Meegan Kennedy

(Margaret A. Kennedy Hanson)
Department of English
Florida State University
Tallahassee, FL 32306-1580

Current Position

Associate Professor, Department of English, Florida State University (with tenure)
Core Faculty, Program in History and Philosophy of Science, Florida State University


Ph.D. Brown University, English, 2000
A Curious Literature: Reading the Medical Case History from the Royal Society to Freud
Robert Scholes, Nancy Armstrong, Tamar Katz

M.A. University of Virginia, English, 1992

B.A. Yale University, English, 1988, magna cum laude, with distinction in English


Revising the Clinic: Vision and Representation in Victorian Medicine and the Novel (Ohio State UP, 2010; paperback 2016)

Articles in Refereed Journals

Tono-Bungay and Burroughs Wellcome: Branding Imperial Popular Medicine.” Victorian Literature and Culture 45.1 (2017): 137-62.

“‘A True Prophet’?: Speculation in Victorian Sensory Physiology and George Eliot’s ‘The Lifted Veil.’” Nineteenth-Century Literature 71.3 (December 2016): 369-403.

“Open Annotation and Close Reading the Victorian Text: Using with Students.” Journal of Victorian Culture 21.4 (October 2016): 550-58.

“‘Let me die in your house’: Cardiac Distress and Sympathy in Nineteenth-Century British Medicine.” Literature and Medicine 32.1 (Spring 2014): 105-32.

“Modernist Autobiography, Hysterical Narrative, and the Unnavigable River: The Case of Freud and H.D.” Literature and Medicine 30.2 (2012): 241-75.

“Some Body’s Story: The Novel as Instrument,” NOVEL: A Forum on Fiction 42.3 (Winter 2009, special issue on “Theories of the Novel Now”): 451-59.

“Diagnosis or Detour? The Uses of Medical Realism in the Victorian Novel,” RaVoN: Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net 49 (February 2008, special issue on “Interdisciplinarity and the Body,” ed. Pamela Gilbert): 9602 words.

“The Ghost in the Clinic: Gothic Medicine and Curious Fiction in Samuel Warren’s Diary of a Late Physician,” Victorian Literature and Culture 32.2 (Sep 2004): 327-51.

“Syphilis and the Hysterical Female: The Limits of Realism in Sarah Grand’s The Heavenly Twins,” Women’s Writing, 11.2 (June 2004): 259-80.


Refereed Book Chapters

“Technology,” in Routledge Research Companion to Nineteenth-Century British Literature and Science, ed. John Robert Holmes and Sharon Ruston; afterword by Bernard Lightman. NY: Routledge, 2017, pp. 311-28.

“‘Discriminating the minuter beauties of nature’: Botany as Natural Theology in a Victorian Medical School,” in Strange Science: Investigating the Limits of Knowledge in the Victorian Age, ed. Shalyn Claggett and Lara Karpenko; foreword by Gillian Beer. Ann Arbor: U Mich P, 2017, pp. 40-61.

“Cleanliness and Medicinal Cheer: Harriet Martineau, the ‘People of Bleaburn,’ and the Sanitary Work of Household Words” in Victorian Medicine and Popular Culture, ed. Louise Penner and Tabitha Sparks.  Pickering & Chatto, 2015, pp. 41-51. Currently published by Routledge.

“The Victorian Novel and Medicine,” in Oxford Handbook of the Victorian Novel, ed. Lisa Rodensky. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2013, pp. 459-82.

“Medicine and Sensation,” in Blackwell Companion to Sensation Fiction, ed. Pamela Gilbert. Malden, MA: Blackwell: 2011, pp. 481-92.

“‘Poor Hoo Loo’: Sentiment, Stoicism, and the Grotesque in British Imperial Medicine.” Victorian Freaks. Ed. Marlene Tromp. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2008, pp. 79-113.

Other Publications

Review of Katherine Byrne, Tuberculosis and the Victorian Literary ImaginationVictorian Studies 54.4 (Summer 2012): 738-40.

