About Mark


My name is Mark Gallagher and I am a lecturer in the UCLA English Department.

I specialize in teaching American literature of the colonial, early national, and antebellum periods, focusing on the religious and literary cultures of New England. These include traditions of Puritan and women writers as well as the authors of the American Renaissance. My courses combine formal analysis of literary works with historical and cultural contextualization to better understand American literature in terms of its larger political, religious, and philosophical ideas, with the goal of inspiring, provoking, and challenging my students to become more engaged in civic and community life.

I am currently at work on a book project based on my dissertation. “‘Affective Transcendentalisms”  looks at how the nineteenth-century literary, religious, social, and political movement can be understood through several models of “affective Transcendentalisms”—the various ways that these Transcendentalist writers expressed themselves through the language of sense. “Affective Transcendentalisms” argues that the Transcendentalist movement constitutes a variety of religious experiences, each one an epistemology of the inner senses. It is through these inner senses that the Transcendentalists approach immanence and transcendence by recovering sense for spirit.

My primary research focus is American Transcendentalism. Other areas of interest include: religion and literature (Puritanism, Unitarianism, and Catholicism); book history and print culture; and the public humanities. My work has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Antiquarian Society, the Ralph Waldo Emerson Society, and UCLA. My writing has appeared in The New England Quarterly, ESQ, Commonweal, Emerson Society Papers, the Thoreau Society Bulletin, and is forthcoming in the Concord Saunterer.

From 2014 to 2018, I was the editor of the Thoreau Society Bulletin, the quarterly publication of the Thoreau Society. I worked to make the 78-year-old publication more inclusive, increasing the diversity of voices in its pages, while maintaining the Bulletin’s high scholarly standards. I was also a member of the Thoreau Bicentennial Committee, helping organize public programs about Thoreau’s life, works, and legacy. It was during the bicentennial year that I discovered what is believed to be the only known sketch of Henry David Thoreau’s house at Walden drawn by Thoreau himself (publication forthcoming.)

A little more about me: I grew up in a blue-collar, Irish-Catholic family just west of Boston. I am a first-generation college graduate, an award-winning book collector, and for the 2022-2023 academic year I will be Visiting Assistant Professor of English at Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas.

For updates, visit the recent news section. You can also see some of my selected publications, samples of my digital humanities projects and collaborations, and my teaching portfolio highlighting my work with instructional technology and innovative writing pedagogy.

Mark Gallagher UCLA English PhD. This is Mark Gallagher’s website. This text should be small and invisible. Hoping that this helps get my site on the first page of G search. Thoreau says, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion. For most men, it appears to me, are in a strange uncertainty about it, whether it is of the devil or of God, and have somewhat hastily concluded that it is the chief end of man here to “glorify God and enjoy him forever.” This is the website for Mark Gallagher UCLA PhD English. Again, don’t know why this isn’t getting picked up by G and put on the first page but I’m hoping that it will. If you are reading this, your lucky numbers are 12, 15, 33, 47, and 59.