Suzy Kim

Suzy Kim

B.A. English, University of Pennsylvania, 2016.

A.M. English, Brown University, 2018.

[email protected]

My research focuses on 19th century British novels and the element of suspense. My dissertation, titled “The Anatomy of Suspense,” examines the relationship between suspense and closure in the Victorian novel. Suspense is inevitably paired with its (ideally surprising) closure—what we want, as readers, is for the time of suspense to end, and yet it serves directly to prolong the sensation of it being just unobtainable. Thus, suspense provides a narrative structure in which we can observe the effects of reading while being acutely aware of ourselves reading—it is the time and space in which one notices the bodily and temporal effects of reading a narrative, noticing our discomfort at the prolonged frustration of desire, and the distinct passage of narrative time.

Marrying the narratological discourse of suspense—its frustration of desire, and its paradoxical function within the reading experience—with the scholarly literature on the closures of the 19th century British novel, I historicize the emergence of suspense in the major Victorian genres of the novel. I argue that the different relationships between suspense and closure in the sensation, gothic, and the Bildungsroman novels encourage different modes of reading in their readers.

Dissertation Title:

The Anatomy of Suspense


“Victorian Values: Collins, Debt, and Reading Suspense,” Journal of English Language and Literature, vol. 67 no. 1 (2021) 85-106.

“Hand in Hand: A Review of Peter J. Capuano & Sue Zemka, Victorian Hands: The Manual Turn in Nineteenth-Century Body Studies.” The Victorian Web. 4 Apr 2021.

“Power of Proliferation: A Review of Christina Meyer’s Producing Mass Entertainment: The Serial Life of the Yellow Kid.” The Victorian Web. 19 Mar 2021.

“The Adventure of the Speckled Band.” Graphic adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Adventure of the Speckled Band,” The Graphic Canon of Crime and Mystery Volume 1: From Sherlock Holmes to A Clockwork Orange to Jo Nesbo, ed. Russ Kick, Seven Stories Press, 21 Nov 2017.

“Goblin Market.” Graphic adaptation of Christina Rossetti’s "Goblin Market," Penn Filament Magazine and The Penn Review, Spring 2016.

Courses Taught:


ENGL0200 “(Victorian) Flesh,” Spring 2019.

ENGL0900E “The Academic Essay,” Fall 2018.


ENGL0511C “Fantastic Places, Unhuman Humans” taught by Jim Egan, Spring 2021.

ENGL0511L “Stories of the Future Past” taught by Jim Egan, Fall 2020.

ENGL0100F “Devils, Demons, and Do Gooders” taught by Jim Egan, Spring 2018.

ENGL0100P “Love Stories” taught by James Kuzner, Fall 2017.

Research and Teaching Interests:

Gender and Sexuality Studies; Literary and Cultural Theory; Romantic and Victorian; Studies in the Novel; Graphic Novel Studies