Lara Kriegel

Associate Professor, Department of History

Associate Professor, Department of English

Director, Victorian Studies Program

Co-Editor, Victorian Studies

Department of History

IU, IU Bloomington

Full Biography

Trained as a historian, I work at the intersection of history, literature, and visual culture in the interdisciplinary field of Victorian Studies. My first book, Grand Designs: Labor, Empire, and the Museum in Victorian Culture, chronicled institutional and social efforts to improve public taste in mid-nineteenth-century Britain, and especially in London. Researching and writing this book allowed me to address diverse fields of inquiry, including museum studies and material culture studies; gender history and social history; and imperial history and urban history. I have sustained many of these engagements in researching and writing my second monograph, “War Without End: The Crimean Conflict and its Victorian Legacies.” This project has brought me into dialogue with military archives and military history. Like mid-Victorian museums and their contexts, mid-Victorian militarism and its legacies have offered up rich materials for original research and cultural analysis. In the next few years, I will bring these inquiries to conclusion in a book that considers the enduring role of the Crimean War (1854-56) in producing collective identity and social community from the mid-nineteenth century to today.As in my research, I am devoted in my pedagogical and professional life to finding new ways to understand the nineteenth century, whether for academic audiences, for university students, or for the general public. I am engaged, too, in sustaining dialogue across disciplinary boundaries, particularly those of history and literature. To these ends, I have planned conferences addressing British history, Victorian society, and military culture. I have taught from untapped or overlooked sources like diaries of nineteenth-century girls, testimonies of Caribbean slaves, and memoirs of factory men. I have published not just in academic journals, but also in popular venues, including a children’s magazine. Currently, I serve as the Director of IU’s Victorian Studies Program and a co-editor of the journal, Victorian Studies. This last venture builds on my ongoing interest in scholarly editing, which I pursued in the recent past as the Associate Editor of the American Historical Review.

Honors and Awards

  • College Arts and Humanities Institute Conference Grant and Travel Grant, Indiana University, 2014, 2015
  • Mellon International Innovative Research and Teaching Grant, Indiana University, 2015
  • Institute for Advanced Study Consultation Grant, Indiana University, 2014
  • Provost's Teaching Award, Florida International University, 2007
  • Donald Gray Prize for Best Essay in Victorian Studies, North American Victorian Studies Association, 2004
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, Huntington Library, Museum, and Gardens, 2002-03

Research Interests

  • Victorian Culture, Society, and Literature
  • History of Britain and the British Empire
  • Military Culture
  • Diaries, Memoirs and Life Writing
  • Museum History and Public History

Courses Taught

  • Britain's Road to Modernity
  • Dear Diary: A History of the Form from Pepys to Blogs
  • Victorian Lives
  • Victorian Britain: Culture and Society, 1820-1900
  • Greater Britain or Little England?: Modern British History and the Question of Scale



  • Grand Designs: Labor, Empire and the Museum in Victorian Culture (Durham: Duke University Press, 2007)

Recent Articles & Chapters

  • "The Transforming Power of the Victoria Cross," SEL: Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900 56.4 (2016)
  • "On the Death -- and Life -- of Florence Nightingale," BRANCH: Britain, Representation, and Nineteenth-Century History (2016)
  • "Living Links to History, or, Victorian Veterans in the Twentieth-Century World," Victorian Studies 58.2 (2016)
  • “Lace, Ladies and Labours Lost: The Meanings of Handicraft in Victorian and Edwardian Britain,” in Art versus Industry, ed. Kate Nichols, Rebecca Wade, and Gabriel Williams (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2016)
  • “The Strange Career of Fair Play, or, Warfare and Gamesmanship in the Time of Victoria,” in Oxford Handbook of Victorian Literary Culture, ed. Juliet John (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016)
  • “Who Blew the Balaklava Bugle? The Charge of the Light Brigade and the Legacy of the Crimean War,” 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century (No. 20, 2015)
  • “E.P. Thompson and the Kitchen Sink, or Feeling from Below c. 1963,” Historical Reflections/Reflexions Historiques 41.1 (2015)