A Short History of Possible Histories: Lecture by Catherine Gallagher

Lecture | June 22 | 1-2 p.m. | International House, Great Hall

 Catherine Gallagher, English Department

 Humanities & Social Sciences Association (HSSA)

A Short History of Possible Histories

Gallagher’s talk will explore how the concept of other possible historical worlds first took hold in the eighteenth century and how it has developed up until our own time.  In addition to uncovering the hopes and fears, the expectations and disappointments, of previous generations, “counterfactual” histories continue to help us envision our possible futures by reconsidering the range of past alternatives.

About the Speaker

Catherine Gallagher is the Emerita Eggers Professor of English Literature, and she taught at Berkeley from 1980 until her retirement in 2012. Her teaching and research focus on the British novel and cultural history in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. She 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 received NEH, ACLS, and Guggenheim fellowships and has been a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, the National Humanities Center, the Stanford Humanities Center, and the American Academy in Berlin. In 2002, she was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She served as co-chair of the editorial board of the journal Representations and as the Chair of the English Department. She has served as a Senior Fellow of the School of Criticism and Theory, on the Advisory Board of the Stanford Humanities Center, and as a member of the Board of Trustees of the National Humanities Center. Her books include two edited volumes, The Making of the Modern Body: Sexuality and Society in the Nineteenth Century (with Thomas Laqueur); and the Bedford Cultural Edition of Aphra Behn's Oroonoko: or, The Royal Slave. And she has authored five works of literary history and criticism. Her 1994 book, Nobody's Story, won the MLA's James Russell Lowell Prize for an outstanding literary study, and the American Philosophical Society awarded her 2018 book, Telling It Like It Wasn't: The Counterfactual Imagination in History and Literature, the Jaques Barzun Prize for the year's best book in cultural history. 

This event is free and open to the public. However, RSVPs are requested for planning purposes. Please register on Eventbrite.

  RSVP online by June 22

 ddk@berkeley.edu