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Anna Gibson

Assistant Professor
McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts

630 College Hall
Phone: 412.396.6431


Ph.D., English, Duke University, 2014
M.A., English, Exeter University, 2006
B.A., English, University of Southern Mississippi, 2004

Anna Gibson works on nineteenth-century British literature and specializes in novels of the Victorian period. Her research focuses on narrative, history of the novel, and the relationship between the novel and the Victorian sciences, particularly psychology and physiology. Dr. Gibson's current book project examines how Victorian novel form shaped new ways of thinking about human psychology. She also has interests in nineteenth-century social sciences, kinship studies, and visual and print culture, as well as in the contemporary British novel, travel writing, and the personal essay.

Dr. Gibson received her Ph.D. from Duke University (2014), where she was a Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellow.

In addition to her traditional research, Dr. Gibson is also interested in digital scholarship, particularly in how technologies can enhance traditional forms of scholarship and pedagogy. She is the director of the Digital Dickens Notes Project, which aims to digitize and explore Charles Dickens's working notes for his novels (beginning with Our Mutual Friend) alongside their serial parts. To learn more about this project visit http://dickensnotes.com.

Dr. Gibson's personal website is at http://annagibson.com


Peer Reviewed Articles

  • "Charlotte Brontë's First Person." Narrative 25.2 (2017): 203-226.

  • "Our Mutual Friend and Network Form." Novel: A Forum on Fiction 48.1 (2015): 63-84.

Digital Projects

  • The Digital Dickens Notes Project (www.dickensnotes.com), Director and Principal Investigator: Bringing to life the process and interactivity of Victorian serial novel form by digitizing and exploring the working notes Charles Dickens kept for his novels.

Book Project (in progress)

  • Forming People: Psychology and Victorian Novel Form: This project identifies the formal innovations with which Victorian novels by Charlotte Brontë, Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, George Eliot, Bram Stoker and others reshaped the set of sensory experiences we recognize as a person.


  • "Passenger Networks." Review of Charles Dickens's Networks: Public Transport and the Novel by Jonathan H. Grossman. Novel: A Forum on Fiction 46:3 (fall 2013): 478-482.

Invited Talks

  • Invited speaker, Plenary Roundtable "Interdisciplinarity and Seriality," Interdisciplinary Nineteenth Century Studies Conference, March 2018

  • "Digital Dickens Notes: Form and Formation," Duquesne University Series on Digital Humanities in the 21st Century, March 2017.

  • "Pattern and Process: Charles Dickens's Working Notes and Serial Form," University of Pittsburgh Department of English, December 2016

  • "The Digital Dickens Notes Project," Digital Humanities Sandbox Chat Series, Duke University, March 2015.


  • "Carry Through, Take Up, Hold Over: Choreographing Characters in Dickens's Working Notes," North American Victorian Studies Association (NAVSA) Conference, Banff Centre for the Arts, Alberta, CA, November 2017.

  • "Uncontainable Bodies: Forming Texts and Selves from Frankenstein to Dracula," Interdisciplinary nineteenth-Century Studies Conference (INCS), Muhlenberg College, PA, March 2017

  • "George Eliot's Social Psychology: Objectivity, Subjectivity, and Narrative," North American Victorian Studies Association (NAVSA) Conference, Arizona State University, November 2016.

  • "'That incongruous compound': Francis Galton's Composites and Fin de Siècle Novel Form," Victorians Institute Conference, North Carolina State University, October 2016.

  • Seminar organizer and presenter: "Serial Forms" seminar. Paper: "How We Read Novel Form: Victorian Seriality, Form, and Formation," American Comparative Literature Conference (ACLA), Harvard University, March 2016.

  • "Forming Towards Form in the Victorian Novel," Interdisciplinary Nineteenth Century Studies Conference (INCS), Appalachian State University, March 2016.

  • "Dickens's Serial Formation," Interdisciplinary Nineteenth Century Studies Conference, Georgia Institute of Technology, April 2015.

  • "Pattern and Process: Seriality in Dickens's Working Notes and the Digital Dickens Notes Project," North American Victorian Studies Association Conference, Western University, Canada, November 2014.

  • "Interactive Pedagogy: Flukes, Failures, and Flexibility." Collaborations: Humanities, Arts, & Technology in the Triangle (CHAT) Festival Conference, North Carolina State University, February 2014

  • "Sensation, Science, and (Un)Predictable People." North American Victorian Studies Association Conference, University of Southern California, October 2013 (Awarded NAVSA Best Graduate Paper Prize)

  • "'A sensation, for which I can find no name': Detection and Sensation in Victorian Fiction." 2013 International Conference on Narrative, University of Manchester, June 2013

  • "'A continuous net-work of variable forms': Dickens, Lewes, and Dynamic Form." North American Victorian Studies Association Conference, University of Wisconsin-Madison, September 2012

  • "Dracula and the Form of the Person." American Comparative Literature Association Conference, Brown University, March-April 2012

  • "Detection and Sensation: Francis Galton, Wilkie Collins, and the Forms of Personal Identity." Interdisciplinary Nineteenth Century Studies Conference, University of Kentucky, March 2012

  • "Bodies Acting Out: Physiology, Narrative, and the Sensation Novel." North American Victorian Studies Association Conference, Vanderbilt University, November 2011 (Honorable Mention, NAVSA Graduate Paper Prize)

  • "'We can hardly put ourselves in the position of these savages': Kinship, Sympathy, and Difference in Darwinian Fictions." North American Victorian Studies Association Conference, Montreal, November 2010.

  • "Reading Kinship Backwards: Victorian Anthropology, the Family, and Containing/Rejecting the Past." British Association for Victorian Studies (BAVS)/North American Victorian Studies Association Joint Conference, Cambridge University, August 2009



  • English 539: The Gothic (MA and Ph.D.), fall 2016

  • English 536: Victorian Literature: The One and the Many (MA and Ph.D.), spring 2016

  • English 693: Subjectivity and Objectivity: Victorian Novels, Science, and Critical Perspectives, (graduate seminar, Ph.D. and second-year MA students), fall 2014

Study Abroad:

  • English 539/420W/234 (Graduate/Undergraduate): Nineteenth-Century British Literature in England, May 2018


  • English 420W: Victorian Sensation, fall 2017

  • English 117C: Love and Dystopia (AMOR Freshman Learning Community), fall 2017

  • English 318W: Survey of British Literature II, spring 2015 & spring 2017

  • English 201: Introduction to Fiction: Stories and Selves (elective for non-majors), spring 2016 & spring 2017

  • English 424W: The Gothic, fall 2016

  • English 112C: The Love of Books (AMOR Freshman Learning Community), spring 2016; fall 2016

  • English 418W: Nineteenth-Century British Poetry, fall 2015

  • English 323W: Life Writing (cross-listed with Women's and Gender Studies), fall 2015

  • English 300W: Critical Issues in Literary Study (gateway to the major), spring 2015

  • English 417W: Nineteenth-Century British Literature: Change and Progress?, spring 2015

  • English 201: Introduction to Fiction: Fiction and Identity (elective for non-majors), fall 2014