Provinces of the Mind: Cartographies of the Modern Novel, I trace a literary history of the province-metropole divide across the Francophone and Anglophone traditions. This work has led me to engage in particular with feminist and Marxist theories, critical approaches to geography, and histories of empire and (anti-)colonialism. More broadly, my interests include translation studies; genre theory; Latin American, German, and Russian literatures; and the politics of pedagogy.

Teaching Interests

Writing Revolution, 1789-1961

Introduction to Narrative: Fictions of Mobility

Translation & Transformation in Literature

Travel Narratives

Writing the Self

Awards and prizes

Diamonstein-Spielvogel Fellowship, New York Public Library (2022)

Teaching Innovation Grant, Yale University (2021)

Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library Research Fellowship (2019)

Naomi Schor Memorial Award, Nineteenth-Century French Studies Association (2019)

Paul Mellon Centre for British Art Research Grant (2018)

Selected Publications

​“History’s Borrowed Languages: Emily Brontë, Karl Marx, and the Novel of 1848,” ​ELH: English Literary History [forthcoming, 2023]

“Romanesque Commitments: Amélie Bosquet’s Narrative Theory and Popular Aesthetics,” Nineteenth-Century French Studies (vol. 50, nos. 1–2), 2021

​“The Classroom in Crisis” (review essay), Boston Review, September 2021

“Labor, Thought, and the Work of Authorship: Virginia Woolf and Hannah Arendt,” ​Diacritics (vol. 48, no. 1), 2020

Translator, Marie NDiaye, “Step of a Feral Cat,” in Visible: Text + Image, Two Lines Press (Calico Series), 2022