Abigail Dennis

Freelance Content Producer, Researcher, Editor, and Author. Food - Travel - Books


• Published author and research specialist with over a decade in academic and non-profit communications experience • Freelance film and broadcast researcher • Recovering academic • Queensland, Australia, via Toronto, Canada

The ArtSci Effect: Your Philanthropy in Action, 2017/18
The Chrysalis Moment

Contributions to the award-winning annual Impact Report of the Office of Advancement, Faculty of Arts and Science at the University of Toronto

The Toronto Review of Books
Cherries and Gems in Eat It: Sex, Food and Women's Writing - The Toronto Review of Books

Reviewed in this essay: Eat It: Sex, Food & Women's Writing, edited by Nicole Baute and Brianna Goldberg. Feathertale, 2013. There are some gems in this mixed-genre anthology from Feathertale, an offbeat Canadian writer's collective. The pieces are varied in tone and style, taking the form of short fiction, creative non-fiction, essays, letters, and poetry.

The Oxford Companion to Sweets

"British pudding is often plain, even boringly so; it lacks the nuance, artifice, and drama of other desserts. Victorian examples such as “Cold Shape” are drably antipoetic. Nonetheless, pudding inspires fierce devotion in a nation that has always harboured an achingly sweet tooth."

Howards End: “Old, little, altogether delightful”

E.M. Forster's classic Edwardian novel, Howard's End (1910), opens with Helen Schlegel's letter to her sister Margaret, and a description of the titular country house: "Dearest Meg, "It isn't going to be what we expected. It is old and little, and altogether delightful-red brick. From hall you go right or ...

University of Toronto
Life Sciences, and a life partner: Vanja Adzovic

When Vanja Adzovic signed up to be part of the FLC program as a Life Sciences student in 2010, she had no idea how much she would gain from it-not least, a fiancé.


The Journal of Modern Literature
“‘The Spectacle of Her Gluttony’: The Performance of Female Appetite and the Bakhtinian Grotesque...

Nights at the Circus (1984), set at the turn of the twentieth century, is dominated by winged aerialiste Fevvers, a woman with the stature of a goddess and an appetite to match. This article explores how Fevvers, as Carter’s version of the “New Woman,” negotiates men’s and her own appetites in order to claim a share of power. Fevvers refuses the metaphorical and material self-starvation attendant upon conventional paradigms of femininity, instead overtly performing both her appetites (and the...

MHRA Working Papers in the Humanities
Mobile Narrative, Spatial Mediation, and Gaskell’s Urban Rustics in 'North and South'

Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South (1855) is a remarkably mobile narrative. The action moves between Helstone (Margaret Hale’s rural childhood home); Milton-Northern (a fictionalized Manchester); Milton’s surrounding countryside; London’s Harley Street; Oxford; the Outwood train station, scene of a crucial plot development; Heston and Cromer, both coastal resorts; Corfu; Spain; and (North) America. Beyond its wide-ranging traversal of physical space, however, the novel is concerned with the...

Australasian Journal of Victorian Studies
“A Study in Starvation”: The New Girl and the Gendered Socialisation of Appetite in Sarah Grand’s...

Towards the end of Sarah Grand’s third novel The Beth Book: Being a Study of the Life of Elizabeth Caldwell Maclure, A Woman of Genius (1897), the artist Gresham Powell shows his friend Arthur Brock a portrait of a pretty but frail young woman with cropped hair, calling it “a study in starvation” (513). Powell’s description of the novel’s female protagonist could in fact be applied to the narrative itself; for, at its most fundamental level, the text constitutes an allegorical diegesis on the...

Double Dialogues
"A Real Queer Fish:" Homoerotic Appetites and the Neo-Victorian (Meta)Real in Sarah Waters's...

Gustatory motifs, and in particular that of the oyster, constitute a complex symbolic, political, and aesthetic framework in Sarah Waters’s 1998 novel, Tipping the Velvet. Waters takes the reader on a picaresque journey through late-Victorian London’s music halls and Sapphic demi-monde with Nancy, a lesbian male impersonator (or, in music-hall slang, a ‘masher’).

English Studies
Spiritualism and Women's Writing: From the Fin de Siècle to the Neo-Victorian

Tatiana Kontou’s book links two prominent critical strands in literary scholarship of recent years: the examination of neo-Victorian fiction, and the concept of ‘‘literary hauntings’’. It’s a fortuitous coupling: there are several points of intersection between these discourses, notably around ideas of authenticity and ventriloquism, that are ripe for articulation and exploration.