Review of Sally Shuttleworth, The Mind of the Child: Child Development in Literature, Science, and Medicine, 1840-1900Social History of Medicine 2011; dpi: 10.1093/shm/hkr150

Review of Fictions of Affliction: Physical Disability in Victorian Culture, by Martha Stoddard Holmes. Literature and Medicine, 25.1 (Spring 2006): 172-75.

Review of Victorian Literature and the Anorexic Body, by Anna Krugovoy Silver. Victorian Studies 47.2 (Winter 2005): 285-86.

“Hester Salusbury Thrale (Mrs. Piozzi).” Oxford Encyclopedia of British Literature. Ed. David Scott Kastan. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2006.

“Medicine: Between Literature and Science,” ASBH Exchange 7.7 (Summer 2004): 3, 9.

Annotations of texts by Defoe, Mary Shelley, George Eliot, Djuna Barnes. Literature, Arts, and Medicine Database, in ten-year anniversary print edition (NYU: 2003). These and annotations of texts by Austen, Barnes, Dickens, Doyle, Eliot, James, Kipling, Shelley, Ward, and Warren; Bewell, Caldwell, Healy, Helfand, Tougaw, Alison Winter, and Sarah Winter, also available online: <>, 58th edition (July 2005).

“Language Experiments and Scientific Fads.” Rev. of Modernism, Technology, and the Body: A Cultural Study, by Tim Armstrong. Journal of Medical Humanities, 22.2 (Summer 2001).

“Hermaphrodites: Or, How Modern Medicine Constructed the Single-Sex Body.” Rev. of Hermaphrodites and the Medical Invention of Sex, by Alice Domurat Dreger. Journal of Medical Humanities, 22.2 (Summer 2001).

Invited Talks and Colloquia: Other Universities

“Training the ear: Reading the heart through the senses, imagination, and technology.” Invited talk. Harvard University History of Medicine Working Group. Department of the History of Science. 27 March 2017.

“The lantern microscope, the animalcule-cage, and the moving image.” Invited talk. Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine. 23 February 2017.

“Imagination and the Transposition of the Senses: Making the Audible Knowable in Auscultation and Percussion.” The other senses in medical and literary culture. Interdisciplinary workshop, Universität Konstanz, Germany, 29-31 July 2015

“Let me die in your house: Writing cardiac medicine in the Victorian era.” Medical case histories as genre. Centre for the Humanities and Health symposium, Kings College London, July 2013

“Microscopic writing and the creation of wonder.” Invited talk. Birkbeck Forum on 19th-Century Studies, Birkbeck, University of London, February 2013

“When reading is seeing: microscopic writing and the creation of wonder.” Invited talk. Georgia Colloquium in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Literature. University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia. 15 October 2009.


Invited Talks and Colloquia: Local

“Microscopic vertigo and the imagination, scientific and literary.” Werkmeister Literature and Evolution Workshop. Florida State University, 25-27 February 2016.

“From the wonders of plant life and home care to electropathy and nephrectomy: Writing the contours of science in the Women’s Library,” Symposium on “The Women’s Building Library at the 1893 World’s Fair: A Cameo in History,” Florida State University, March 2012

Member, panel discussion on “Implementing a Three-Culture Dialogue at Florida State University,” final event of Faculty Luncheon Series on “Unity in Diversity — An Academic Community Reflects on the Three Cultures: The Humanities, Social Sciences and Natural Sciences.” 2011

“Reading Between the Lines: Finding the romance of science in Victorian medicine,” History and Literature Workshop on Interdisciplinarity, Harvard University, 2003

Conference Papers

“Looking at things with difficulty: Canada balsam and the Common Objects of the Microscope.” NAVSA (North American Victorian Studies Association), Banff, November 2017

“Circulating microscopy: The Quekett Microscopical Club, the Postal Microscopic Society, and Microscopic Periodical Culture,” HSS (History of Science Society), Toronto, November 2017

