Professor Outka’s research focuses on late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century literature and culture. Her current book project, Raising the Dead: War, Plague, Magic, and Modernism, draws on magic shows, séances, early zombie literature, and modernist novels to explore how the twin disasters of WWI and the 1918 influenza pandemic radically shifted perceptions of the corpse and its imagined resurrection.
Her first book, Consuming Traditions (Oxford UP 2009) examines the marketing of authenticity in turn-of-the-century Britain. The book explores how the selling of objects and places allegedly free of commercial taint marks a crucial turn in modern culture and offers a new way to understand literary modernism and its complex negotiation of tradition and novelty. She investigates works by a wide range of writers, including Bernard Shaw, E. M. Forster, H. G. Wells, D. H. Lawrence, Virginia Woolf, and James Joyce.
Faculty Research Summer Fellowship, University of Richmond, 2014.
Faculty Research Summer Fellowship, University of Richmond, 2013.
Faculty Research Summer Fellowship, University of Richmond, 2012.
Fellowship, Bonner Center for Civic Engagement, University of Richmond, 2009.
Distinguished Educator Award, University of Richmond, 2015.
Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award, English Department, University of Virginia, 1997-1998.
All-University Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award in Arts and Humanities, University of Virginia, 1998.
Consuming Traditions: Modernity, Modernism, and the Commodified Authentic. Oxford University Press, 2009. Paperback edition 2012.
“Dead Men, Walking: Actors, Networks, and Actualized Metaphors in Mrs. Dalloway and Raymond.” NOVEL: A Forum on Fiction 46.2 (2013) 253-274.
“Trauma and Temporal Hybridity in Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things.” Contemporary Literature. 52.1 (2011) 21-53.
“Crossing the Great Divides: Selfridges, Modernity, and the Commodified Authentic.” Modernism/modernity. 12.2 (2005): 311-328.
“Violent Ends, Modernist Means.” Review of Sarah Cole’s At the Violet Hour: Modernism and Violence in England and Ireland. New York: Oxford UP, 2012. NOVEL: A Forum on Fiction. 48.2 (2015): 313-316. Forthcoming August 2015.