Our members are engaged in a number of exciting research projects. We frequently publish our work in leading journals and monograph series in the field, and are committed to sharing our research with a number of diverse audiences through exhibitions, talks and workshops. Click on and expand the links below to see detail of our most recent research, including our publications and public engagement activities. More details on past research projects can be found by visiting members’ individual staff profiles.

olive schrienerPublications:

In preparation
Forming Empathy: Psychology, Aesthetics, Ethics, 1870-1920 [2012-13 Leverhulme Research Fellowship awarded to begin this research] Olive Schreiner, Woman and Labour (University of Edinburgh Press) New scholarly edition
Recent publications
  • ‘Sympathy – Antipathy in Daniel Deronda’, ‘George Eliot 18-19-2019 in 19’, special bicentennial issue of 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century, 29 [forthcoming]
  • ‘Vernon Lee’, Encyclopedia of Victorian Women Writers, ed Lesa Scholl (Palgrave Macmillan) [forthcoming]
  • ‘Sympathy’, in Palgrave History of British Women’s Writing, 1830-1880, vol 6,ed. Lucy Hartley (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), pp. 320-335
  • ‘Walter Pater and Vernon Lee’, Studies in Walter Pater and Aestheticism, 2 (Autumn 2016), 31-42
  • ‘Emotions’, The Oxford Handbook of Victorian Literary Culture, ed. Juliet John (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), pp. 580-97
  • ‘Olive Schreiner’, The Oxford History of the Novel in English: The World Novel to 1950, vol. 9, eds. Ralph Crane, Jane Stafford and Mark Williams (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), pp. 345-358
  • ‘Modernity, the Occult, and Psychoanalysis’, Companion to Literature and Psychoanalysis eds Laura Marcus and Ankhi Mukherjee (Blackwell, 2014), pp. 49-65
  • Olive Schreiner, Writers and their Work (Tavistock: Northcote House, 2013)
Editorial work
General Editor, 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century
Keynote /selected invited lectures
  • Feb. 2020, ‘Social Darwin: hope, fear and modernity’, The Darwin Memorial Lecture 2020, Shrewsbury
  • May 2019, ‘Being Moved: Bodies, Minds, Lines’, Keynote speaker at Vernon Lee 2019: An Anniversary Conference, British Institute of Florence /Il Palmerino, Maiano, Florence
  • May 2018, ‘Sympathy Limits in Daniel Deronda’, Science, Medicine and Culture in the Nineteenth Century seminar, St Anne’s, University of Oxford
  • August 2017, ‘Aesthetic Empathy, Group Psychology and World War: Vernon Lee’s Decadence’, Keynote speaker at Endgames and Emotions: the Sense of Ending in Modern Literature and Art, Universities of Tallinn, Estonia and Helsinki, Finland
  • April 2017, ‘Woman and Labour: 1901’, Editing the Nineteenth Century, University of St Andrews
Public engagement
‘Experimenting in the Galleries / Working with Vernon Lee’ at
Luisa Calè works on Romantic period literature and visual culture; the emergence of museums and exhibitions; the intersections between reading, collecting and the history of the book, and critical disciplinarity. She has published Henry Fuseli’s Milton Gallery: ‘Turning Readers into Spectators’ (2006), Dante on View: The Reception of Dante in the Visual and Performing Arts (2007, co-edited), Illustrations, Optics and Objects in Nineteenth-Century Literary and Visual Culture (2010, co-edited), a special issue of Eighteenth-Century Studies on ‘The Disorder of Things’ (2011, co-edited), and two issues of 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth-Century. Her current book project, entitled ‘The Book Unbound’, explores practices of reading, collecting, and dismantling the book. She is also involved in experiments in durational and interval reading, which explore the potential of digital platforms and social media. She set up the Our Mutual Friend Reading Project, and worked with the MFA Theatre Directing at Birkbeck on an adaptation of William Blake’s The Four Zoas, which she describes in ‘Blake’s Dream: A Dramaturgical Experiment’. Current Projects: Monograph The Book Unbound (monograph on the material culture of books, ca. 1750-1850, with chapters on Walpole, Blake, and Dickens) Current Projects: Edited Collections
  • ‘Literature and Sculpture at the Fin de Siècle’, Word and Image, guest co-edited with Stefano Evangelista (deadline for submission winter 2015)
  • 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century, 21 (2015), anniversary issue on The Digital Nineteenth-Century Archive, co-edited with Ana Parejo Vadillo.
Recently Published:
  • ‘A Romantic Gallery of Old Master Paintings: Spenser’s Faerie Queene 1833-44’, La Questione Romantica, special issue on Romantic Victorians, edited by Stefano Evangelista and Carlotta Farese (2013).