“The educated ear: Metaphor and system in mediate auscultation.” NAVSA/AVSA (North American Victorian Studies Association and Australasian Victorian Studies Association) joint conference, Florence, May 2017

“‘A Microscopic Lament’: The 1878 Quekett Dinner and the amateur microscopist.” NAVSA (North American Victorian Studies Association) conference, Phoenix, November 2016

“From Bibles to banknotes: Victorian microscopic writing and the wonder in things.” Three Societies conference (HSS/BSHS/CSHPS: History of Science Society, the British Society for the History of Science, and the Canadian Society for the History and Philosophy of Science), Alberta, Canada, June 2016

“Oliver as Statistical Unit.” MLA (Modern Language Association), Austin, January 2016

“Darwin and the Eye.” HSS (History of Science Society), San Francisco, November 2015

“Filth or fantasy? Water, slime, and decadent microscopy.” NAVSA (North American Victorian Studies Association) conference, Ontario, November 2014

“‘The romance of exploration and emergency first aid’: Tracking the narratives about Burroughs Wellcome’s ‘Tabloid’ medicine chest.” AAHM (American Association for the History of Medicine) conference, Chicago, May 2014

“When evidence isn’t evidence: The blood cell controversy, forensic science, and the errors of microscopic vision.” NAVSA (North American Victorian Studies Association) conference, Pasadena, October 2013.

“‘Worlds within worlds’: Nationalist and Imperialist Discourses in 19th-Century Anglophone Microscopy,” NAVSA/BAVS/AVSA conference (supernumerary conference of North American Victorian Studies Association, British Association for Victorian Studies, and the Australasian Victorian Studies Association), Venice, June 2013.

“More than a handmaiden: ‘literature and science’ as interdisciplinary intervention,” BSLS (British Society for Literature and Science) conference, Cardiff, Wales, April 2013.

“‘Wonderful to Behold’: The Lantern Microscope, the Animalcule-Cage, and the Projection of the Moving Image,” MLA (Modern Language Association), Boston, January 2013.

“‘Curiously organized bodies’: Test objects, networked microscopists, and the production of verisimilitude,” NAVSA (North American Victorian Studies Association), Madison, September 2012

“The things I have seen in tapioca pudding!”: George Henry Lewes, the microscope, and the visions of natural history,” Research Society for Victorian Periodicals (RSVP), Austin, Texas (September 2012, forthcoming)

“Writing the profession: Tabular narrative in 18th- and 19th-century British case histories,” American Association for the History of Medicine (AAHM), Baltimore, April 2012 (forthcoming)

“‘Discriminating the minuter beauties of nature’: Seeing botanically, or the uses of natural theology in a Victorian medical school,” Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies Association (INCS) conference, Lexington, Kentucky (March 2012)

“‘A new species of pleasure’ in the magic lantern: what Victorians really learned from the lucernal, solar, oxy-hydrogen, and photo-electric microscopes,” NAVSA (North American Victorian Studies Association) conference, Nashville, 2011

“Victorian Modernisms: Views from the New Periodical Studies.” Invited presentation and member of discussion panel on “(Re)Making Modernism: A Roundtable on the Work of Robert Scholes,” Modernist Studies Association, Buffalo, 2011.

“‘An alarming epidemic’: The microscope, medical publishing, and the Milk-Panic of 1873,” VSAWC (Victorian Studies Association of Western Canada), Banff, 2011.

“‘In each object, a thousand others’: Recursion, the microscope, and the scientific imagination,” NAVSA (North American Victorian Studies Society), Montreal, 2010

“‘The Art of Case-Taking’: Resisting statistics in Victorian medicine,” Victorians Institute conference (“By the Numbers”), University of Virginia, 2010

“Harriet Martineau, Mary Ware, and the People of Blaeburn: Household health in Household Words,” RSVP (Research Society for Victorian Periodicals), Yale, 2010

“An amusement and a science”: Scientific evangelism and the professional narrative of Lewes’s Seaside Studies,” Narrative conference, Cleveland, 2010

