Dr Kaori Nagai

Lecturer in Victorian Literature


BA, MA, Tokyo; MA, PhD, Kent

Kaori Nagai specialises in colonial discourses of the 19th and early 20th centuries, and her recent research focuses on the intersections between animal studies and postcolonial studies. She is the author of two monographs: Empire of Analogies: Kipling, India and Ireland (2006), and more recently, Imperial Beast Fables: Cosmopolitanism, and the British Empire (2020). She has also edited, with an introduction and notes, Kipling’s Plain Tales from the Hills and the Jungle Books for Penguin Classics, and co-edited  Kipling and Beyond: Patriotism, Globalisation and Postcolonialism (2010). She is a founding member of the Kent Animal Humanities Network, and edited a collection of essays entitled Cosmopolitan Animals (2015, chief editor) with five animal studies colleagues at Kent.

Her recent projects include the representation of animals on board ships. I recently held a Caird Short-Term Fellowship at the National Maritime Museum on the topic of sea-faring rats in the age of the British Empire, and organised a conference to be held there, entitled ‘Maritime Animals: Telling stories of animals at sea’ (April 26-27, 2019).

Kaori’s other research interests include cosmopolitanism, transnational networks, and migrant experiences. She has also researched on the Esperanto movement in Britain in the first decades of the 20th century (a project funded by the Leverhulme Trust). Another area of interest is literary and critical theory, and I edited a special collection called ‘Dream Writing’ (2008). 


Kaori would be happy to supervise doctoral research relating to animal studies and/or postcolonial studies. She'd be particularly keen to supervise in areas which touch on her current interests: animals, animal literature and theory, fables, the sea, empire, colonial fiction, global movements, cosmopolitanism, language and translation.


  • Kipling Society​ (a council member)
  • PSA (Postcolonial Studies Association; Newsletter editor 2008-2011)
  • British Association for Victorian Studies (BAVS)
  • Higher Education Academy (HEA), Fellow
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