Looby, Christopher


Kaplan 186
Tel: 310.825.4173 / Fax: 310.267.4339 / E-mail



Ph.D. (1989), English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University

M.A. (1981), B.A. (1979), Literature and History, Washington University.



American Literature, 18th-19th centuries; Sexuality Studies; historical and cultural approaches to literature; formalism and print culture.


Selected Recent Publications

“Michael Wigglesworth’s Queer Orthography,” forthcoming in Situation Critical! Critique, Theory, and Early American Studies, ed. Brian Connolly and Max Cavitch (Duke Univ. Press, 2022).

“Not to Mention (the marmorean unconscious),” forthcoming in Neither the Time nor the Place: Today’s Nineteenth Century, ed. Christopher Castiglia and Susan Gillman (Univ. of Pennsylvania Press, 2022).

“Elizabeth Stoddard’s Depravity,” Revue Française d’Études Américaines 167, special issue on “American Pleasures,” ed. Édouard Marsoin (June 2021), 57-70.

Margaret J. M. Sweat, “Ethel’s Love-Life” and Other Writings, Q19: The Queer American Nineteenth Century (Philadelphia: Univ. of Pennsylvania Press, 2020), ed., intro., and annotated.

See/Eakins/Swimming,” Los Angeles Review of Books (May 3, 2020).

Stephen Calvert’s Unfinished Business,” The Oxford Handbook of Charles Brockden Brown, ed. Philip Barnard, Hilary Emmett, and Stephen Shapiro (Oxford Univ. Press, 2019), 107-22.

“The Sense of Impending,” in A Question of Time: American Literature from Colonial Encounter to Contemporary Fiction, ed. Cindy Weinstein (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2018), 17-31.

“The Man Who Thought Himself a Woman” and Other Queer Nineteenth-Century Short Stories, Q19: The Queer American Nineteenth Century (Philadelphia: Univ. of Pennsylvania Press, 2016), ed., intro., and annotated.

Theodore Winthrop, Cecil Dreeme, Q19: The Queer American Nineteenth Century (Philadelphia: Univ. of Pennsylvania Press, 2016), ed., intro., and annotated.

“Lippard in Part(s): Seriality and Secrecy in The Quaker City,” Nineteenth Century Literature 70, 1 (June 2015), 1-35.

“Of Billy’s Time: Temporality in Melville’s Billy Budd,” Canadian Review of American Studies/Revue canadienne d’études américaines 45, 1 (Spring 2015), 23-37.


Additional Information

Professor Looby’s teaching and research address themselves to connections between literary texts and historical circumstances, relations between the material form of print publication and the effects of reading, and dynamic exchanges between bodies and pleasures and the longue durée of the history of sexuality. He is currently engaged in several scholarly projects, including a book on serial publication of narrative fiction in the long nineteenth century and its implications for writers and readers, and another book on the “literariness” of sexuality in the American nineteenth century. He is the general editor as well as the editor of several specific volumes in the Q19: The Queer American Nineteenth Century series (Univ. of Pennsylvania Press), the most recent of which is an edition of the writings of Margaret J. M. Sweat, including her novel Ethel’s Love-Life (1859) and selections of her poetry and critical prose. The next volume will be an edition of Charles Warren Stoddard’s novel, For the Pleasure of His Company: An Affair of the Misty City, Thrice Told. He has also co-edited (with Professor Michael North) a collection of the writings of the late Sam See (UCLA PhD ,2009), entitled Queer Natures, Queer Mythologies (Fordham Univ. Press, 2020). Professor Looby’s research has been supported by fellowships from the Library Company of Philadelphia and the Newberry Library (Chicago), as well as by the Council on Research of the UCLA Faculty Senate. From 2010-2012 he served as the first President of C19: The Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists. He co-directs the Americanist Research Colloquium at UCLA and directs the English in Florence: American Writers and Artists Abroad summer travel study program.

Interest Areas
• Sexuality & Gender Studies
• American Literature & Culture