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Indiana University Bloomington

Andrew H. Miller

Andrew H. Miller


Director, Victorian Studies Program
Co-editor, Victorian Studies

Ph.D., Princeton University, 1991

My writing and teaching respond to the ways that literary form makes interesting trouble for a range of other fields of thought, including moral philosophy, psychology, and history. I was trained as a Victorianist and my first book, Novels Behind Glass, concerned the interplay between narrative form and the commodity culture of that period. More recently this preoccupation with literary form (and especially fundamental matters of perspective and orientation) has led me to consider the means by which novels frame our conceptions of particular ethical problems—and led me as well to study topics in moral psychology, including helplessness, knowingness, shame, and envy. Many of these interests are gathered together in The Burdens of Perfection, which aims to evoke and analyze the continuing powers, alluring and repellant, of nineteenth century moral perfectionism. I’m exploring others in my current project, which is titled "On Not Being Someone Else."

I regularly teach graduate courses on academic writing and critical methodology; my undergraduate teaching include courses on the novel and on children’s literature. Finally, much of my time is spent as a co-editor of the journal Victorian Studies and directing IU’s Victorian Studies Program.

Recent Courses

L780/V711 Counterfactuals
V611 Introduction to the interdisciplinary study of Victorian Britain
L348 Nineteenth century novel
L391 Young adult literature

Selected Publications (click images for more information)


Slang: The People’s PoetryThe Burdens of Perfection: On Ethics and Reading Nineteenth Century Literature (Cornell University Press 2008).

How English Works: A Linguistic Introduction to the English LanguageNovels Behind Plate-Glass: Commodity Culture and Victorian Narrative (Cambridge University Press, 1995).

Word Histories and Mysteries: From Abracadabra to ZeusSexualities in Victorian Britain. Coeditor with James Eli Adams (Indiana University Press, 1996).


“Lives Unled in Realist Fiction.” Representations 98 (Spring 2007) 118-134. Winner of the NAVSA 2008 Donald J. Gray Award.

"Recent Studies in the Nineteenth Century." A commissioned review essay for Studies in English Literature 43,4 (Fall 2003) 959-1017.

"Bruising, Laceration, and Lifelong Maiming'; Or, How We Encourage Research." ELH 70.1 (2003) 301-318.

"John Henry Newman, Knowingness, and Victorian Perfectionism." Texas Studies in Language and Literature 45.1 (2003) 92-113.

"Reading Thoughts." Studies in the Literary Imagination 35:2 (Fall 2002) 79-98.

"Perfectly Helpless." Modern Language Quarterly 63:1 (March 2002) 65-88.

"The Specters of Dickens' Study" Narrative 5:3 (October 1997) 322-341.

"Subjectivity Ltd: The Discourse of Liability in the Joint Stock Companies Act of 1856 and Gaskell's Cranford." ELH (Spring 1994) 139-157.

"The Fragments and Small Opportunities of Cranford." Genre XXV, 1 (Spring 1992) 91-111.

"Prosecuting Arguments: The Uncanny and Cynicism in Cultural History." Cultural Critique XXIX (Winter 1994-95): 163-182.

"Epistemological Claustrophobia and the Possibilities of Critical Transcendence" Yale Journal of Criticism VII: 2 (Fall, 1994): 131-150.

"Thackeray Through Plate Glass." PMLA 105 (1990): 1042-54.

Selected Honors and Awards

National Humanities Center Fellowship, Research Triangle, 2004-2005.
Indiana University COAS Arts and Humanities Institute Fellowship, 2002-2003.
American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship, 1997-1998
Indiana University Teaching Excellence Recognition Award, 1997.

Additional Information

Director of Victorian Studies Program
Editor of Victorian Studies