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Cailey Hall

Assistant Professor

Address: 309C Morrill Hall

PhD, University of CaliforniLosoAngeleses


Areas of Interest & Expertise
  • 18th and 19th-century British literature

  • Romanticism

  • Food Studies

  • Medical Humanities

  • Fan cultures

Selected Publications
  • The Wild Irish Girl Diet,” SEL: Studies in English Literature 1500-1900 60:3 (Summer 2020): 551-575

  • Review of Scott Black, Without the Novel: Romance and the History of Prose Fiction in Modern Philology 118:3 (2020)

  • “‘All the Bright Eyes of the Kingdom’: Charlotte Lennox’s Discursive Communities,” Eighteenth-Century Life 41:2 (April 2017): 89-104.

Selected Conference Presentations
  • Presenter, “The Alimentary Canal: Teaching Medical Humanities;” Roundtable participant, “Queer Horizons;” Annual Meeting of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (April 2021)

  • The Wild Irish Girl Diet,” Annual Meeting of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (March 2020); cancelled

  • Presenter, “Table talk in Don Juan;” Roundtable participant, Eighteenth-Century Fan Fiction: Then and Now, Annual Meeting of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (March 2019)

  • “Undigested Sentiment in John Keats’s Isabella, or the Pot of Basil,” Annual Convention of the Modern Language Association (January 2018)

  • “Melancholy Guts and Treasured Trash in Dorothy Wordsworth's Grasmere Journal,” Annual Meeting of the North American Society for the Study of Romanticism (August 2016)

  • “‘Disclaim[ing] all Title to a Legal Father:’ Common Law, Community, and Paratexts in Charlotte Lennox’s The Female Quixote,” David Nichol Smith Seminar in Eighteenth-Century Studies (December 2014)

Awards and Recognition
  • ASECS Fellow, William Andrews Clark Library (February 2020)

  • Mayers Fellow, Huntington Library (July-August 2019)

  • Dissertation Year Fellowship, Graduate Division, UCLA (2017-2018)

  • Chawton House Library Visiting Fellow (March 2017)

  • Global Food Initiative Fellow, UC Office of the President (2015-2016)

Current Research

In his 1807 medical tract, A View of the Nervous Temperament, the British physician Thomas Trotter stressed the importance of the gut: “The human stomach is an organ endued by nature, with the most complex properties of any in the body; and forming a centre of sympathy between our corporeal and mental parts, of more exquisite qualifications than even the brain itself.” Only later in the century would scientists classify the brain as the central organ of the human body, and relegate the digestive system to the brain’s less sophisticated workhorse. While this hierarchy is now taken for granted, my project, Gut Reading: Literature, Environmental Culture, and the Alimentary Body, demonstrates that eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British writers had a far less restrictive view of the body’s organs. Gut Reading traces the relationships between environment, health, and identity—often in a collective sense—during a time when agricultural and medical practices were modernizing and becoming standardized. As these transformations were underway, they opened up a new range of possibilities for understanding and expressing the connection between bodies and the wider world, a connection mediated by the alimentary canal.

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