Associate Professor in English Literature, University of Leeds

My research addresses various aspects of British culture and literature during the Romantic period: ecology; ideas of community; nationalism and imperialism; genius and creativity; periodical writing; and constructions of the self.

My most recent book, Romantic Englishness: Local, National, and Global Selves, 1780-1850 (Palgrave, 2014), investigates how narratives of localised selfhood in English Romantic writing are produced in relation to national and transnational formations. Focusing on autobiographical texts by a wide range of authors, including Thomas Bewick, John Clare, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Cowper, Thomas De Quincey, William Hazlitt, Charles Lamb, and William Wordsworth, the book sheds new light on the construction of Romantic national identity and argues for the persistence of specifically English forms of selfhood.

The book's concern with the ambiguous role of place in Romantic literature has fed into my current main research project on environmental catastrophe in the period. I was recently awarded an AHRC Leadership Fellowship in order to develop this project. Its first major output will be a short book on climate change and the literature of 1815-18 (under contract with Palgrave). The project will also involve a conference in July 2017 on 'Mediating Climate Change' and public engagement collaborations with the Wordsworth Trust and Cape Farewell. For further details, see http://romanticcatastrophe.leeds.ac.uk/

Other ongoing projects include a collaboration with the Wordsworth Trust on an AHRC-funded Collaborative Doctoral Award on the topic of 'Wordsworth, Creativity, and Cumbrian Communities' and a co-edited book on Jean-Jacques Rousseau and British Romanticism (under contract with Bloomsbury Academic).

Experience

  • –present
    Associate Professor in English Literature, University of Leeds

Education

  • 2002 
    University of York, PhD