Skip to main content

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.