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Professor in the Department of English Studies+44 (0) 191 33 42584
Advisory Board Member in the Centre for Death and Life Studies


Covers of Romanticism, Memory and Mourning and Transatlantic Transformations of Romanticism

I joined the Department as a Fixed-Term Lecturer in 1998 before being appointed to a permanent Lecturership in 2002. I was subsequently appointed as Senior Lecturer, Reader, and Professor of English Studies. During my career at Durham, I have chaired a variety of Departmental and University committees and held a number of key positions within the Department. These roles have included serving as the MA Director and Chair of the Board of Examiners, as well as acting as Deputy Head of Department and Director of Postgraduate Studies (2013-2017). In 2007, I was a founding co-director of the 'Romantic Dialogues and Research Group' which held a recent international colloborative event with the University of Notre Dame, USA, centred on 'Pushing the Boundaries of Romantic Studies: New Horizons'. 

I am currently involved with an international network on Romanticism, synchronicity, and the poetics of simultaneity and gave an invited presentation (August 2023) on this topic at a workshop hosted by the University of Tübingen, Germany. I am presently a member of the Executive Committee of the British Association of Romantic Studies and have been the editor of its binannual Review since 2017. I have served as an external examiner at the universities of Anglia-Ruskin, Cumbria, Glasgow, Newcastle, Periyar (India),Plymouth, and Sheffield. As an invited Overseas Expert Panel Member, I have advised appointing committees at the universities of Government College and Sargodah, Pakistan. I was a member of the AHRC Peer-Review College (2008-11) and acted, more recently, as an expert panel member for the Irish Research Council Laureate Awards (2021-22). I have been an invited book prize panel judge for learned societies such as the British Association of Romantic Studies (2017-18) and the International Byron Society (2024). I have been invited to give public and keynote lectures, nationally, in Grasmere, London, and Oxford, and, internationally, in Frascati, Texas, and Tokyo.  

My research interests are in Romanticism, especially the poetry and poetics of the period. I published my first monograph on the Poetics of Self and Form in Keats and Shelley (Ashgate, 2005) and a second book-length study of Romanticism, Memory, and Mourning (Ashgate, 2013). I have started to research a complementary study of Spectral Presences in Romantic and Victorian Poetry: From Wordsworth to the Brownings. Growing out of my interest in Romantic poetics and the spectral I co-organised, in 2015, a public lecture series and exhibition on the ghostly under the auspices of Institute of Advanced Study's theme of 'Evidence'. The lecture series led to a co-edited collection on Ghostly Encounters: Cultural and Imaginary Representations of the Spectral from the Nineteenth Century to the Present (Routledge, 2021). My interests in the Romantics extend to the imaginative and cultural legacies that Romanticism confers to the literary and cultural imagination of the late nineteenth century and beyond. I co-edited a critical collection of essays on Romantic Echoes in the Victorian Era (Ashgate, 2008) and edited a volume on Romantic Presences in the Twentieth Century (Ashgate, 2012). 

My other co-edited collections, including Venice and the Cultural Imagination (Pickering & Chatto, 2012) and The Persistence of Beauty: Victorians to the Moderns (Pickering & Chatto, 2015), explore further the complexities of Romanticism's imaginative and cultural afterlives. My co-edited collection, Decadent Romanticism 1780-1914 (Ashgate, 2015), addresses more fully these concerns about the cultural and imaginative reactions (positive and negative) in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to Romantic literary culture.

My additional research interests in critical theory and twentieth-century British and American Literature (including Jewish American Literature of the post-war era) are brought together in discrete, but inter-related, ways in my recent third-book length study of Transatlantic Transformations of Romanticism: Aesthetics, Subjectivity, and the Environment (Edinburgh University Press, 2021; issued in paperback 2023). In connection with this research, I was awarded a Visiting Scholars Fellowship (between August and September 2017) to work with the nineteenth-century rare books and special manuscripts collection at the Armstrong Browning Library, Baylor University, USA.

I returned to Baylor University as the three-month Research Fellow at the Armstrong Browning Library between January and April 2022. During my time there, I researched materials related to my current book project on Spectral Presences in Romantic and Victorian Poetry, as well as exploring rare primary materials for four-volumes on Loss, Memory, and Mourning in the Long Nineteenth Century: 1780-1914. Under my general editorship, this four-volume set is scheduled for publication with Routledge's Historical Resource series in 2025. My continued research interests and publications in the field of Romanticism, ageing, memory, mourning, and mortality have led to my involvement as an Advisory Board Member (since 2013) of the Centre for Death and Life Studies based here in Durham.  

(Office hours in term time: Tuesdays, 1-2pm. Please contact me by email to make an appointment)

Postgraduate Supervision:

I have supervised successful doctoral theses on various aspects of Romantic poetry and poetics, including the thought and writing of Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Keats, Shelley, and Burns.

Research Proposals

I would be interested in proposals on any aspect of Romantic Literature (especially Romantic poetry; philosophy; subjectivity; grief; questions of Romantic legacy and inheritance).

I would also welcome proposals for postgraduate research on any aspect of the inheritance or disinheritance of Romantic writing, culture, and thought in British or American literature of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. 


Research interests

  • American Literature
  • Romantic Poetry


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