Gregory Vargo’s research focuses on the literary and cultural milieu of nineteenth-century British protest movements and the interplay between politics, periodical culture, and the novel. He brings these and other interests into the classroom in courses which examine the relationship between literature, history, and politics. His essays have appeared in Victorian Studies and Victorian Literature and Culture, and he has published poetry in a variety of literary journals, including the Southern Review and the Gettysburg Review. His current book project, An Underground History of Early Victorian Fiction: Chartism, Radical Print Culture, and the Social Problem Novel (forthcoming, Cambridge 2017) suggests that underground newspapers affiliated with radical movements fostered an experimental literary culture which stretched the contours of well-known Victorian genres including the Bildungsroman, melodrama, and social-problem fiction.
Teaching and Research Interests
the novel; literature and social history; nineteenth-century British fiction, especially the gothic, melodrama, and the Bildungsroman; poetry; creative writing; environmentalism and literature
B.A. English Literature, University of Chicago, 1995 M.F.A. Poetry Writing, Washington University in St. Louis, 1997 M.A. English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University, 2000 Ph.D. English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University, 2010
Gregory Vargo had “Literature from Below: Radicalism and Popular Fiction” published in the Summer 2016 issue of Victorian Literature and Culture. His article “Questions from Workers who Read: Education and Self-Formation in Chartist Print Culture and Elizabeth Gaskell’s Mary Barton” appeared in the Winter 2016 issue of Victorian Literature and Culture.