Photo of Barbara Leckie

Barbara Leckie


Degrees:B.A. (Toronto), M.A., Ph.D. (McGill), Postdoc (U of California, Berkeley)
Office:1806 Dunton Tower

I am also cross-appointed with the Institute for the Comparative Study of Literature, Art, and Culture (ICSLAC);

Coordinator, Environmental and Climate Humanities (EACH) Minor;

Academic Director, Re.Climate: Centre for Climate Communication and Engagement;

Founder of the Carleton Climate Commons

Research Interests

  • Climate change and the humanities
  • Nineteenth-century print culture and narratives of social reform
  • Cultural history of procrastination
  • Architecture and the built environment
  • Print censorship, law, and literature
  • Critical and cultural theory

Current Research

My research addresses the impact of cultural forms and representations on social and political change and knowledge production. How does the way a problem is described and framed shape the solutions that are imagined? What are the most effective ways to generate social change? How should we understand nineteenth-century exposés of injustice that do not generate anticipated reforms? How should we understand our current failure to respond adequately to calls for climate change action? What new formal approaches can we imagine to shift the terms of stalled debates? What new histories can we write to inflect familiar issues with fresh energy and vision? I address these and other questions through historically- and theoretically-informed interdisciplinary work.

Recent Honours and Awards

  • FASS Research Achievement Award (2023-2024)
  • SSHRC Insight Grant (2017-2022)
  • Carleton Research Achievement Award (2018-19)
  • Nominee, Faculty Graduate Mentoring Award (2017)
  • FASS Research Achievement Award (2016-17, 2009-10)
  • SSHRC Institutional Grant (2013-2014, 2010-11)
  • SSHRC Standard Research Grant (2002-2006)


Climate Change, Interrupted: Representation and the Remaking of Time. Stanford: Stanford UP, 2022.

Mayhew, Henry. London Labour and London Poor. Co-edited volume with Janice Schroeder. Downsview: Broadview P, 2020.

Open Houses: Poverty, the Novel, and the Architectural Idea in Nineteenth-Century Britain. Philadelphia: Univ. of Penn P, 2018.

Sanitary Reform in Victorian Britain: End of Century Assessments and New Directions. Ed. Vol. 6. (General Ed. of 6-volume edition: Michelle Allen Emerson.) London: Pickering & Chatto, 2013.

Culture and Adultery: The Novel, the Newspaper, and the Law, 1857-1914. Philadelphia: Univ. of Penn P [New Cultural Studies Series], 1999.

Rohinton Mistry. Toronto: ECW P, 1996. Rpt. Canadian Writers and Their Works. Vol. 11 Eds. Robert Lecker, Jack David, Ellen Quigley. Toronto: ECW P, 1996. 104-61.

Recent Articles and Book Chapters (selected)

“Co-Writing the Climate Change Classroom.” Teaching the Literature of Climate Change. Ed. Debby Rosenthal. MLA Publications. Forthcoming 2023.

“Working with Mayhew: Collaboration and Historical Empathy in Precarious Times.” (Co-written with Jenna Herdman and Janice Schroeder) Victorian Culture and Experiential Learning: Historical  Encounters in the Classroom. Ed. Kevin A. Morrison. Palgrave, 2022. 49-64.

“Desire Paths: Nineteenth Century Studies . . .” Nineteenth-Century Contexts. 43.5 (2021): 581-87.

“Henry Mayhew: Urban Ecologist.” Victorian Literature and Culture 48.1 (Spring 2020): 219-41.

“Introduction.” (Co-written with Janice Schroeder) London Labour and London Poor. Downsview: Broadview P, 2020. 11-35.

“‘Animated Conversations’: Form, Transformation, and the Category of the Novel in the 1880s.” Nineteenth-Century Literature in Transition: the 1880s. Eds. Penny Fielding and Andrew Taylor. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2019. 139-56.

“Slow Causality: The Function of Narrative in a Time of Climate Change” (co-written with Tina Young Choi). Victorian Studies 60.4 (2018): 565-87.

“Sequence and Fragment, History and Thesis: Samuel Smiles’s Self-Help, Social Change, and Climate Change.” Nineteenth-Century Contexts 38.5 (2016): 305-17.

“Reader-Help: How to Read Samuel Smiles’s Self-Help.” Media and Print Culture Consumption in Nineteenth-Century Britain: The Victorian Reading Experience. Eds. Anna Gasparini and Paul Rooney. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016. 15-32.

“Historical Distance and Questions of Form in 5½ Points.” Journal of the Canadian Historical Association / Revue de la SHC 26.2 (2015): 22-31.

“The Victorian Culture of Censorship.” Blackwell Encyclopedia of Victorian Literature. Eds. Dino Franco Felluga, Pamela K. Gilbert, and Linda K. Hughes. Oxford: Blackwell, 2015. See also Blackwell Reference Online.

The Bitter Cry of Outcast London Controversy (1883): Print Exposé and Print Reprise.” BRANCH (Britain, Representation and Nineteenth-Century History). Ed. Dino Franco Felluga. Extension of Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net. 2014. Web.

