Dr. Regulus Allen (she/her/hers)
English Major Advisor
Ph.D. in English, University of California, Los Angeles
M.A. in English, University of California, Los Angeles
B.A. in English and in Communication Studies, University of California, Los Angeles
Teaching and Research Interests
Restoration and Eighteenth-Century British Literature
African American Literature
My book project, Vacant Spaces: Imaginings of the African Woman in British Literature, 1688-1838, explores representations of African women in English travel writing and fiction, from the introduction of Imoinda in Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko (1688), to the end of British slavery in 1838. I argue that English writers fundamentally perceived black women as disturbing and contradictory figures. Traditional thought associated blackness with monstrosity, savagery, and lasciviousness, while womanhood ideally signified beauty, civilization, and chastity; thus, the black woman embodied a self-negating identity. Their symbolic vacancy rendered African women literary ciphers to represent the varied imaginings and anxieties of authors, who mainly figured them as sex objects, slave mothers, and sacrifices.
Publications and Podcasts
“The Thing about Speculation with guest Dr. Regulus Allen.” The Thing about Austen. Podcast created by Zan Cammack and Diane Neu. Episode 61, Airdate 16 February 2023.
“Speculation in Mansfield Park.” Approaches to Teaching Austen’s Mansfield Park. Ed. Marcia McClintock Folsom and John Wiltshire. New York: Modern Language Association. September 2014.
“‘The Sable Venus’ and Desire for the Undesirable.” SEL Studies in English Literature 1500-1900 51.3 (Summer 2011): 667-691.
“The Sonnets of William Hayley and Gift Exchange.” European Romantic Review 13.4 (2002): 383-392.
“The 18th Century in the 21st Century: Slavery and Antislavery.” Invited talk for plenary roundtable. British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (BSECS) Annual Conference. Oxford, England, United Kingdom. January 4, 2018.
“From Hampshire to Hollywood: Teaching Austen Fiction and Film.” Invited talk. Jane Austen Society of North America, Southwest Region (JASNA-Southwest). Monterey Park, CA. December 2, 2017.
“Abortive Maternity and the Inkle and Yarico Legend.” Invited talk. Columbia University Seminars. New York, NY. October 18, 2017.
“Representations of Women of Color during the Long Eighteenth Century.” Invited talk for New Directions Panel. The Future World of Eighteenth-Century Studies: A Conference in Honor of Felicity Nussbaum. University of California, Los Angeles. November 7, 2015.
“Sarah (Saartjie) Bartmann & The Hottentot Venus.” Invited Talk. University of Nevada, Las Vegas. March 26, 2015.
“Inclusive Austen: Fiction and Film.” Poster Session. American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ASECS) Annual Meeting. Baltimore, MD. April 2022.
“Diversifying Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Studies.” Roundtable. Modern Language Association (MLA) Convention. Washington, D.C. and Online, January 2022.
“Researching, Writing, and Teaching Black and Minority Ethnic Identities: Where Are We Now?” Roundtable. International Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ISECS). 15th International Congress on the Enlightenment. Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom, July 2019.
“Workshop on Teaching Race in the Eighteenth Century in the Twenty-First-Century Classroom.” Organized and Facilitated Presidential Session. American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ASECS) Annual Meeting. Denver, CO, March 2019.
“Addressing Structural Racism in Eighteenth-Century Studies” Organized and Chaired Women’s Caucus Professional Roundtable, American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ASECS) Annual Meeting. Minneapolis, MN. March 2017.
“The Sacrificial African Woman in the Legend of the Two Lovers.” British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (BSECS) Annual Conference. Oxford, England, United Kingdom. January 2017.
“An Englishwoman in Africa: Anna Falconbridge’s Narrative of Two Voyages to the River Sierra Leone.” Canadian Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (CSECS). Kingston, Ontario, Canada. October 2016.
“African Mothers and Mother Africa in British Travel Writing.” Western Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (WSECS) Annual Meeting. Riverside, CA. February 2016.
"Rebellious Slave Mothers in Aphra Behn's Oroonoko." Caribbean Studies Association (CSA) Annual Conference. New Orleans, LA. May 2015.
“Doomed Maternity in the Inkle and Yarico Legend.” Early Caribbean Society (ECS) Symposium, Kingston University, London, England, United Kingdom. July 2014.
“Material/Immaterial.” Western Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (WSECS) Annual Meeting. Cal State, Northridge and Online. February 17-18, 2023.
“FrankenFall,” a series of events celebrating the bicentenary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, including a marathon reading of the novel, National Theatre Live film screening, student art exhibition at Kennedy Library, and a talk by Professor Gillen D’Arcy Wood, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, October-December 2018.
"Race, Gender, and Empire in the Long Eighteenth Century." Western Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (WSECS) Annual Meeting. Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. February 12-14, 2015.
Race, Gender, and Empire in the Long Eighteenth Century (English 512, Graduate Seminar)
British Romantic Literature (English 512, Graduate Seminar)
The Eighteenth Century: An Age of Satire (English 512, Graduate Seminar)
Slavery and Abolition in British Literature, 1780-1838 (English 512/439, Senior Seminar)
Gothic Monsters (English 439, Senior Seminar)
From Hampshire to Hollywood: Jane Austen Fiction and Film (English 439, Senior Seminar)
Eighteenth-Century Fiction and Film (English 439, Senior Seminar)
Transatlantic Romanticism, 1789-1838 (English 303: English Major Sequence IV)
The Transatlantic Eighteenth Century, 1660-1789 (English 205: English Major Sequence III)
African American Literature (English 347, General Education)
British Literature: 1798-1832 (English 333, General Education)
British Literature: 1660-1798 (English 332, General Education)
British Literature: Beginnings to 1789 (English 230, General Education)
Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, President’s Diversity Awards, Faculty Award, 2022
California State University, Exceptional Service to Students Award, 2015
Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, College of Liberal Arts, Early Career Service Award, 2015
Western Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies; Treasurer, 2022-present; Conference Impresario, 2015-2022; Conference Organizer, 2014-2015
Jane Austen Society of North America, Southwest Region; Traveling Lecturer, 2018-2019
American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies
North American Society for the Study of Romanticism
Early Caribbean Society
Modern Language Association