Jessica R. Valdez is an assistant professor of English. Her interdisciplinary research offers new ways of thinking about novelistic form, media, and identity in nineteenth-century literature and culture. Her first book – Plotting the News in the Victorian Novel – is forthcoming in June 2020 with Edinburgh University Press. Plotting the News is about the ways that nineteenth-century novels incorporate news stories into fictional narrative. It argues that novelistic realism developed in tension with emerging claims to reality in the newspaper press. Victorian novelists thus emerge as early media theorists, thinking through the contrasting systems of reality offered by newspapers and novels. This project was funded by an Early Career Scheme fellowship from the Hong Kong General Research Fund (428,268 HKD). Her other research intervenes in the growing field of seriality studies by framing novels’ experiments with serial form as a means to problematize national and imperial power. She contributed to a special issue on seriality for Journal of Modern Periodical Studies and recently completed an article rethinking serial form in Anthony Trollope’s novels. She is currently working on a new book-length project that analyzes the intersecting imaginaries of the United States and China in nineteenth-century British literature, arguing that writers used stereotypes of Asian despotism in articulating anxieties about American democracy. She earned her PhD, MA, and BA at Johns Hopkins University.