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Christopher Lane

Professor of English

Ph.D. University of London


Christopher Lane (Ph.D., University of London) teaches and writes about Victorian and modern fiction, and has a specialization in 19th- and 20th-century psychology, psychiatry, and intellectual history. He is the author of six books on literature and psychology in both centuries: The Ruling Passion (Duke, 1995), The Burdens of Intimacy (Chicago, 1999), Hatred and Civility: The Antisocial Life in Victorian England (Columbia, 2004), and Shyness: How Normal Behavior Became a Sickness (Yale, 2007), awarded the Prescrire Prize for Medical Writing (France, 2010) and translated into six languages. His latest two books are The Age of Doubt: Tracing the Roots of Our Religious Uncertainty (Yale, 2011), a study of Victorian and earlier forms of agnosticism and unbelief, and Surge of Piety, on Norman Vincent Peale, psychiatry, and the remaking of religious life in 1950s America (Yale, 2016). He is completing a book on bioethics, the biotech revolution, and the practical and political implications of the new neuroscience.

Lane, formerly Herman and Beulah Pearce Miller Research Professor of Literature at Northwestern, is also the editor of The Psychoanalysis of Race (Columbia, 1998) and coeditor of Homosexuality and Psychoanalysis (Chicago, 2001). He has published articles in journals such as Raritan, Novel, Victorian Studies, ELH, Modernism/Modernity, PMLA, Theory and Psychology, Common Knowledge, the International Journal of Psychoanalysis, and the International Literary Quarterly. His writing has also appeared in the New York TimesWashington PostBoston Globe, TIME magazine, Los Angeles TimesChicago Sun-Times, Slate, Chronicle ReviewHuffington Post, The Daily Beast, and the New Statesman and Society

Lane is the recipient of fellowships from, among others, the Mellon Foundation, the British Academy, and the Guggenheim Foundation. He is a member of the Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities at Northwestern's Feinberg School of Medicine.

He writes a blog for Psychology Today called "Side Effects."

Christopher Lane's Shyness Resources (Personal Website)


Postcolonial, Literary Theory, Modern, Critical Race & Ethnicity Studies, Gender Studies, Victorian, Science & Literature


Shyness: How Normal Behavior Became a Sickness
Shyness: How Normal Behavior Became a Sickness (Kawade Shobo, 2009)
Japanese translation
Shyness: How Normal Behavior Became a Sickness
Shyness: How Normal Behavior Became a Sickness (Hankyoreh, 2009)
Korean translation
Shyness: How Normal Behavior Became a Sickness
Shyness: How Normal Behavior Became a Sickness (Yale University Press, 2008)
Winner of the Prescrire Prize for Medical Writing (France 2010)
The Burdens of Intimacy
The Burdens of Intimacy (University of Chicago Press, 1998)
The Ruling Passion
The Ruling Passion (Duke University Press, 1995)
Homosexuality and Psychoanalysis
Homosexuality and Psychoanalysis (co-editor, University of Chicago Press, 2001)
The Psychoanalysis of Race
The Psychoanalysis of Race (editor, Columbia University Press, 1998)

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