Behind the Scenes: On Being a Research Assistant with the Victorian Reivew

By Reba Ouimet

At the beginning of the fourth year of my English Bachelor’s degree at UBC Okanagan, I came across a research assistant position at the Victorian Review by way of a happy coincidence. Over the summer months, I had a meeting with my honours thesis adviser, Dr. Constance Crompton, digital dissemination editor of the Victorian Review blog. I had taken several classes at UBCO with Dr. Crompton previously, and as we were discussing my academic interests and my desire to seek an academic job, she told me of an available position as the digital dissemination and outreach coordinator position at the Victorian Review. I consequently applied for the job, and the rest was history.

Before working with the team behind the Victorian Review blog, I’d had rather little exposure to nineteenth-century literature. Prior to accepting the position, I had only taken two or three courses that covered the works of nineteenth-century authors. Upon beginning my work at the blog, however, my interest was piqued, and I began to further investigate Victorian literature. My research interests currently lie at the intersection of nineteenth-century literature and children’s literature. I am writing my honours thesis on female evil in the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm and soon hope to begin a master’s in English literature, with a thesis that explores developing adolescent sexuality in Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass.


My duties as research assistant include the maintenance of the Victorian Review WordPress site and the upkeep of the journal’s social media accounts. My work comprises copyediting and polishing previously-written rough drafts, as well as transcribing VSAWC conference footage and interviews. I write and post original articles, and I am also in the midst of producing materials, maps, and Victorian studies exhibits for this year’s VSAWC conference, which will take place in Kelowna, BC, in April. I also assist in coordinating the collaboration of the Floating Academy blog collective and the Victorian Review blog so that we may host Floating Academy scholars’ work on our website.

(also published on the Victorian Review blog)