Prince Albert’s Exhibition Model Dwellings in Hyde Park, 1851.” BRANCH (Britain, Representation and Nineteenth-Century History). Ed. Dino Franco Felluga. Extension of Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net. 2014. Web.

“The Novel and Censorship in Late-Victorian England.” Oxford Handbook of the Victorian Novel. Ed. Lisa A. Rodensky. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2013. 166-82.

Recent Blog Posts (selected)

Break Time” Energy Humanities. 3 April 2023.

Occupy Time.” Writers Rebel. 12 January 2023.

The Page 99 Test on Climate Change, Interrupted. Page 99 Blog. 20 December 2022.

Alarming!: House on Fire and the Rhetoric of Warning.” Network in Canadian History and Environment (NICHE). . 28 September 2021. Web.

Working Together with Henry Mayhew: An Invitation.” Blog Post. (Co-written with Janice Schroeder) 10 October 2019. Web.

Do Protests Work?: From an 1838 People’s Charter to Today’s Climate Marches.” Blog Post. (Co-written with Janice Schroeder) 12 December 2019. Web.

Recent Presentations (selected)

“Keynote RoundTable on Climate Scholarship and Activism.” Invited Speaker. University of Ottawa English Graduate Student Conference. 10 March 2023.

“Exhilaration: Co-writing Climate Action through Literature and the Humanities.” Keynote for English Graduate Student “Exhaustion” Conference at the University of Toronto (online). 22 April 2022.

“Talking Mayhew: Patterers, Prisoners, and Protest.” (Co-presented with Jan Schroeder). Belcher Victorian Studies Colloquium, Oxford University. 5 April 2022.

“Unsettling Time(s): Railways and Planes, Crashing and Falling; or the Temporalities of Ecocide.” NAVSA Conference (online). 4 March 2022.

“Alarming!: House on Fire and the Rhetoric of Warning.”  ASLE Conference (online). 24 July 2021.

“Climate Change Keyword: Interruption.” Poster Presentation. Mind & Life Summer Research Institute (online), “The Mind, the Human-Earth Connection, and the Climate Crisis.” 8 June 2021.

“Thinking about Time in the Era of Climate Change.” Susan Stanford Friedman Roundtable, Carleton University, 6 March 2020.

“Frankenclimate.” The Gothic, the Abject and the Supernatural: 200 Years of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein Conference. Ottawa, Ontario. 1 November 2019.

“Climate Change: Critical Inquiries, Collaborations, Action.” Invited Seminar Leader. NAVSA Conference. Columbus, Ohio. 19 October 2019.

“Post-time.” Vcologies Conference. University of Chicago. 8 September 2019.

“Steaming: Frances Chantrey’s Statues of James Watt, Climate Change, and Critique, Then and Now.” Upcoming INCS Conference, Houston, March 2019.

“Precarity and Collaboration.” Symposium on Images of Poverty and Displacement: Henry Mayhew and Richard Mosse. Carleton University. 30 November 2018.

“Getting Things Done: Steam, Industrial Modernity, and Procrastination in James Watt, Karl Marx, and John Ruskin.” NAVSA Conference. Orlando, Florida. 14 October 2018.

“Too Late.” Invited speaker, Victorian Ecotime, CUNY Graduate Centre. 4 May 2018.

“Impedimenta: Forms of Incompletion and Delay in Ruskin, Marx, Mayhew’s Calls for Social Change.” NVSA Conference. Philadelphia, PA. 18 March 2018.

“‘Everything Moves in a Circle’: Recycling, Cyclical Time, and Stillstellung (Zero-Hour) in Henry Mayhew’s Ecological Writing.” INCS Conference. 3 March 2018.

Acceptance Speech (on climate change) for being inducted as honorary member to the Golden Key International Honour Society. 26 January 2018.

“Henry Mayhew: Recycling, Remediation, Collaboration.” (With Janice Schroeder.) NAVSA Conference. Banff, Albert. 16 November 2017.

“VSAO 50th Anniversary Panel.” Invited Talk. Congress. Ryerson University. Toronto, Ontario. 29 May 2017.

“Climate Change, Mediated: Chimney’s, Smoke, and Gardens.” NAVSA Conference. Florence, Italy. May 2017.

“The Table Condition: Things, Ghosts, Angels, and Climate Change in Manchester, 1840-50.” INCS Conference. Philadelphia, PA. 17 March 2017.

“Of Two Minds: Interdisciplinarity in Thought and Practice.” Invited Participant for Special Graduate Student Caucus. INCS Conference. Philadelphia, PA. 18 March 2017.

“Letting/Critiquing: A Dialogue on the Production of Social Time, Social Change, and Wilkie Collins’s Poor Miss Finch.” NAVSA Conference. Phoenix, Arizona. 3 November 2016.

“Climate Change, Interrupted (1859).” V-Cologies Conference. Davis University, CA. 17 September 2016.

“Climate Change, Interrupted (2014-15).” Narrative Conference. Amsterdam, Holland. 18 June 2016.

“Sequence and Fragment, History and Thesis: Samuel Smiles’s Self-Help, Social Change, and Climate Change.” Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies Conferences. Asheville, North Carolina. 11 March 2016.