Alison Cotti-Lowell joined the Liberal Arts Department at NEC after spending several years teaching literature and writing at Boston College, where she completed her PhD in English Literature in 2021. She holds a BA in English from Brown University and an MA in English from New York University. Her scholarly work focuses on British literature and culture of the 18th and 19th centuries, particularly the histories of empire, colonialism, and Romanticism. Her book project, “Home and Away: Romantic British Citizenship and the Transatlantic World,” illuminates the literary history of citizenship as shaped by transformative events in British colonial spaces, including the American Revolution and the abolition of the slave trade. Through examining a set of mobile or unstable figures that challenge British national borders—stateless individuals, migrants, cosmopolitans, newly-minted Americans, dependent women, people of color, and more—the book addresses perennial questions of what brings people together as a nation, what can force them apart, and how legacies of xenophobia evolve in theory and practice. Accordingly, as a teacher, Alison aims to bring students into the literary histories of global empires and their consequences to empower them to engage with the contemporary world in newly informed, sensitive, and compassionate ways. 

Alison has a wide range of research and teaching interests. She has published articles on topics ranging from the graphic novel and 20th-century Irish fiction, to the role of the Caribbean pineapple fruit in 17th-century anti-monarchical and anti-slavery propaganda. She has taught courses organized around concepts such as the gothic novel, utopia and dystopia, coming of age, and a variety of courses focused on academic writing and writing for real-world rhetorical situations. Alison has a strong background in both academic and non-academic editing. She served as the Managing Editor and Book Review editor at the interdisciplinary Journal of Religion and the Arts and has taken on editorial work for Transition magazine as well as novels, scientific articles, website design projects, and more. Beyond the classroom, she enjoys social and competitive West Coast Swing dance.