  • ‘A Gallery in the Mind’? William Hazlitt, Edmund Spenser and the Old Masters’, Tate Papers (Autumn 2015), Special Issue on William Hazlitt’s Art Criticism
  • ‘In the Cloud: Nineteenth-Century Visions and Experiments for the Digital Age’, co-authored with Ana Parejo Vadillo, 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century, 21 (2015) 
Forthcoming Essays:
  • ‘Blake, Young, and the Poetics of the Composite Page’, Huntington Library Quarterly, special issue on Blake’s Manuscripts edited by Mark Crosby (forthcoming)
  • ‘Extra-Illustrations: The Orders of the Book and the Fantasia of the Library’, in Material Cultures of Enlightenment Arts and Sciences, ed. by Adriana Craciun and Simon Schaffer (Palgrave, 2016)
In Progress:
  • ‘Extra-Illustration and Ephemera: Altered Books and the Alternative Forms of the Fugitive Page’, Eighteenth-Century Life (submission 2015, published 2016), special issue on literary ephemera edited by Sandro Jung
  • ‘Historic Doubts, Conjectures, and the Wanderings of a Principal Curiosity: Henry VII in the Fabric of Strawberry Hill’, Word and Image, special issue on ‘Mediating History’s Materiality, 1700-1900’ (deadline for submission: Winter 2015)
  • ‘“A Bright Erroneous Dream’: The Shelley Memorial and the Hermaphroditic Body of the Poet’, Word and Image, co-authored with Stefano Evangelista, special issue on ‘Literature and Sculpture at the Fin de Siècle’ (deadline: Winter 2015)
  • ‘The Reception of Blake in Italy’, in The Reception of William Blake in Europe, 2 vols ed. by Morton Paley and Sibylle Erle (London: Bloomsbury, forthcoming 2017)
  • ‘Blake’s Bestiary: Pseudomorphosis, Remediation, and Monstrous Sights in Dante’s Commedia’, in Beastly Blake, ed. by Helen Bruder and Tristanne Connolly (abstract accepted; book proposal in progress)
  • ‘Illustration’, in William Blake in Context, ed. Sarah Haggarty (Cambridge: CUP, forthcoming)
Conferences and Symposia Organized:
  • The Disorder of Things, an international series of six events, 2009-2011
  • Romanticism at the Fin de Siècle, Oxford, 14-15 June 2013
  • Blake, The Flaxmans, and Romantic Sociability, Birkbeck, 18-19 July 2014
  • Blake Apprentice and Master, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 23 January 2015
  • Literature and Sculpture at the Fin de Siècle, Tate Britain, 23 March 2015
Selected Talks:
  • ‘Hazlitt, Spenser and the Old Masters’, The National Gallery, 28 November 2014
  • ‘Blake and the House of Death’, Blake Apprentice and Master, Ashmolean Museum, 23 January 2015
  • ‘The Hours: The Public and Private Histories of a Commonplace’, Romantic Illustration Network, no 5, Tate Britain, 27 February 2015, podcast
  • ‘Book Disorders: Composite Forms and the Alternative Possibilities of the Disbound Page’, Harvard University, 14 May 2015
  • ‘Blake’s Visions of Hell: Monstrous Sights and Pseudomorphoses in Dante’s Commedia’, From Hogarth to Hellboy: the Transformation of the Visual Reader, London, Senate House, 16 December 2015
Thumbnail (1)Publications  Women Writing Art History in the Nineteenth Century: Looking Like a Woman (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014) This book sets out to correct received accounts of the emergence of art history as a masculine field. It investigates the importance of female writers from Anna Jameson, Elizabeth Eastlake and George Eliot to Alice Meynell, Vernon Lee and Michael Field in developing a discourse of art notable for its complexity and cultural power, its increasing professionalism and reach, and its integration with other discourses of modernity. Proposing a more flexible and inclusive model of what constitutes art historical writing, including fiction, poetry and travel literature, this book offers a radically revisionist account of the genealogy of a discipline and a profession. It shows how women experienced forms of professional exclusion that, whilst detrimental to their careers, could be aesthetically formative; how working from the margins of established institutional structures gave women the freedom to be audaciously experimental in their writing about art in ways that resonate with modern readers.
  • ‘Vasari’s Lives and the Victorians’. The Ashgate Research Companion to Giorgio Vasari, ed. David J. Cast. Farnham: Ashgate, 2014, pp.277-93.
  • Russian translation of ‘The Language of Touch in Victorian Art Criticism’. New Literary Observer 125, 1 (2014), pp.43-56.
Forthcoming in 2015:
  • ‘Art and the Literary’.  The Oxford Handbook of Victorian Literary Culture, ed. Juliet John. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015
  • ‘Italy and Victorian Literature’. The Encyclopedia of Victorian Literature, ed. Dino F. Felluga, Pamela K. Gilbert and Linda K. Hughes. New York: Wiley-Blackwell, 2015
  • ‘The Language of Mourning in Fin-de-Siècle Sculpture’. Word and Image (2015)
Conferences and Lectures in 2015:
  • Research Forum on ‘Women and the Culture of Connoisseurship’ at the University of Sussex (1-2 July, 2015)
  • Symposium on ‘Sculpture and Literature at the Fin de Siècle’ at Tate Britain (27 March, 2015)
  • The Sally Ledger Memorial Lecture at Birkbeck, University of London (16 July, 2015).
