Christopher J. Lane

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Christopher J. Lane
Born1966 (age 51–52)
Alma materUniversity of East Anglia
University of Sussex
University of London
OccupationProfessor, author, writer

Christopher J. Lane (born 1966) is a British-American literary critic and intellectual historian who is currently Professor of English at Northwestern University and, formerly, the university's Pearce Miller Research Professor of Literature. Previously, he taught at Emory University, where he was also director of the Psychoanalytic Studies Program in the Psychiatry Department. A Victorianist by training, Lane has secondary expertise in 19th-century psychology, psychiatry, and intellectual history. He is a member of the Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities in Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine.

Lane graduated with a B.A. in English and Philosophy from the University of East Anglia (1988), and subsequently earned an M.A. in Critical Theory from the University of Sussex (1991) and his Ph.D. from the University of London in 1992.


Lane is the author of six books and editor of two more:

  • The Ruling Passion (Duke University Press, 1995)
  • The Burdens of Intimacy (University of Chicago Press, 1999)
  • Hatred and Civility: The Antisocial Life in Victorian England (Columbia University Press, 2004)
  • Shyness: How Normal Behavior Became a Sickness (Yale University Press, 2007)
  • The Age of Doubt: Tracing the Roots of Our Religious Uncertainty (Yale University Press, 2011)
  • Surge of Piety: Norman Vincent Peale and the Remaking of American Religious Life (Yale University Press, 2016)
  • The Psychoanalysis of Race (Columbia University Press, 1998, editor)
  • Homosexuality and Psychoanalysis (University of Chicago Press, 2001, co-editor).

His book Shyness: How Normal Behavior Became a Sickness critiques the broadness of the concept of social phobia as defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.[1] Drawing heavily on unpublished papers at the American Psychiatric Association that document the creation and revision of the manual's third and fourth editions, Shyness also criticized the definitions of other mental disorders, including in a Los Angeles Times article that covered the controversies surrounding the drafting of the DSM-V.[2] In Slate, he discussed some of the disputes over the direction of the DSM and the secrecy surrounding the revision of its fifth edition.[3]

Lane has published more than fifty peer-reviewed articles in journals such as Raritan, Novel, Victorian Studies, Theory and Psychology, English Literary History, Modernism/Modernity, PMLA, Common Knowledge, the Oxford Literary Review, the International Journal of Psychoanalysis, and the International Literary Quarterly.

His work has also appeared in the New York Times,[4] Washington Post,[5] Boston Globe,[6] Los Angeles Times,[2][7] New York Sun,[8] and Chronicle Review.[9]


  1. ^ Grossman, Ron (December 27, 2008). "Psychiatric manual's update needs openness, not secrecy, critics say". Chicago Tribune.
  2. ^ a b Lane, Christopher (November 16, 2008). "Wrangling over Psychiatry's Bible". Los Angeles Times.
  3. ^ Lane, Christopher (July 24, 2009). "Bitterness, Compulsive Shopping, and Internet Addiction: The Diagnostic Madness of DSM-V". Slate.
  4. ^ Lane, Christopher (September 21, 2007). "Shy on Drugs". New York Times.
  5. ^ Lane, Christopher (November 6, 2007). "Shy? Or Something More Serious?". Washington Post.
  6. ^ Lane, Christopher (June 11, 2008). "Shyness or Social Anxiety?". New York Times and Boston Globe.
  7. ^ Lane, Christopher (July 22, 2009). "Pharma's Misguided TV Pitches". Los Angeles Times.
  8. ^ Lane, Christopher (March 26, 2008). "Are We Really That Ill?". New York Sun.
  9. ^ Lane, Christopher (March 20, 2011). "When Doubt Became Mainstream". Chronicle Review.

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