Loyola University Chicago

Department of English


Priyanka Jacob

Priyanka Jacob

Assistant Professor

  • Office Location: Crown Center 409
  • Phone Number: 773.508.7447


I work on Victorian literature, drawing together research in novel theory, material culture and thing theory, and media and information studies. In my book-in-progress Things That Linger: Objects, Information & the Victorian Novel, I locate the unactivated things in the background of the Victorian novel: papers left on file, containers that aren’t opened, stock that doesn’t sell, secrets that aren’t told. I demonstrate how the capacious novel accommodates more than it can use, accumulating data and deferring meaning. Drawing attention to the novel’s overlooked affordance of storage, I treat the novel as an information system and a storage medium. The novel contains a litter of things embedded with potential that remains untapped, registering information that has not yet become knowledge, and reflecting the archival compulsions of the Victorian era.

My courses include: an introduction to Victorian literature and culture that explores issues such as class, gender, faith, and science; “The Novel and Its Secrets” on how secrets ripple through 19th-century fiction, whether detective or domestic; and a graduate seminar called “The Paper Trails of Victorian Literature,” that examines the cultural and formal effects of Victorian media, information, and communication technologies.  


  • BA, Amherst College (2007)
  • PhD, Princeton University (2015) 

Program Areas

  • British Literature and Culture
  • Nineteenth-Century Studies
  • The Novel and Novel Theory

Research Interests

  • The Novel and Narrative Theory
  • Victorian Literature'
  • Eighteenth-Century British Fiction
  • Material Culture and Thing Theory
  • Media and Information Studies
  • The City
  • Gothic, Detective, and Sensation Fiction  

Selected Publications


  • “The Pocket-book and the Pigeon-hole: The Files of Victorian Fiction,” Victorian Studies 61.3 (2019), pp. 371-394.
  • “Surfaces and Signs: On the Pond in Claire-Louise Bennett’s Pond,” Fall 2017 in Arcade.
  • “The Relic and the Ruin: Equivocal Objects and the Presence of the Past in Daniel Deronda,” Victorian Literature and Culture, vol. 44, no. 4, 2016.


  • Monograph. Things That Linger: Objects, Information, and the Victorian Novel.