Research: My monograph, Imagining the Dead in British Literature and Culture, 1790-1848 (Palgrave, 2018), traced an alternate history of the cultural significance of the dead in early nineteenth century British culture, repositioning them at the centre of post-French Revolutionary and progressive debates about  political reform, education, urbanisation, psychology, and the uses of the past. Drawing on a wide range of Romantic and Victorian writers (including Wordsworth, Dickens, De Quincey, Godwin, and D’Israeli) this interdisciplinary study contributes to the burgeoning field of Death Studies by drawing on the work of both canonical and lesser-known writers, reformers, and educationalists to show how both literary representation of the dead, and the burial and display of their corpses in churchyards, dissecting-rooms, and garden cemeteries, responded to developments in literary aesthetics, psychology, ethics, and political philosophy. Imagining the Dead in British Literature and Culture, 1790-1848 shows that whether they were lauded as exemplars or loathed as tyrants, rendered absent by burial, or made uncannily present through exhumation and display, the dead were central to debates about the shape and structure of British society as it underwent some of the most radical transformations in its history. I have two new research projects which combine my interests in death and materiality with the fields of Ageing Studies and Victorian masculinities. The first of these is a consideration of Dickens’s representations of ageing, with a particular emphasis on the increasing visibility in his novels of ageing male bodies. I have essays on this topic forthcoming in the journal Age, Culture, Humanities, and I’m co-editing (with Jacob Jewusiak (Newcastle)) a special issue of 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century on Victorian representations of ageing which is tentatively titled ‘The Old Nineteenth-Century’. I am also in the very earliest stages of thinking about the literary construction of widowerhood in Victorian poetry and prose.
My monograph The Caribbean and the Medical Imagination was published by Cambridge University Press in 2018. The book is a study of how the medical ideas that underpinned discourses of race, landscape, and aesthetics were produced and circulated by colonial literary texts. The project speaks to current concerns in literary and cultural studies, the history of Atlantic knowledge, medical humanities, and postcolonial studies, focusing on the conceptual structures of imperial discourses and cultural practices, and on the relationship between literary form and medical and scientific ideas. My current projects include a literary history of medical and scientific anecdotal culture in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries: ‘Anecdotal Evidence: Science and Storytelling’. I am also working on a project on Colonial Caribbean Visual Cultures with Dr Sarah Thomas (History of Art, Birkbeck). We co-organized a conference with Tate Britain which marked the opening of Tate’s major exhibition on art created under the conditions of the British Empire and its aftermath. We are now working on a forthcoming special issue for Atlantic Studies: Global Currents. Previous projects include ‘Aesthetic Enlightenments: Cultures of Natural Knowledge’, with Dr Sarah Eastery-Smith (University of St Andrews), which examines the relationship between the aesthetic production and social circulation of knowledge about the natural world in the long eighteenth century, focusing on the hybrid and plural forms through which knowledge was made, practiced, textualized, and viewed. We held a conference at the Huntington Library, California, in January 2014, and published a special issue of the Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies. aloe-africana Collaborative Projects:
  • ‘Walter Pater and Michael Field: The Correspondence, with Other Unpublished Manuscripts Materials’, Pater Newsletter, Spring Issue (no. 64) 2015.
  • ‘Generational Difference in To the Lighthouse’Cambridge Companion to Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse. Ed. By Allison Pease. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2014. 122-135. [On Virginia Woolf, Alice Meynell and generational differences through fin-de-siècle fashion]
  • ‘ “Gay Strangers”: Reflections on Decadence and the Decadent Poetics of A. Mary F. Robinson.’ Cahiers Victoriens et Édouardiens 78 (2014). Special Issue on Emprunts et empreintes de la langue étrangère dans la littérature victorienne et édouardienne. Ed. Emily Eells.  Open acess:
  • ‘Another Renaissance: The Decadent Poetic Drama of A.C. Swinburne and Michael Field’ in Jason Hall and Alex Murray, eds., Decadent Poetics: Literature and Form at the British Fin de Siècle. Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2013. 116-140.
  • ‘Cosmopolitan Aestheticism: The Affective “Italian” Ethics of A. Mary F. Robinson’ in Comparative Critical Studies, 10.2 (June 2013), special issue on Fin-de-Siècle Cosmopolitanism, eds. Stefano Evangelista and Richard Hibbitt. Open acess:
  • ‘Living Art: Michael Field, Aestheticism and Dress’ in Kyriaki Hadjiafxendi  and Patricia Zakreski , eds., Crafting the Woman Professional in the Long Nineteenth Century.  Artistry and Industry in Britain. Aldershot: Ashgate, October 2013. 243-271.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.