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Stephanie Higgs

Stephanie graduated summa cum laude from Washington University in St. Louis in 2006 with a double major in English and French.  Though the Victorian novel remains her first love, her current research spans the nineteenth-century Anglo-Atlantic world.  Her dissertation, “A Social Fabric: Fictions of Cotton in the Atlantic Triangle, 1833-1863,” explores the geographic, economic, and cultural networks that formed around this humble fiber during the crucial period between the British Abolition Act, which reframed transatlantic debates about slave versus wage labor, and the Emancipation Proclamation, which reshaped the transatlantic Cotton Triangle into a global phenomenon.  She examines how representations of the human activities that centered on cotton—from cultivating the “white gold” to its production and consumption—created and endorsed ideologies necessary to sustain cotton’s ascendancy on the transatlantic stage.

In addition to instructing 100-level English courses, Stephanie has served the Vanderbilt EGSA in the capacity of Social Chair (2009-2010), Treasurer (2010-2011), and Vice President (2011-2013).  She also works as a Graduate Consultant at the Vanderbilt Writing Studio (2011 to present).