Professor Shu-Fang Lai

Visiting Research Fellow

June - September 2017, July - August 2018, July - August 2019

Shu-Fang Lai, Professor at Department of Foreign Languages and Literature, National Sun Yat-Sen University, Taiwan. She has specialized in Victorian Literature, Nineteenth-Century Periodicals, and Literary Translation. She is a Dickensian, and the author of Charles Reade, George Meredith and Harriet Martineau as Serial Writers of Once a Week, 1859-1865 (2008) and Victorian Fancy (2013). She has also won two translation prizes, and published on translation studies; her translation of How We Became Posthuman by N. Katherine Hayles is forthcoming (2017). At present, she is working on a 3-year project on cross-age children’s literature.

While at IASH, she will carry on doing research into Robert Chambers and Chambers's Edinburgh Journal. For this work, she attempts to look at Robert Chambers from the point of view of children’s literature, and to study his writings for children in Chambers’s Edinburgh Journal, in particular, during the time when he was cultivating thoughts on nature and evolution. Her study will explore Chamber’s ideas about education and entertainment for young readers, his attitudes toward humans and animals (especially his writings on talking animals), and his story-telling techniques. Over all, she aims to uncover the images of Scottish children and childhood as represented in the journal, and to highlight the contributions Chambers has made to the rich cultural heritage of children’s literature in Victorian Scotland.

As part of her stay, she will also be giving a paper on “Dickens and Maga: A Love-Hate Relationship?” in the Blackwood’s Bicentenary Conference at Edinburgh University (24-25 July), co-editing a volume on Scottish Children’s Books in the 19th century with Dr. Sarah Dunnigan, and joining her teamwork on early children’s books at The Museum of Childhood.