Chloe Wigston Smith

Choe SmithMichael F. Adams Early Career Scholar 2015

Chloe Wigston Smith, assistant professor of English, is an outstanding scholar and author of the recently published bookWomen, Work and Clothes in the Eighteenth-Century Novel. This ground-breaking work shows, for the first time, how women’s work with textiles and garments contributed to the creation of the British novel. It revises current approaches to the role of labor in fiction and the history of sexuality to reveal how the novel reshaped women’s roles and the value of their work. Using an innovative interdisciplinary methodology, this book juxtaposes novels with a wide-ranging collection of clothes, engravings, criminal trials and trade debates in order to examine the genre from a new perspective.  Research for the project was supported by external grants from the Lewis Walpole Library at Yale University, the Folger Shakespeare Library, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, among other grants. Wigston Smith is currently working on a new book project that examines gender, the novel, and domestic crafts in an imperial setting. Like her previous book, this work will draw on her joint expertise in literary studies and art history, and bring together a diverse range of texts and material artifacts.