About Mark


Mark Gallagher_UCLA_ Merton College_Oxford_July 2019

Mark Gallagher is a Ph.D. candidate in the UCLA English Department.

Mark’s dissertation “The Spirit of Reform: Millennial Optimism in the Transcendentalist Movement, 1838-1845,” argues that the many reform initiatives that characterize Transcendentalism, however optimistic they were on the surface, were precipitated by a crisis of faith within its ranks. While the movement initiated with an enthusiastic response to a number of religious and literary influences, Transcendentalism would later reevaluate itself after the economic crisis of 1837. Challenging the prevailing view of this period—between the founding of Bronson Alcott’s Temple School in 1838 to the start of Henry Thoreau’s Walden Pond experiment in 1845—that Transcendentalism became a more secular movement, Mark illustrates how their texts subvert that secularization narrative and reveal a deeper commitment to religion, and how these writers share a common, postmillennial optimism toward the possibilities of “spirit” in nineteenth-century American society.

For updates from Mark, visit the recent news section. You can also see some of his selected publications, samples of his digital humanities projects and collaborations, and his teaching portfolio highlighting his 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.