Berkeley English Graduate Students

Katherine Hobbs

Professional Statement

I am a scholar of the nineteenth century with particular interests in women's political and domestic history. My dissertation explores the relationship between the nineteenth-century British women's rights movement and the history of literary genre, focusing on the innovative ways in which women writers rewrote political and legal theory through the language of literary romance. (Divorce law reform is always stranger than fiction.)

I am also active in museum work and public history. Currently, I am working as a Historian at Thomas Edison National Historical Park, where I am conducting research on Mina Miller Edison (1865-1947) to put together a new tour centering on her efforts to redefine women's domestic work as a career. 

Selected Publications and Papers Delivered


“The Ineffectual Feminist?: Mina Loy and Political Rhetoric of Identity.” Women’s Writing. Special Issue: “Women’s Writing from 1900-1920,” forthcoming.

"Sensational Autobiography: Female Authorship, Marriage, and Melodramatic Self-Presentation in 1850s England." ELH 86.3 (2019): 699-728. 

"‘So all the women are one woman’: Eliot's Kundry," in The Edinburgh Companion to T. S. Eliot and the Arts, ed. Frances Dickey and John Morgenstern (Edinburgh University Press, 2016), 134-45.



Review of Women’s Suffrage in Word, Image, Music, Stage and Screen: The Making of a Movement, ed. Christopher Wiley and Lucy Ella Rose. Victorian Studies, forthcoming.



"Mina Miller Edison Was Much More Than the Wife of the 'Wizard of Menlo Park.'" Smithsonian. March 3, 2023.



Heringman, Noah, and Katherine Hobbs. “Commentary for Plate 1.8: Plan of Ancient Verulamium.” Vetusta Monumenta: Ancient Monuments, a Digital Edition. 2019.



“Milton, Marital Idolatry, and the Problem of Unity.” Renaissance Society of America Conference. San Juan, Puerto Rico. March 2023.

“‘Something yet unvoiced’: Ethel Smyth and Artistic Activism.” Afterlives: Virginia Woolf and Resonance, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris, France. May 2022.

“‘Odd and incorrect’: Jane Eyre, Convention, and the Politics of Literary Criticism.” INCS 2022.   

“‘The “Rights of Woman” in a new aspect’: Margaret Oliphant and the Literary History of the Woman Question in Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine.” NAVSA 2022. 

"Representative Anomaly: Eliza Lynn Linton and the Victorian Woman Question." British Women Writers Conference, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, TX. March 2020.

"Anna Jameson and the Romance of Argument." Form Across Literature and the Sciences in Nineteenth-Century Britain, Aix-Marseille Université. May 2019. 

“Sensation and Feminine Musical Agency in Jessie Fothergill’s The First Violin.” Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies Supernumerary Conference, Rome, Italy. 14 June 2018.

“‘Warbling charms’: Reading Dalila in Handel’s Samson.” American Comparative Literature Association Annual Meeting, Los Angeles, CA. 30 March 2018.


English Department Classes