Allison Turner

Lecturer, Department of English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University

Fellow, SOF/Heyman, Columbia University (2019–Present)

Allison Turner received her PhD in English from the University of Chicago in 2018. Her research and teaching interests include eighteenth-century and Romantic literatures of the Anglophone world, the environmental humanities, as well as the role of aesthetics and literary form in mass culture. In her current book project, The Salvaging Disposition: Waste and the Novel Form, Turner locates the emergence of a modern sense of waste in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. As she shows, it was during this period that the unintended byproducts of human activity became objects of systemic attention. Rather than simply documenting the presence of these waste materials in literary texts, she argues that the novel itself emerged in this period as a form for managing the waste generated by a rapidly shifting economy. Before coming to Columbia, Turner was a postdoctoral fellow at the Rice University Humanities Research Center, where she was a core participant in a multidisciplinary seminar on “Waste: Histories and Futures.” Her article on Dorothy and William Wordsworth was published in SEL Studies in English Literature in 2018.