Reed Gochberg


I study nineteenth-century American literature, and I’m interested in the intersections between literature, intellectual history, and the history of science. My dissertation explores how nineteenth-century American writers engaged with the efforts of scientific museums to collect, classify, and contain the world. I trace connections between a range of transatlantic scientific collections, from the U.S. Patent Office and the British Museum to Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology and the American Museum of Natural History, and the writings of such authors as Emerson, Thoreau, Whitman, and Hawthorne. This project aims to show how museums shaped broader discussions of scientific knowledge in nineteenth-century American culture. You can view my CV here.

PhD in English, Boston University, expected 2016
MA in English, Boston University, 2011
AB in English, Harvard University, 2009

Recent Presentations
“Representative Models: Collection and the U.S. Patent Office.” American Comparative Literature Association. New York, NY (March 20-23, 2014).

“Walt Whitman’s ‘Gallery’: Collection and Invention in the ‘Patent Office Hospital.’” C19: The Society for Nineteenth-Century Americanists. Chapel Hill, NC (March 13-16, 2014).

“Portraiture and Preservation in Peale’s Philadelphia Museum.” States of Suspension Graduate Conference, University of Chicago. Chicago, Illinois (November 15-16, 2012).

“Miniatures and Museums: Philanthropy, Cultural Institutions, and Edith Wharton’s Tableau Vivant.” Networked New York Conference, New York University. New York, New York (March 9, 2012).

Courses Taught
Independent Instructor:
EN 120 – Freshman Seminar: Science and Invention in American Literature (Fall 2014)
EN 127 – Art, Reform, and Protest in American Literature (Fall 2013)
WR 150 – Museums and American Literature (Boston University, Spring 2013)
WR 100 – Museums and American Literature (Boston University, Fall 2012)
EN 121 – World Literature (Boston University, Fall 2011)

Teaching Assistant:
EN 375 – Questions of “the Real” in Film and Fiction (with Prof. Julia Brown, Boston University, Spring 2012)