Laura Forsberg

Assistant Professor of English, Ph.D. English


Office: Arrupe 230



“[T]he growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.”

--Middlemarch (1871-1872), George Eliot


B.A. Princeton University

M.A. Harvard University

Ph.D. Harvard University


Dr. Forsberg specializes in nineteenth-century British literature and culture. Other scholarly and teaching interest include women’s and gender studies, children’s literature, the Gothic tradition, and composition.


Her current book project, tentatively entitled World Beyond: Miniatures and Victorian Fiction, explores how miniature objects allowed the Victorians to imagine what lay beyond the limits of ordinary perception. With the large scale of the nineteenth-century city, the vast extent of the British Empire, and the substantial heft of the three-volume novel in mind, we tend to think of the Victorian period as an era of massiveness. But the Victorians were also fascinated with miniature things, including portrait miniatures, dolls, fairies, microscopes, and miniature books. By virtue of their alternative scale, these objects offered starting points for the Victorians to conceive of other worlds, which rivaled reality in their vividness and immediacy. Connecting major literary texts, like Jane Eyre and Alice and Wonderland, to material artifacts, such as portrait miniature pins and microminiature almanacs, Dr. Forsberg’s book offers a new look at the enchantment of scale in an age of science.


Selected Scholarly Publications:

“Multum in Parvo: The Nineteenth-Century Miniature Book.” Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America. 110.4 (December 2016): 1-30.

“The Miniature World of Charlotte Brontë’s Great Glass Town.” Charlotte Brontë from the Beginnings: New Essays from Juvenilia to the Major Works. Ed. Judith Pike and Lucy Morrison. London: Routledge, 2016, 44-58.

“Nature’s Invisibilia: The Victorian Microscope and the Miniature Fairy,” Victorian Studies 57.4 (Summer 2015): 638-666.

“Christina Rossetti and Sir Gawayne and the Green Knight.” SEL: Studies in English Literature, 1600-1900 55.4 (Autumn 2015): 861-878.


Selected Online Publications:

“Enchanting Miniature Books,” Verso: The Blog of the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, 23 August 2017.

“Fairy Hunting at the Huntington,” Verso: The Blog of the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, 11 January 2017.

“Nature’s Invisibilia: The Victorian Microscope and the Miniature Fairy,” Indiana University Press Blog, 22 January 2016