Sue Zemka, Professor

Faculty photo: Sue Zemka

Sue Zemka is a professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She received her PhD from Stanford and her BA from Saint Louis University. Professor Zemka studies Victorian literature and culture and has written on the novel, temporality, media history, and religion. Her recent book, Time and the Moment in Victorian Literature and Society (Cambridge UP, 2011), analyzes the nineteenth-century fascination with suddenness and momentary events. Her essays have appeared in ELH, Representations, Victorian Studies, and Nineteenth-Century Literature. She also teaches “The Bible as Literature” and is on the faculty for the Program in Jewish Studies.

Contact info and details
Area/s of specialty
Published work


Time and the Moment in Victorian Literature and Society. Cambridge University Press, 2011.  Awarded the Kayden Book Prize for best book in literary criticism by a member of the faculty, 2010-2013, University of Colorado, Boulder.

Victorian Testaments: The Bible, Christology, and Literary Authority in Early-Nineteenth-Century British Culture. Stanford University Press, 1998.


“The Body in Victorian Literature.” 7000 words, peer reviewed. The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Victorian England. Forthcoming, Summer 2015.

“Artificial Hands and Phantom Limbs.” BRANCH: Britain, Representation, and Nineteenth-Century History (a peer-reviewed online resource). Forthcoming, December 2014.

“Response to Kent Puckett, ‘Celia Johnson’s Face,’” ELN (English Language Notes) Special Issue, The Shape of the I (Part 2), eds. Julie Carr and John-Michael Rivera 50.1 (Spring / Summer 2012): 87-93.

“The Death of Nancy ‘Sikes’, 1839 – 1912.” Representations 110 (Spring 2010): 29-57.
Awarded the Donald Gray Prize for best essay in Victorian Studies, 2010, by NAVSA (North American Victorian Studies Association).

“Brief Encounters: Street Scenes in Gaskell’s Manchester.” ELH 76:3 (Fall 2009): 738-819.

“Scripture / Sutra,” Editor’s introduction to ELN (English Language Notes) Special Issue, Religion and the Arts, (Fall/Winter 2012). (co-written with Justin Saxby.)

“Stop – Loss: Extending Time in the Arts,” Editor’s introduction to ELN (English Language Notes) Special Issue, “Time and the Arts.” ELN 46:1 (Summer 2008), 1-7.

Interview with filmmaker Phil Solomon, ELN 46:1 (Summer 2008): 124-32.

“Chronometrics of Money and Love in Great Expectations.” Dickens Studies Annual 35 (Summer 2005): 133-55.

Erewhon and the End of Utopian Humanism.” ELH 69 (2002): 439-472.

“Thomas Arnold and Spiritual Authority.” Victorian Studies 32: 3 (Spring 1995): 429-62.

“From the Punchmen to Pugin’s Gothics: the Broad Road to a Sentimental Death in The Old Curiosity Shop.” Nineteenth-Century Literature 48:3 (Winter 1993): 291-309.

“The Holy Books of Empire: Translations of the British and Foreign Bible Society.” In The Macropolitics of Nineteenth-Century Literature. Ed. Jonathan Arac and Harriet Ritvo. 1991. Reprint. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1994.

Wagner’s Opera of Redemption: Parsifal at Bayreuth,” Criticism 27:3 (1985): article 3.

Additional links
Questions and Answers