I have taught at the University of Iowa since 1973, with semesters abroad as an exchange professor in France, Iceland, and Denmark. Over the years I’ve offered a range of courses centered on British and transimperial literature 1830-1940, with an emphasis on poetry, nonfiction prose, and the social, political, and cultural contexts of literature. My special interests center on the relationship of Victorian art and literature as embodied in the Pre-Raphaelite and Aesthetic movements, in literature written by women and working-class writers, and in publication history and related archival research.
I’ve written and edited several books on the poet, artist, and socialist William Morris, and am the founder and editor of the William Morris Archive. I have also spent several years researching the little-known works of Victorian working-class women, and have published an anthology of poetry by the latter, as well as a study of their memoirs.
In addition, in recent years my teaching has included courses in critical theory and its social implications, leading to discussion of such issues as race/critical race theory, transimperialism, ethics, the environment, animal rights, and gender theory.
I enjoy working on special projects with undergraduate and graduate students. I’ve served on more than a hundred fifty graduate comprehensive examination committees and have supervised sixty completed doctoral dissertations. Both in my teaching and writing, I aim to present the works of members of previously marginalized groups, as well as pay tribute to the many profound and enduring insights offered in British and transimperial literature of the period.
My teaching and research website, victorianfboos.studio.uiowa.edu, contains art galleries; bibliographies; sample reading lists; study questions for works of British, American, and other literatures; and links or pdf files of many of my publications.
18th and 19th Century British Literature
Gender and Sexuality
The Novel and Short Fiction
Victorian and Edwardian
Working Class Writing