First Name: 
Professor of English
Computing ID: 
Office Address: 

Department of English
436 Bryan Hall
PO Box 400121
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4121

Alison Booth

B.A., Bennington
M.F.A, Cornell
M.A., Princeton
Ph.D., Princeton


I enjoy teaching courses in Victorian fiction, women writers, Gothic, narrative theory, auto/biography, travel, and other topics, uniting my research interests and willingness to adapt technology in the classroom with my insistence on critical and writing skills.  In research, I have expanded my feminist and narratological studies of cultural and literary history in Britain and North America since 1830 into digital humanities and bibliography.  A continuing theme in my books and articles has been the reception history of authors and the construction of collective biographical histories, or prosopographies; this theme informed my first book, on historical concepts of a common life and a female literary tradition in George Eliot and Virginia Woolf and it continues in my explorations of public representations of imagined community such as Mount Rushmore and of cultural tourism, museums, and biography. I have persistently worked across the boundaries of period (nineteenth to twentieth centuries), nationality (particularly transatlantic Anglophone), media and audience (word-image, novel and film, celebrity and popular culture).  My work in narrative theory has focused on life writing and the prevalent form of collections of short biographies (prosopographies), concentrated in my bibliography of collective biographies of women and the related book, How to Make It as a Woman (2004).  The annotated bibliography has been developed as an online site sponsored by the University of Virginia Library, and now forms part of the peer-reviewed NINES digital consortium.  In 2010, with collaborators in Scholars' Lab, we launched a new version of "CBW."  In 2010-2012, as Resident Fellow in the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, we developed a schema (Biographical Elements and Structure Schema) for comparative analysis of versions of one person's life or short biographies in various types of collection, along with a database of the 8,000 women in the 12,000+ collections in the project.    Meanwhile, I am nearing completion of a book, another exploration of reception, cultural tradition, and collective biographical representation.  Entitled “Writers Revisited: Transatlantic Literary Tourism, House Museums, and Biography,” it focuses on the narratives and performances of visits to the writer's house as tourism and museums evolved along with Anglo-American canons in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Faculty Type: 
Associate and Affiliate Faculty