“Fact and Fancy? Medicine in Dickens’s periodicals,” MLA (Modern Language Association), San Francisco, CA, 2008

“When reading is seeing: Microscopic writing and the creation of wonder,” NAVSA (North American Victorian Studies Society), New Haven, CT, 2008

“Adulteration and the microscope: The limits of realism,” HSS (History of Science Society), Pittsburgh, PA, 2008

“Reframing the love-sick maiden: Realism and the revision of sentimental medicine in Gaskell and Hardy,” The Novel and Its Borders conference, Aberdeen, Scotland, 2008

“Recording or reproducing Sensation? The novel as instrument,” Theories of the Novel Now: A Conference in Celebration of Forty Years of NOVEL, Providence, RI, 2007

“The vastness of the very small: Imperialist discourses in nineteenth-century British microscopy,” HSS (History of Science Society), Washington, D.C., 2007

“George Eliot’s skeptical ideal: Mechanical observation as realist vision in Adam Bede,” NAVSA (North American Victorian Studies Association), Vancouver, 2007

“The Sphygmograph and the Physician: Writing — and Reading — the Language of the Body,” Minds Bodies Machines, Birkbeck, University of London, 2007

“The Rejection of Invention: Mechanical Realism in Nineteenth-Century Medical Narrative,” INCS (Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies) Conference, Kansas City, 2007

“Diagnosis or Detour: The Uses of Medical Realism in the Victorian Novel,” for special session on “Interdisciplinarity and the Body,” NAVSA, Purdue, 2006

“Instructive and Beautiful Objects”: Victorian Women Writing Popular Science, BWWC (British Women Writers Conference), Gainesville, 2006

“Popular or professional? Staging scientific medicine in Cornhill and Macmillan’s,” Electrifying Experimentation: Science in Nineteenth-Century Britain, University of Sheffield, UK, 2006

“That most beautiful piece of mechanism, an eye: Microscope Teachings in Gosse and Darwin,” NAVSA, Charlottesville, 2005

“Realism as a Masquerade: India as Curiosity in Kim,” Narrative Conference, Louisville, 2005

“Popular Science: Literary Medical Knowledge and the 1850s Athenaeum,” SAHMS (Southern Association for the History of Medicine and Science), Augusta, 2005

“The Limits of Realist Medicine: Fever and Gaskell’s Ruth,” NAVSA, Toronto, 2004

“Exploration and Empire: The Treasure Map in Victorian Narrative,” Narrative Conference, Burlington, 2004

“Medicine: Between Literature and Science” Roundtable, MLA, San Diego, 2003

“The Making of Imperial Manhood: Muscular Christianity in Tom Brown’s Schooldays and Oakfield,” Northeast Conference on British Studies (NECBS), Tufts, 2003

“Serialization, Sensation, and the Sphygmograph,” Society for Literature and Science (SLS), Austin, 2003

“The Magic of Figures: Visual Narratives in the Nineteenth-Century Case History,”

Visual Knowledges Conference, Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, 2003

“‘A True Prophet’: Gothic Medicine and the Limits of Vision in George Eliot’s ‘The Lifted Veil,’” British Women Writers Conference (BWWC), Madison, Wisconsin, 2002

“The Magic of Figures: Visual Narratives in the Clinical Case History,” Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies Conference (INCS), Fairfax, Virginia, 2002

“‘Poor Hoo Loo’: The Curious Narrative of Sentimental Medicine in Dickens and The Lancet,” SLS (Society for Literature and Science), Buffalo, 2001

“Medical Vision and the Novel of Sensibility,” Narrative Conference, Houston, 2001

“‘Interesting Case of Catalepsy’: The Interruption of Subjectivity in the Medical Case History,” MLA, Washington, D.C., 2000

“‘I groaned within for the victim’: Statistics, Sensibility, and the Gendered Etiology of Childbed Fever,” Narrative Conference, Hanover, New Hampshire, 1999

Dora, the Gendering of Narrative, and the ‘rights of the gynecologist,’” Narrative Conference, Evanston, Illinois, 1998

