• Katie Sagal

    Katie Sagal

    Visiting Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing

Biographical Sketch

Katie Sagal specializes in eighteenth-century literature and culture, with a research focus on women's writing and scientific discourse. Her first book, Botanical Entanglements, examines a series of texts by women writers and creators to argue for both a strategic leveraging of domesticity into scientific authority and a partial, yet empathetic awareness of vegetal intelligence in these texts. She is an active member of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, and has published articles and chapters on a variety of authors and genres in the period. (See below for more specific publication information.) She likes to think of herself as possessing particular expertise on Eliza Haywood, or, at least, incredible enthusiasm for her work.

Dr. Sagal is passionate about the eighteenth century, and enjoys sharing her passion with her Cornell students through a combination of challenging readings, engaging discussions, archival research, and hands-on activities. These activities range from recreating seventeenth-century cookie recipes to learn more about Restoration-era domesticity to curating a "commonplace book" as a way of connecting with real eighteenth-century people  as they worked literary expression into their own lives. She also encourages students to engage with the visual and material arts as part of their literary explorations of the eighteenth century, which has led to exciting and compelling student-designed projects: a modern adaptation of eighteenth-century embroidery patterns, book-binding and page marbling, collages, found poetry, and more. Dr. Sagal has also taught several first-year writing courses focusing on the intersection of the history of science with contemporary science fiction; this class has led to the development of a new course on video games & literature.

Academic History

  • Ph.D. in English, Tufts University
  • M.A. in English, Georgetown University
  • B.A. in English & History, The George Washington University

Courses Taught

  • ENG 111: Science Fiction & Science Fact
  • ENG 111: Hazardous Journeys & Grand Adventures 
  • ENG 201: Introduction to Literary Studies
  • ENG 200: Social Media & Social Justice (SYS)
  • ENG 276: Video Games as Literature
  • ENG 311: Grammar & the Politics of English
  • ENG 319: Advanced Critical Writing
  • ENG 328: Eighteenth-Century English Literature
  • ENG 331: British Literature of the Romantic
  • ENG 332: Queering the Restoration
  • ENG 374: Fan Fiction


  • Botanical Entanglements: Women, Natural Science, and the Arts in Eighteenth-Century England. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2022. (forthcoming)
  • "Taxonomic Subversion & Vegetal Expansion in Charlotte Smith’s “Beachy Head.”" In Science and Storytelling in the Eighteenth Century: Knowledge, Narrative, Discipline. Eds., Danielle Spratt & David Alff. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press. (forthcoming)  
  • “From “Pretty Emulation” to “Fresh Discoveries”: Entomological Observation & Female Empiricism in Eliza Haywood’s The Female Spectator.” Restoration: Studies in English Literary Culture, 1660-1700 44, no. 1 (2020): 87-104.  
  • “‘[T]hat Friendship which is yet dearer to me than any other earthly Good’: Female Intimacy in Eliza Haywood’s Epistles for the Ladies.Eighteenth-Century Life 43, no. 3 (2019): 61-85.  
  • “Constructing Women’s History in The Lady’s Museum.” Women's Periodicals and Print Culture in Britain: 1690-1820s: The Long Eighteenth Century. The Edinburgh History of Women's Periodical Culture in Britain, Volume 1. Eds., Jennie Batchelor and Manushag N. Powell. (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2018), 53-66.  
  • “Lady Mary Wortley Montagu and the Turkish Embassy Letters: A Critical Survey.” With Jordan Hall and Elizabeth Zold. Literature Compass 14, no. 10 (2017). DOI: 10.1111/lic3.12405    
  • ““Philosophy for the Ladies”: Feminism, Pedagogy, and Natural Philosophy in Charlotte Lennox’s The Lady’s Museum.Eighteenth-Century Fiction 28, no. 1 (2015): 139-166.   
  • “‘An HOBBY-HORSE Well Worth Giving a Description Of’: Disability, Trauma, and Language in Tristram Shandy.” The Idea of Disability in the Eighteenth Century. Ed., Chris Mounsey. (Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell University Press, 2014), 105-133.


  • John “Bud” Velde Visiting Scholar at the Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign (2019)
  • Monticello College Foundation & Audrey Lumsden-Kouvel Fellow at the Newberry Library (2017-18)
  • Fellow at the Folger Shakespeare Library (2016)
  • McMaster-ASECS Fellow (2016)