Peter Sinnema

Peter Sinnema

Professor and Chair

Phone: 780-492-7841
Fax: 780-492-8142
Office: 3-17 Humanities Centre
Office Hours: By appointment


BA Alberta; MA, PhD York

Supervisory and Research Interests

I am happy to supervise graduate students interested in Victorian literature and culture, and welcome a broad range of critical approaches. I have supervised or am currently supervising doctoral theses on topics such as child abuse and child-protection advocacy, patriotic poetry and the politics of the laureateship, Egyptian antiquities in gothic fiction, mother-want and melancholy in the Victorian novel, and middlebrow culture and materialism in fin-de-siècle writing.

Courses Taught

I have taught graduate courses on Victorian death and representation, on class and the Victorians, on ideological criticism and theories of literary production, and on science fiction. My undergraduate teaching has included courses across the English curriculum: introductory first-year literary surveys, early- and late-Victorian literature and culture, the nineteenth-century novel, Victorian poetry, class and ideology, pre-twentieth-century transnational literature, readings in prose, etc.

Representative Publications

“10 April 1818: John Cleves Symmes’s ‘No. 1 Circular.’” BRANCH: Britain, Representation, and Nineteenth-Century History. Ed. Dino Franco Felluga. Extension of Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net. Web. (13 June 2012).
[As editor, with introduction, notes, chronology, and appendices]. The Coming Race [1871]. By Edward Bulwer Lytton. Peterborough: Broadview 2008.
The Wake of Wellington: Englishness in 1852. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2006.
[As editor, with introduction, notes, chronology, and indexed glossary]. Self-Help: With Illustrations of Conduct and Perseverance [1859]. By Samuel Smiles. Oxford: Oxford World's Classics, 2002. Korean edition by Oxford University Press/Eric Lang Agency, Seoul, 2003.
Dynamics of the Pictured Page: Representing the Nation in the Illustrated London News. Aldershot: Ashgate, 1998.
“Victorian Interdisciplinarity and the Myth of Capaciousness.” Victorian Review (Special Forum on “Victorian Studies and Interdisciplinarity” 33.1 (2007): 59-61.
“Wyatt’s Wellington and the Hyde Park Corner Controversy.” Oxford Art Journal. 27.2 (2004): 219-238.
“Between Men: Reading the Caxtons Trilogy as Domestic Fiction.” The Subverting Vision of Bulwer-Lytton: Bicentenary Reflections. Ed. Allan Christensen. Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2004. 318-348.
“Around the World Without a Gaze: Englishness and the Press in Jules Verne.” Victorian Periodicals Review. 36.2 (2003): 135-152.


I am presently working on a monograph project with the tentative title of “Cosmic Egg: The Literary Afterlife of Hollow Earth Theory in England and America.” The project investigates the origins of hollow earth theory in 1690s London and its rich afterlife in fantastic, utopian, and science fiction literature up to the middle of the nineteenth century. I have served as President of the Victorian Studies Association of Western Canada and as a Visiting Fellow at the Hartley Institute, University of Southampton.