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Kevin M. Gilmartin

William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of English; Allen V.C. Davis and Lenabelle Davis Leadership Chair, Student Affairs; Vice President for Student Affairs
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Contact information for Kevin M. Gilmartin
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B.A., Oberlin College, 1985; M.A., University of Chicago, 1986; Ph.D., 1991. Assistant Professor, Caltech, 1991-97; Associate Professor of Literature, 1997-2004; Associate Professor of English, 2004-07; Professor, 2007-18; Kenan Professor, 2018-; Davis Leadership Chair, 2020-. Dean of Undergraduate Students, 2016-20; Vice President, Student Affairs, 2020-.

Research Interests

Romanticism; Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century British Literature; Radical Culture and the Politics of Literature


Literature and History


Kevin Gilmartin studies social and political developments in British literature and print culture during the Age of Revolution, an era of social and political upheaval in Europe and the Americas from the late eighteenth century through the first half of the nineteenth century. Looking beyond literary texts, his research considers newspapers, periodicals, pamphlets, and other print forms to produce a more nuanced and finely grained account of the politics of literary culture. Primarily concerned with the cultural history of British radicalism, he has also written on the history of conservative movements and broadly considers how social and political change reshaped the role of writing and print in society.

He is the author of three books, Print Politics: The Press and Radical Opposition in Early Nineteenth-Century England (Cambridge, 1996), Writing against Revolution: Literary Conservatism in Britain, 1790–1832 (Cambridge, 2007), and William Hazlitt: Political Essayist (Oxford, 2015). With James Chandler, he co-edited the book Romantic Metropolis: The Urban Scene of British Culture, 1780–1840 (Cambridge, 2005), and he recently edited the volume Sociable Places: Locating Culture in Romantic-Period Britain (Cambridge, 2017). His articles have appeared in several edited volumes and in such journals as Studies in Romanticism, ELH, Representations, and the Journal of British Studies.

Gilmartin is currently at work on a study of shifting representations of poverty, and especially rural poverty, in Britain in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, with a particular emphasis on the relationship between literary and aesthetic representations of the poor and social and political institutions that aimed to relieve poverty.

Gilmartin was a professor of Romantic literature in the Department of English and the Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies at the University of York, where he has been an occasional visiting professor since 2009.  At Caltech he has twice received ASCIT teaching awards, and in 2015 received the Feynman Prize for Excellence in Teaching.  He is currently Dean of Undergraduate Students at Caltech.

Selected Publications


William Hazlitt: Political Essayist (Oxford University Press, 2015)

Writing against Revolution: Literary Conservatism in Britain, 1790-1832 (Cambridge University Press, 2007)

Print Politics: The Press and Radical Opposition in Early Nineteenth-Century England (Cambridge University Press, 1996) (Paperback edition, 2005)

Edited Books

Sociable Places: Locating Culture in Romantic-Period Britain (Cambridge University Press, 2017)

Romantic Metropolis: The Urban Scene of British Culture, 1780-1840, ed. James K. Chandler and Kevin Gilmartin, including an introductory essay, "Engaging the Eidometropolis," co-authored with James K. Chandler (Cambridge University Press, 2005)

Articles and Chapters

"Hazlitt's Illiberal Hatred," in Liberalism, Literature, and the Emotions in the Long Nineteenth Century, Occasion 11 (January 2018)

"The Counterrevolution Is Not Over: Commemorating Legh Richmond," Representations 114 (2011), 129-56

"Counter-revolutionary Culture," in The Cambridge Companion to British Literature of the French Revolution in the 1790s, ed. Pamela Clemit (Cambridge University Press, 2011), pp. 129-44

"The Sinking Down of Jacobinism and the Making of Lake School Conservatism," in Romanticism and Popular Culture in Britain and Ireland, ed. Nigel Leask and Philip Connell (Cambridge University Press, 2009), pp. 128-47

"Romanticism and Religious Modernity," in The Cambridge History of English Romantic Literature (Cambridge University Press, 2009), pp. 621-47

"Hazlitt's Visionary London," in Repossessing the Romantic Past, ed. Heather Glen and Paul Hamilton (Cambridge University Press, 2007), pp. 40-62

"'Study to Be Quiet': Hannah More and the Invention of Conservative Culture in Britain," ELH 70 (2003), 493-540

"In the Theater of Counterrevolution: Loyalist Association and Conservative Opinion in the 1790s," Journal of British Studies 41, 3 (2002), 291-328

"Burke, Popular Opinion, and the Problem of a Counter-Revolutionary Public Sphere," in Edmund Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France: New Interdisciplinary Essays, ed. John Whale (Manchester University Press, 2000), pp. 94-114

"Radical Print Culture in Periodical Form," in Romanticism, History, and the Possibilities of Genre: Re-forming Literature, 1789-1837, ed. Tilottama Rajan and Julia M. Wright (Cambridge University Press, 1998), pp. 39-63

"William Cobbett and the Politics of System." Romanticism and Conspiracy. Ed. Orrin N. C. Wang. August 1997. Romantic Circles. <>

"'This Is Very Material': William Cobbett and the Rhetoric of Radical Opposition," Studies in Romanticism 34, 1 (1995), 81-101

"Popular Radicalism and the Public Sphere," Studies in Romanticism 33, 4 (1994), 549-57