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Sarah Haggarty

Associate Professor in English, University of Cambridge, and Fellow and Director of Studies in English, Queens' College, University of Cambridge

Sarah is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of English. She is also Director of Studies in English, Lecturer, and Fellow at Queens’ College, Cambridge.

Sarah works on long-eighteenth-century British writing, visual art, and culture, and has a special interest in the intersections of literary and cultural studies, philosophy, theology, and anthropology. She has written about theories of gift-giving and exchange; phenomenologies of timing and tempo; practical geometry, line-drawing and know-how; and folds as idea and practice in letter-writing. Sarah is also an expert in the study of William Blake, having most recently contributed an essay to the exhibition catalogue for William Blake’s Universe, held in Spring 2024 at the Fitzwilliam Museum and Summer 2024 at the Hamburger Kunsthalle.

Sarah went to her local comprehensive school before reading English at Cambridge. She was appointed to a Junior Research Fellowship at Oxford, and lectureships at Southampton and Newcastle, before taking up her current post.

Sarah has variously authored, co-authored, edited, and co-edited four books about William Blake, including her first monograph, Blake’s Gifts: Poetry and the Politics of Exchange (CUP, 2010) and William Blake in Context (CUP, 2019). In 2017-18, she held a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship, and in 2016-17, she was an Early Career Fellow and the Crausaz-Wordsworth Fellow in Philosophy at CRASSH, the Centre for Research in Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities. She is currently on sabbatical, finishing a book about present time and kairos in Romantic-period British writing and visual culture. This includes chapters on Young’s Night Thoughts and its illustrators; spiritual autobiographies by Equiano, Whitefield, and John Newton; revolutionary writing by Helen Maria Williams; poems by Smith and Barbauld; love letters by Richardson, Chesterfield, Piozzi, Judith Madan, Wollstonecraft, Keats, and Austen; and periodical writing by Hazlitt and Hunt.

Sarah teaches a Faculty MPhil Specialist Seminar related to her current research, and offers undergraduate lecture courses on ‘things’ and material culture; travel, trade and empire; love-letters; and theories and practices of line-drawing, among other topics, for the Visual Culture (II.18), Love, Gender and Sexuality (II.9), Long-Eighteenth Century (IB.6) and Practical Criticism (IA.1) papers. At Queens’, she teaches Practical Criticism and Critical Practice from Plato to the present, and long-eighteenth century writing (IB.6, II.9). She also acts as Director of Studies (academic tutor) for Queens’ English Finalists, and participates in undergraduate admissions. At Cambridge and previously, Sarah has won or been nominated for student-led teaching awards for outstanding lecturing, outstanding feedback, and contributions to pastoral care.


  • –present
    Director of Studies in English, Queens' College, University of Cambridge