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Indiana University Bloomington

Lara Kriegel

Lara Kriegel

Associate Professor, English and History

 

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An interest in the social relations among classes and genders originally drew me to the study of Victorian Britain. These preoccupations took unexpected turns that culminated in the publication of my first book, Grand Designs: Labor, Empire, and the Museum in Victorian Culture. A pre-history of the Victoria and Albert Museum, Grand Designs sought to place concerns about the marketplace and its actors at the center of nineteenth-century cultural formation. It was also the inspiration for a range of publications on Victorian imperialism, design, fiction, and museums that have appeared in anthologies and journals, including The Journal of British Studies, Victorian Studies, and Victorian Review. My scholarly and pedagogical missions involve keeping the nineteenth century with all of its richness at the heart of British studies, whether historical, artistic, or literary. Therefore, for a second book-length project, I have chosen to study the Crimean War. This most Victorian of conflicts had longstanding implications for army reform, war reportage, gender practice, and heroic recognition.  Along with Grand Designs, my new work is concerned with Britain’s place in the broader world. Like Grand Designs, this project, too, aims to examine British culture through engaging the widest possible range of sources – economic, political, social, visual, material, and, of course, literary. Perhaps less obviously, but more significantly, both projects explore the enduring imprint of Victorian institutions and events on British culture. My interests in Victorian empire, gender, museums, and society are especially evident in the courses I have offered to date.  I look forward to expanding my teaching repertoire to address more explicitly the subject of war. Along with publishing and teaching, I have contributed to the profession through my involvement with organizations like the North American Conference on British Studies, where I have served as the National Program Chair from 2009 to 2011.