Professor of Victorian Literature, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise, Keele University

David Amigoni studied English and History at University College Cardiff, followed by an MA in Victorian Studies at Keele University. He obtained his PhD from the Liverpool Polytechnic which he later published as Victorian Biography in 1993. He has taught at Aberystwyth University and the University of Sunderland.

He took up a lectureship at Keele University in 1995 and was promoted to senior lecturer in 2000, and then to a personal chair in Victorian Literature in 2005. He was elected Fellow of the English Association in 2008. He researches, broadly, the dynamic relationship literature and intellectual culture in the nineteenth century, on which he has published extensively, exploring, in particular, the relationship between evolutionary science and literature in the Victorian period: he published Colonies, Cults and Evolution with Cambridge University Press in 2007 (and funded by the AHRB). Since 2009 he has worked with Professor Miriam Bernard and the New Vic Theatre on a New Dynamics of Ageing funded project on the relationship between ageing and theatre; connected to this he has secured AHRC Network Funding, with Professor Gordon McMullan (King's College, London) for an interdisciplinary exploration of late-life creativity (an ongoing research project).

He has occupied the managerial roles of Head of the School of English, Research Dean of Humanities, Director of the Research Institute of Humanities and (most recently) Head of the School of Humanities. He is a member of AHRC's Peer Review College.

David is writing a monograph on social and biological inheritance in intellectual families contributing, across three generations, to scientific and literary culture in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. His public engagement work includes speaking at literary festivals and an interview with the Booker Prize-winning novelist Ian McEwan at the Bicentenary festival of Charles Darwin's birth in Cambridge, 2009. He has appeared on BBC Radio 4's The Long View. He is committed to the understanding and furtherance of interdisciplinary research that traverses established boundaries, both in history and in the present.

His books include: Victorian Biography (1993); Charles Darwin's Origin of Species: New Interdisciplinary Essays (1995) (edited with Jeff Wallace); this will be re-published in 2013; Victorian Culture and the Idea of the Grotesque (1999) (edited with Colin Trodd and Paul Barlow), and Life Writing and Victorian Culture, an edited collection of ten original essays tracing new developments in the field (2006). His monograph Colonies, Cults and Evolution: Literature, Science and Culture in Nineteenth-Century Writing appeared in 2007 (with AHRB support), published by Cambridge University Press in their 'Studies in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture' series. His book, Victorian Literature: A Critical Guide (Edinburgh University Press) appeared in 2011 ( as did The Evolutionary Epic, edited with James Elwick (York University, Toronto), vol 4 of Gowan Dawson and Bernard Lightman (eds.) Victorian Science and Literature (Pickering and Chatto, 8 volumes);


  • –present
    Professor of Victorian Literature, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise, Keele University