Catherine Gallagher

Former Ida May and William J Eggers, Jr., Chair in English
229 Wheeler
by appointment
(510) 642-4580

Professional Statement

Catherine Gallagher is the Eggers Professor of English Literature and has taught at Berkeley 1980. Her teaching and research focus on the British novel and cultural history in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In recent years, she has taught courses on the history of the British novel, the historiography and theory of the novel, alternate-history narratives, and various other topics in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century literature. She has received NEH, ACLS, and Guggenheim fellowships and has been a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton and the National Humanities Center.  She is the co-chair of the editorial board of the journal Representations and a member of the Editorial Board of Flashpoints, a University of California Press book series.  Her other editorial projects have included: Advisory Board of the PMLA; co-editorship of the book series Cambridge Studies in Nineteenth-Century Literature & Culture; co-editorship of The Making of the Modern Body: Sexuality and Society in the Nineteenth Century; and editorship of the Bedford Cultural Edition of Aphra Behn's Oroonoko: or, The Royal Slave. She has served as a Senior Fellow of the School of Criticism and Theory, on the Advisory Board of the Stanford Humanities Center, and is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of the National Humanities Center. Her 1994 book, Nobody's Story, won the MLA's James Russell Lowell Prize for an outstanding literary study. In 2002, she was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.



Title Fields
Gallagher The Body Economic: Life, Death, and Sensation in Political Economy and the Victorian Novel
The Body Economic revises the intellectual history of nineteenth-century Britain by demonstrating that political economists and the writers who often presented themselves as their literary antagonists actually held most of their basic social assumptions in common. Catherine Gallagher demonstrates that political economists and their Romantic and early-Victorian critics jointly relocated the....
Scan0003small Practicing New Historicism, 2001
     For almost thirty years, new historicism has been a highly controversial and influential force in literary and cultural studies. In Practicing the New Historicism, two of its most distinguished practitioners reflect on its surprisingly disparate sources and far-reaching effects.      In lucid and jargon-free prose, Catherine Gallagher and Stephen G....
Scan0002small Nobody's Story: The Vanishing Acts of Women Writers in the Marketplace
Exploring the careers of five influential women writers of the Restoration and eighteenth century, Catherine Gallagher reveals the connections between the increasing prestige of female authorship, the economy of credit and debt, and the rise of the novel. The "nobodies" of her title are not ignored, silenced, or anonymous women. Instead, they are literal nobodies: the abstractions of ....

Selected Publications and Papers Delivered


The Body Economic. Life, Death, and Sensation in Political Economy and the Victorian Novel. Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 2006.

Practicing New Historicism. With Stephen Greenblatt. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 2000.

Nobody's Story. The Vanishing Acts of Women Writers in the Marketplace, 1670-1820. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994.

The Industrial Reformation of English Fiction. Social Discourse and Narrative Form, 1832-67. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985

Oroonoko; or, The Royal Slave, by Aphra Behn. Bedford Cultural Edition. Ed., intros, and headnotes. Bedford Books, 1999. With Simon Stern.

The Making of the Modern Body. Sexuality and Society in the Nineteenth Century. Ed. and intro. with Thomas Laqueur. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987.


"What Would Napoleon Do?  Historical, Fictional, and Counterfactual Characters." New Literary History (Fall 2011), 42: 315-336.  

“The Formalism of Military History.”  Representations 104 (Fall, 2008), 23-34. 

  “The Romantics and the Political Economists.” The Cambridge History of English Romantic Literature.  Ed. James Chandler.  New York: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2008.  Pp. 71-100.

“Historical Scholarship.”  Introduction to Scholarship in Modern Languages and Literatures. Ed. Nicholls, David G..   New York:  Modern Language Association of America, 2007.  Pp. 171-194.

“Forum: Counterfactual Realities” and “When Did the Confederate States of America Free the Slaves?” Representations 98 (Spring, 2007).  Pp. 51-61.  

 “War, Counterfactual History, and Alternate-History Novels.” Field Day Review, 3 (2007).  Pp. 53-66.  

“Literary History.” Introduction to Scholarship in the Modern Languages and Literatures. Modern Language Association, 2007.  Pp. 171-194. 

“World War II As Seen From Other Worlds.”  Journal of Contemporary Thought,  (Summer, 2006):5-19. Also in Shiso [Thought] #984 (2006.4), 95-110.

“The Rise of Fictionality.” The Novel, Volume I:  History, Geography, and Culture.  Ed. Franco Moretti. Princeton:  Princeton Univ. Press, 2006.

“The Industrial Novel.”  The Oxford Encyclopedia of British Literature.  II. Ed. David Scott Kastan.  Oxford:  Oxford Univ. Press, 2006.  Pp. 241-3.

 “Theoretical Answers to Interdisciplinary Questions or Interdisciplinary Answers to Theoretical Questions?”  Victorian Studies, 47:2 (Winter 2005).  Pp. 253-260.

Current Research

My current work examines the connections between alternate history novels, counterfactual histories, social policies, and political debates. One part of the project examines current intersections of these four phenomena, explaining what they tell us about the state of our collective historical imagination. The second part explores the thesis that non-linear narrative forms, which develop alternate paths that a story might take, have been used since the eighteenth century, when counterfactual history was first used by military historians to help train future officers. The project is more broadly a study of how narrative form meets historical ambition, especially during periods of national redefinition.

Recent English Courses Taught

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