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Beth Tobin

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Professor, Department of English, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences


PhD, University of Chicago


Beth Tobin is the author of three books: Colonizing Nature: The Tropics in British Arts and Letters, 1760-1820 (U of Pennsylvania P, 2005), winner of the “Eighth Annual Susanne M. Glasscock Book Prize” for best book of interdisciplinary humanities scholarship; Picturing Imperial Power: Colonial Subjects in Eighteenth-Century British Painting (Duke UP, 1999), winner of the “Best Book on British Art before 1800” presented by the Historians of British Art; and Superintending the Poor: Charitable Ladies and Paternal Landlords in British Fiction, 1770-1860 (Yale UP, 1993). She is the editor of the Oxford Classics' Eliza Haywood novel, Miss Betsy Thoughtless (1997), and History, Gender and Literature, a collection of essays (U of Georgia Press, 1994). She is working on a book on natural history collecting in the eighteenth century, a project for which she recently received a scholar's award from the National Science Foundation. She also received a senior fellowship from NEH in 2000 to work on what became her book Colonizing Nature. She has co-edited a series of books for Ashgate on gender and material culture. Women and Things, 1750-1950: Gendered Material Strategies (Ashgate, 2009; Women and the Material Culture of Needlework and Textiles, 1750-1950 (Ashgate, 2009 ); and Material Women, 1750-1950: Consuming Desires and Collecting Practices (Ashgate, 2009 ).

  • Beth Fowkes Tobin. Wampum Belts and Tomahawks on an Irish Estate: Constructing an Imperial Identity in the late Eighteenth Century. Biography (2010).
  • Beth Fowkes Tobin and Maureen Daly Goggin. Women and Things, 1750-1950: Gendered Material Practices. (2009).
Research Activity: 
  • Tobin,Mary Elisabeth Fowkes. The Duchess's Shells: Natural History Collections and Voyages of Discovery in the Age of Enlightenment Science. NSF-SBE-SES(8/15/2007 - 7/31/2009).
  • Beth Fowkes Tobin. Material Culture, Natural History, and the Bluestockings. American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies (Mar 2010).
  • Beth Fowkes Tobin. Women, Decorative Arts, and Taxidermy, 1750-1850. Visiting Scholar Lecture for School of Art and Art History, University of South Florida (Mar 2010).
  • Beth Fowkes Tobin. Sketchbooks and Scrapbooks: Aesthetic Collecting Practices in British India, 1770-1840. College Art Association (Feb 2010).
  • Beth Fowkes Tobin. Women, Decorative Arts, and Taxidermy. Inaugural Early Modern Symposium "Everyday Objects" Courtauld Institute, Research Forum, London (Nov 2009).
  • Beth Fowkes Tobin. The Material Culture of Color. American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies (Mar 2009).
  • Texas A&M, tenure and promotion referee (2009 - Present)
  • American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies, board member (2007 - Present)
  • Graduate Program, Director (2003 - Present)