Photo of Professor Regenia Gagnier

Professor Regenia Gagnier

Research interests

Professor Regenia Gagnier's books and lectures have shaped the study of 19-21C British and Anglophone culture with highly influential work on decadence, aesthetics and aestheticism, lifewriting and subjectivity, economics, individualism, and globalization. Idylls of the Marketplace: Oscar Wilde and the Victorian Public (Stanford, 1986) considered the role of the artist in market society.  Subjectivities: A History of Self-Representation in Britain 1832-1920 (Oxford, 1991) analyzed the relationship of social class and gender to literary form.  The Insatiability of Human Wants: Economics and Aesthetics in Market Society (Chicago, 2000) traced the moment when aesthetics and economics shifted from substantive to formal models and production to consumption. Individualism, Decadence and Globalization: on the Relationship of Part to Whole 1859-1920 (Palgrave Macmillan 2010) explored the relation of the individual to increasingly larger social units, from the dyad to the world citizen. Her current research is on the global circulation of literatures and cultures.

Gagnier is Co-editor with Laura Doyle (U Mass Amherst) of the Global Circulation Project; associate editor, Feminist Economics; associate editor, Occasion: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities; editorial advisor  to Women: A Cultural Review; and on the editorial boards of Victorian Studies, Victorian Literature and Culture, Nineteenth-Century Literature, English Literature in Transition 1880-1920, Partial Answers, 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long 19C, Australasian Journal of Victorian Studies, Kritika Kultura, Modern Turkish Literaure,  and RaVoN (Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net).

Gagnier has won numerous awards and fellowships for teaching as well as research in Britain, Australasia, Europe, and North America. She has served on seven MLA Division Executive Committees in the USA and the AHRC Research Panel and CCUE Executive in the UK as well as other national and international professional bodies. In 2006, she was made Honorary Centenary Fellow of the English Association, in 2008 elected to the Royal Society of Arts, in 2011 elected to the International Association of University Professors of English, in 2012 received by the Queen at Buckingham Palace for heritage and scholarship in literature and theatre, and in 2014 elected to Academia Europaea. In 2012, she was the Macgeorge Fellow at the University of Melbourne, in 2013 she gave the Ian Fletcher Lecture at Arizona State University at Tempe, and in 2014 Visiting Professor at the University of Delhi and Plenary Speaker at the English Language and Literature Association of Korea (Seoul).  She was President of the British Association for Victorian Studies 2009-12.

Gagnier is a native Californian who took her undergraduate and graduate degrees in English at the University of California at Berkeley.  She was tenured and made full professor at Stanford University, where she taught for fourteen years in English, Modern Thought and Literature, Institute for Research on Women and Gender, and the Cultural Studies Group.  In 1996, she moved to the UK and the University of Exeter, where she is the Professor of English and Senior Fellow of Egenis, the Centre for the Study of Life Sciences From 2008-2010 she was Director of Exeter's Interdisciplinary Institute (EII). 2009-2010 she was Chair of the Consortium of Institutes of Advanced Study UK and Ireland.

Research Specialisms:

  • Victorian Britain, esp. the fin de siecle;
  • migration studies and the global circulation of literatures and cultures;
  • literary and social theory;
  • sex/gender/sexuality studies;
  • interdisciplinary studies, especially with the sciences and engineering;
  • digital humanities

 Major Publications

Single-authored Books

Idylls of the Marketplace: Oscar Wilde and the Victorian Public, Stanford University Press (1986)

Subjectivities: A History of Self-Representation in Britain 1832-1920, Oxford University Press (1991)

The Insatiability of Human Wants: Economics and Aesthetics in Market Society, University of Chicago Press (2000)

Individualism, Decadence, and Globalization: On the Relationship of Part to Whole 1859-1920 Language, Discourse & Society series of Palgrave Macmillan, Eds. Colin MacCabe, Stephen Heath, Denise Riley (2010)

Edited Collections

Critical Essays on Oscar Wilde (editor and contributor), Macmillan/G.K. Hall, Critical Essays on British Literature (1992)

Economics, Culture and Value, Guest Editor of and Contributor to Special Issue of New Literary History (May 2000)

Victorian Boundaries, Guest Editor (with A. Richardson) of  and Contributor to Special Issue of Victorian Literature and Culture Vol. 32, No. 2 (2004): 392-628.

The Politics of Gender in Anthony Trollop’s Novels: New Readings for the Twenty-First Century, Eds. Margaret Markwick, Deborah Denenholz Morse, Regenia Gagnier (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2009).

Palgrave Sourcebook on Victorian Literature, Eds. John Plunkett, Ana Parejo Vadillo, Regenia Gagnier, Angelique Richardson,  Rick Rylance, Paul Young (2012)

• Editor in Chief, Scholarly Editing in the 21st Century Literature Compass 7:2 (Feb 2010): 144 pp. http://literature-compass

Eds. And Introduction,  Doyle, L. and Gagnier, R. (2012), The Global Circulation Project’s Forum on Global Modernisms. Literature Compass, 9: 589–592. doi: 10.1111/lic3.12008. Contributors: Supriya Chaudhuri, Elleke Boehmer, Wang Ning, Steven Yao, Paul Young, Katie Trumpener.

Guest Editor and Introduction, The State, or Statelessness, of  Victorian Studies, Special Issue Critical Quarterly, “Introduction: Victorian Studies, World Literatures, and Globalization.” 55:1 (April 2013) Contributors: Lyn Pykett, Mark Llewellyn, Ann Heilmann, Dino Felluga, Jay Clayton, Rae Greiner, David Kurnick