Rachel Haines is a PhD candidate with research interests in 19th and 20th century American literature and culture, transatlantic modernism, queer theory, secularity and modernity studies, and aesthetics. Currently, she is pursuing a dissertation on queer expatriate U.S. writers, many of whom turned to writing fiction as a way to manage inner crisis. Through readings of prose fiction by Henry James, H.D., Nella Larsen, Djuna Barnes, Dorothy Strachey, and James Baldwin, her project locates modernism's fascination with inwardness in these authors' desire to preserve impossible love and remediate queer disruption. Another aim of this dissertation, then, is to rethink the modernist novel as an important antecedent to contemporary autofiction and autotheory. 
Before joining UVa, Rachel received a BA in English with a minor in philosophy from Connecticut College. There, she wrote an honors thesis on Henry James's poetics of influence and impressibility, which she claims shape the construction of queer desire between women in his novels, The Portrait of a Lady and The Wings of the Dove. A revised version of her chapter on Wings was recently published in the Henry James Review, where it was the recipient of the Leon Edel Prize.
Rachel’s secondary interests include the politics of literary influence and transmission, the history of psychoanalysis and its relationship to queer thought, literary theory and criticism (especially literary criticism of the AIDS epidemic), and the novel. From 2023–2024, she served as president of the Graduate English Students Association (GESA).
Peer-Reviewed Articles:
“Authoring ‘the real thing’: Influence, Impressibility, and The Wings of the Dove’s Queer Style.” The Henry James Review 44, no. 2 (2023): 115–132.
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