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Laura Vorachek

Professor; Director of Faculty Formation

Full-Time Faculty

College of Arts and Sciences: English


Email: Laura Vorachek
Phone: 937-229-2861
HM 269
Curriculum Vitae: Read CV


  • Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2004
  • M.A., University of Texas at Houston, 1995
  • B.A., Trinity University, 1991


Dr. Vorachek is Professor of English and Director of Faculty Formation. She regularly teaches courses on Victorian literature, Jane Austen, the Brontës, nineteenth- and twentieth-century detective fiction and composition. Her research interests include Victorian literature and culture, nineteenth-century periodicals and women journalists (having briefly been one herself). She is currently working on a history of the first two decades of the Society of Women Journalists.

Courses taught

  • First Year Writing
  • Later British Literature
  • Detective Fiction
  • Images of Women in Literature
  • Studies in an Author (Jane Austen)
  • Victorian Literature
  • Senior Seminar
  • English Major Capstone

Research interests

  • Victorian literature and culture
  • Detective fiction
  • Jane Austen

Professional activities and affiliations

  • Research Society for Victorian Periodicals
  • Jane Austen Society of North America
  • International Crime Fiction Association

Selected publications

“‘His appearance is against him’: Race and Criminality in Dorothy L. Sayers’s Unnatural Death.” Clues: A Journal of Detection, vol. 37, no. 2, 2019, pp. 61-70.

“’How little I cared for fame’: T. Sparrow and Women’s Investigative Journalism at the Fin de Siècle.” Victorian Periodicals Review (summer 2016).

“Music Periodicals.” The Routledge Handbook to Nineteenth-Century British Periodicals and Newspapers. eds. Andrew King, Alexis Easley, and John Morton. New York: Routledge (2016): 390-99.

“Speculation and the Emotional Economy of Mansfield Park.” Persuasions 35 (2014): 182-190.

“Whitewashing Blackface Minstrelsy in Nineteenth-Century England: Female Banjo Players in Punch.” Victorians: A Journal of Culture and Literature 123 (2013): 31-51.

“Playing Italian: Cross-Cultural Dress and Investigative Journalism at the Fin de Siècle.”  Victorian Periodicals Review 45.4 (2012): 406-35.

“Reading Music: Representing Female Performance in Nineteenth-Century British Piano Method Books and Novels.”  CLIO: A Journal of Literature, History, and the Philosophy of History 39.3 (2010): 307-32. 

“Dangerous Women: Vera Caspary’s Rewriting of Lady Audley’s Secret in Bedelia.”  Clues: A Journal of Detection 28.2 (Fall 2010): 69-76.

“Mesmerists and Other Meddlers: Social Darwinism, Degeneration, and Eugenics in Trilby.”  Victorian Literature and Culture 37.1 (2009): 197-215.

“Rebellion in the Metropolis: George Gissing’s New Woman Musician.” Gissing and the City. Cultural Crisis and the Making of Books in Late-Victorian England.  Ed. John Spiers. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006: 118-28.

“Intertextuality and Ideology: Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and James Fordyce’s Sermons to Young Women.”  New Windows on a Woman’s World:  Essays for Jocelyn Harris. Vol. 2. Eds. Colin Gibson and Lisa Marr. Dunedin, New Zealand: U of Otago P, 2005: 129-137.

“Female Performances: Melodramatic Music Conventions and The Woman in White.”  The Idea of Music in Victorian Fiction.  Ed. Sophie Fuller and Nicky Losseff. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004: 105-127.

“‘The Instrument of the Century’: The Piano as an Icon of Female Sexuality in the Nineteenth Century.” George Eliot-George Henry Lewes Studies 38-39 (2000): 26-43.

“Crossing Boundaries: Land and Sea in Jane Austen’s Persuasion.” Persuasions 19 (1997): 36-40.