Chris Vanden Bossche

Professor Emeritus, English

233 Decio Hall
Notre Dame, IN 46556


B.A., University of Notre Dame
Ph.D., University of California, Santa Cruz


Chris R. Vanden Bossche specializes in Victorian fiction and non-fiction prose. He has recently published a study of Victorian conceptions of how to produce social change entitled Reform Acts: Chartism, Social Agency, and the Victorian Novel, 1832-1867 (Johns Hopkins University Press). His essays have dealt with family and class as represented in cookery books and David Copperfield, separate spheres and social reform in Ruskin, the idea of authorship in the copyright debates of 1837-1842, and "coming of age" in Victorian literature and culture. In addition, he has published essays on Tennyson, Scott, and other nineteenth-century subjects. He is also the author of a study of the intersections of political and literary authority, Carlyle and the Search for Authority, and editor of Thomas Carlyle's Historical Essays and Past and Present.

Representative publications

Reform Acts: Chartism, Social Agency and the Victorian Novel, 1832-1867. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014.

Mary Barton, Social Agency and the Representation of Chartism.” Victorians Institute Journal 38 (2010): 171-88.

“Chartism, Class Discourse, and the Captain of Industry: Social Agency in Chartism and Past and Present.” Thomas Carlyle Resartus: Reappraising Carlyle's Contribution to the Philosophy of History, Political Theory, and Cultural Criticism. Ed. Paul Kerry and Marylu Hill. Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2010. 30-48.

Carlyle, Thomas. Past and Present. Edited by Chris R. Vanden Bossche, Joel J. Brattin, and D. J. Trela. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005.

"What Did Jane Eyre Do? Ideology, Agency, Class and the Novel." Narrative 13 (2005): 46-66.

"Class Discourse and Popular Agency in Bleak House." Victorian Studies 47 (2004): 7-31.