Alexis A. Ferguson


Alexis A. Ferguson (they/them) is a PhD candidate in the Department of English and certificate candidate in the Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies. Their research interests include British literature in the long nineteenth century, queer and trans theory, narration and narrative theory, history of science and medicine, and theories of aesthetics. Their doctoral thesis, “Making Cis: Sex in the British Nineteenth Century,” examines mid to late nineteenth-century physiological and sexological texts alongside realist novels to develop a method of reading Victorian sex apart from cisnormativity. Major themes include scientific developments that prefigure the modern, cis-gendered body, narrative forms that construct sex before and beyond cisness, and the critical histories of Victorian, feminist, queer, and trans studies. Their published writing can be found in Gender & History (“On Knowing Nature’s Syntax: Preliminary Cisness, Victorian Physiology, and George Eliot,” 2023) and Victorian Literature and Culture (“Trans,” 2023). Alexis also holds an M.A. in English from Princeton University (2020) and a B.A. in English from Cornell University (2017), and won the North American Victorian Studies Association’s Sally Mitchell Prize for best paper presented by a graduate student at the 2022 conference.

Alexis has taught several courses in the Department of English, Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Program in American Studies, including “19th-Century Fiction” and “Introduction to Gender and Sexuality Studies.” They also served as a Graduate Mentor in Princeton’s “ReMatch” and “ReMatch+ Summer” programs, funded by the Office of Undergraduate Research, and as a Graduate Teacher at Dickens Universe, hosted by University of California, Santa Cruz. In addition to their research and teaching, Alexis serves as co-organizer of the Victorian Colloquium and has previously co-organized the Gender and Sexuality Studies Graduate Reading Group at Princeton. In these roles, Alexis has organized several iterations of the annual Princeton-Rutgers Victorian Symposium, in partnership with the Rutgers University 19th Century Research Group, and “Victorian Studies: Now or Never,” an interdisciplinary discussion group inspired by the call to “undiscipline” Victorian Studies, among other events.