Dr Roisin Laing
Leverhulme Early Career Fellow
|Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in the Department of English Studies|
I am a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in the English Studies department. My research is primarily on nineteenth -century literary and scientific culture, with a particular focus on the representation and significance of children and childhood in the period.
I completed my MA at the University of Edinburgh, and stayed on for an MScR on authority in children’s literature. Following my PGCE at the University of Nottingham, I undertook a PhD here at Durham University, which I completed in 2016. My PhD focused on the influence of evolutionary theory on literary and scientific representations of precocity in the late nineteenth century. This project generated several publications on a range of literary and scientific writers, including Henry James, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Charles Darwin, and James Sully, and is currently being developed for monograph publication.
After my PhD I undertook a Visiting Research Fellowship at the University of Sydney. This fellowship provided a framework for my current project on the equivalence between the 'savage' and the child in nineteenth-century evolutionism, in the context of the British colonial encounter with Indigenous Australians.
Chapter in book
- Laing, R. (2022). The Infantilisation of Indigeneity in Colonial Australia. In R. Bryant Davies, & E. Johnson-Williams (Eds.), Intersectional Encounters in the Nineteenth-Century Archive. Bloomsbury
- Laing, R. (2019). Victorian Autobiography, Child Study and the Origins of Child Psychology. In B. Lightman, & B. Zon (Eds.), Victorian culture and the origin of disciplines. Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429277139-9
- Laing, R. (2018). What Maisie Knew: Nineteenth Century Selfhood in the Mind of the Child. The Henry James Review, 39(1), 96-109. https://doi.org/10.1353/hjr.2018.0006
- Laing, R. (2016). Candid Lying and Precocious Storytelling in Victorian Literature and Psychology. Journal of Victorian Culture, 21(4), 500-513. https://doi.org/10.1080/13555502.2016.1233904
- McCloskey, R. (2015). The Charismatic Adolescent in Rudyard Kipling's Kim. International Research in Children's Literature, 8(1), 75-88. https://doi.org/10.3366/ircl.2015.0150