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Dehn Gilmore

Professor of English
Dehn Gilmore headshot
Contact information for Dehn Gilmore
Contact Method Value
Mail Code: MC 101-40
Office: 315 Dabney Hall
Phone: 626-395-1749
Administrative Assistant:
B.A., Harvard University, 2002; M.Phil., University of Cambridge (Trinity College), 2003; M.Phil., Columbia University, 2005; Ph.D., 2009. Assistant Professor, Caltech, 2009-15; Professor, 2015-.

Research Interests

Nineteenth-Century British Literature; Nineteenth-Century European Literature; Art History


Literature and History; Visual Culture


Dehn Gilmore's research centers around the relationship between Victorian literature and culture. Her first book, The Victorian Novel and the Space of Art: Fictional Form on Display (Cambridge, 2013), argues for the crucial importance of visual culture as a force shaping the formal development and reading history of the Victorian novel. Authors like Charles Dickens, William Makepeace Thackeray, Wilkie Collins, and Thomas Hardy are shown to have borrowed language and conceptual formations from art-world spaces—the art market, museums, large-scale exhibitions, and critical discourse—not only when they chose certain subjects or refined certain aspects of realism but also then they tried to adapt various genres of the novel for a new and newly vociferous mass audience. Gilmore's current book project, "Large as Life": The Victorians' Disproportionate Reality, examines the Victorian obsession with "life-sized" representation and how this obsession both shaped and was shaped by Victorian ideas of political representation, scientific research, artistic depiction, and novelistic realism.

In 2012, Gilmore received the Nineteenth Century Studies Association Article Prize. In 2002–2003, she was a Gates Cambridge Scholar. Her published work has appeared or is forthcoming in Victorian StudiesVictorian Literature and Culture, Dickens Studies Annual, and Nineteenth-Century Literature among other places.

Selected Publications


Large as Life and Twice as Natural: The Victorians' Disproportionate Reality (Book Manuscript in Progress)

The Victorian Novel and the Space of Art: Fictional Form on Display (Cambridge University Press; 2014)

Selected Articles

"'Pigmies and Brobdignagians': Arts Writing, Dickensian Character, and the Vanishing Victorian Life Size." Victorian Studies 57.4 (Summer 2015)

"'These Verbal Puzzles': Wilkie Collins, Newspaper Enigmas, and the Victorian Reader as Solver." Victorian Literature and Culture (forthcoming 2016)

"The Difficulty of Historical Work in the Nineteenth-Century Museum  and the Thackerayan Novel." Nineteenth-Century Literature (June 2012)

"Terms of Art: Reading the Dickensian Gallery." Dickens Studies Annual (June 2011)

"Rehearsals, Refutations, Representation: Gissing's New Grub Street and the Problem of an Urban Realism."  A Mighty Mass of Brick and Smoke: Victorian and Edwardian Representations of London.  ed. Lawrence Phillips.  (Rodopi: October 2007)

"Vacuums and Blurs: The Related Responses of Thomas Hardy and the French Impressionists to the Modern City." Literary London 2.1. (2004)


"Review of Portraiture and British Gothic Fiction: The Rise of Picture Identification 1764-1835 by Kamilla Elliott." Nineteenth-Century Contexts (May 2015)

"Review of Victorian Art Criticism and the Woman Writer by John Paul M. Kanwit." Nineteenth-Century Literature. (December 2014)

"Review of Dickens's Uncollected Magazine and Newspaper Sketches: As Originally Composed and Published 1833-1836 edited by Robert C. Hanna." Notes and Queries. (September 2014)

"Review of Museum Trouble: Edwardian Fiction and the Emergence of Modernism by Ruth Hoberman." South Atlantic Review. (June 2012)

"Review of Thomas Hardy, Sensationalism and the Melodramatic Mode by Richard Nemesvari."  Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net. (October 2012)

"Review of Grand Designs: Labor, Empire, and the Museum in Victorian Culture by Lara Kriegel." Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net. (May 2009)