“Mapping ‘an unnavigable river’: Freud’s Case History and the Autobiographical Narrative,” MLA, Toronto, 1997

“From the Syphilitic to the Hysteric: Gender, Disease, and Society in Sarah Grand’s The Heavenly Twins,” NEMLA (Northeast Modern Language Association) Conference, Philadelphia, 1997

Research Honors

National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Fellowship, 2017 – 2018 (awarded December 2016)

National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Stipend, 2015

Huntington-Linacre Exchange Fellow, Summer 2014 (residential fellowship, Linacre College, Oxford University)

Developing Scholar Award (for research record), FSU, 2013

Faculty one-semester sabbatical, competitively awarded, FSU, Fall 2011

History of Medicine Travel Award, Wellcome Trust, UK, 2009

Committee on Faculty Research Support (COFRS) Summer Research Grant, Florida State University, 2007, 2014

Wood Fellowship, Francis C. Wood Institute, College of Physicians of Philadelphia, 2005

First-Year Assistant Professor Grant, Florida State University, 2005

Research and Creativity Award, Florida State University English Department, 2004, 2006

Brown University Research Fellowship, Summer 1998

Brown University Tuition Award for graduate studies, Fall 1997

Brown University Research Fellowship, Fall 1996

Mellon Dissertation Seminar in Literature and History, Brown University, Summer 1996

National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Seminar for Schoolteachers: “Shakespeare, Keats, Whitman, Yeats,” Harvard University, 1989

Schoenberg Prize for best thesis on American poetry, Yale University, 1988

Teaching Honors

Excellence in Online Course Design: with Distinction, 2016 (for LIT 3438, Literature and Medicine), Florida State University

Excellence in Online Teaching, 2016 (for LIT 3438, Literature and Medicine), Florida State University

Nominated for Graduate Teaching Award, 2011, Florida State University

President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, Brown University, 1996



Associate Chair, English Department, Florida State University, July 2013-2015.

Academic Service, Selected

Organizational committee for 2018 NAVSA Conference, University of South Florida, 2016-present

Executive Secretary, NAVSA (North American Victorian Studies Association), 2008-2013

Executive Committee, English Department, Florida State University, 2006-07, 2013-15

Developing Scholar Award committee, Florida State University, 2013-present

Evaluation Committee, English Department, Florida State University, 2006, 2010-12

University Student Academic Relations Committee (SARC), Florida State University, 2012-present

University Committee on Faculty Sabbaticals, Florida State University, 2012


Teaching Experience 

Associate Professor, English Department, Florida State University, Tallahassee, 2010-present

Core Faculty, History and Philosophy of Science program, 2013-present

Affiliated Faculty, History and Philosophy of Science program, 2004-2013

Assistant Professor, English Department, Florida State University, Tallahassee, 2004-2010

Undergraduate courses:

Victorian British Literature

Nineteenth-Century British Novel

Women in Literature: Victorian Women Writers

Senior Seminar: British Literature and Science in the Nineteenth Century

Senior Seminar: Technology and “The New” in 19th-Century British Culture

To Work, Learn, or Play: Victorian Childhood in British Literature (1st-year liberal studies) *

Literature and Medicine: Diseases and Debates (online course) *

* Proposed and submitted new course structure through university system.

Graduate courses:

Gender and Disease in the Victorian Novel

Victorian Periodicals and Serial Fiction

Realism, Visuality, and Objectivity in the Victorian Novel

Theories of the Novel Now

            The New Woman in 1890s British Literature (directed independent study)

Lecturer, Program in History and Literature, Harvard University, Cambridge, 2002-2004

Visiting Assistant Professor, Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut, 2000-2002
Graduate Instructor, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, 1993-1998

Theses directed [For details on these, please contact me]

Research and Teaching Interests

Theory and history of the British novel, Victorian medicine and science, visual culture,
text technologies, periodical culture, genre studies, medical humanities, literature of empire

Last updated December 2017