People

Professor Gowan Dawson

Professor of Victorian Literature and Culture

School/Department: Arts School of

Telephone: +44 (0)116 252 2779

Email: gd31@leicester.ac.uk

Profile

I am Professor of Victorian Literature and Culture and Director of the Victorian Studies Centre which is the UK’s longest established specialist centre for research and teaching on the literature culture and history of the Victorian period. Before coming to Leicester I was a Leverhulme Research Fellow on the ‘Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical’ (SciPer) project at the Universities of Leeds and Sheffield. My main research interests lie in the nineteenth century especially in the cultural history of Victorian science as well as in the print culture of the period and I have authored three books and edited seven more on these subjects. I was co-director of the AHRC-funded project ‘Constructing Scientific Communities: Citizen Science in the 19th and 21st Centuries’ an innovative collaboration between the University of Leicester Oxford University the Natural History Museum the Royal College of Surgeons and the Royal Society. I have twice been awarded Leverhulme Research Fellowships and am also an Honorary Research Fellow of the Natural History Museum.

Research

"I’m the author of Show Me the Bone: Reconstructing Prehistoric Monsters in Nineteenth-Century Britain and America (University of Chicago Press 2016) and Darwin Literature and Victorian Respectability (Cambridge University Press 2007) and co-author of Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical: Reading the Magazine of Nature (Cambridge University Press 2004). I’m co-editor of Science Periodicals in Nineteenth-Century Britain: Constructing Scientific Communities (University of Chicago Press 2020) Victorian Scientific Naturalism: Community Identity Continuity (University of Chicago Press 2014) and Victorian Science and Literature 8 vols. (Routledge 2011-12). I’ve also published articles on Dickens Thackeray Pater and D.G. Rossetti in Victorian Studies Victorian Literature and Culture the Journal of Victorian Culture English Literature in Transition 1880-1920 and Victorian Poetry. I’ve been awarded two Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowships and have also received research grants from the AHRC the British Academy the National Science Foundation (USA) the UK-India Education and Research Initiative and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. "

Publications

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Books

  • Show Me the Bone: Reconstructing Prehistoric Monsters in Nineteenth-Century Britain and America (Chicago: University of Chicago Press 2016)
  • Darwin Literature and Victorian Respectability (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2007) With Geoffrey Cantor Richard Noakes Sally Shuttleworth and Jonathan R. Topham
  • Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical: Reading the Magazine of Nature (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2004)

Edited books

  • With Bernard Lightman Sally Shuttleworth and Jonathan R. Topham Science Periodicals in Nineteenth-Century Britain: Constructing Scientific Communities (Chicago: University of Chicago Press 2020)
  • With Geoffrey Cantor The Correspondence of John Tyndall vol. 1: 1840-43 (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press 2016)
  • With Bernard Lightman Victorian Scientific Naturalism: Community Identity Continuity (Chicago: University of Chicago Press 2014)
  • With Bernard Lightman Victorian Science and Literature 8 vols. (London: Routledge 2011-12)
  • With Laurel Brake and Marysa Demoor Dictionary of Nineteenth-Century Journalism (London: British Library 2009)
  • With Sally Shuttleworth Victorian Poetry special number on ‘Science and Victorian Poetry’ 41 (2003)

Articles

  • ‘Dickens Dinosaurs and Design’ Victorian Literature and Culture 44 (2016) 761-78
  • ‘Up in the Air: Evolution and Victorian Culture’ Victorian Review 41 (2015) 9-13
  • ‘Paleontology in Parts: Richard Owen William John Broderip and the Serialization of Science in Early Victorian Britain’ Isis 103 (2012) 637-67
  • ‘Literary Megatheriums and Loose Baggy Monsters: Paleontology and the Victorian Novel’ Victorian Studies 53 (2011) 203-30
  • ‘“By a Comparison of Incidents and Dialogue”: Richard Owen Comparative Anatomy and Victorian Serial Fiction’ 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century 11 (2010)
  • ‘Literature and Science under the Microscope’ Journal of Victorian Culture 11 (2006) 301-15
  • ‘Walter Pater’s Marius the Epicurean and the Discourse of Science in Macmillan’s Magazine: “A Creature of the Nineteenth Century”’ English Literature in Transition 1880-1920 48 (2005) 38-54
  • ‘Intrinsic Earthliness: Science Materialism and the Fleshly School of Poetry’ Victorian Poetry 41 (2003) 113-29
  • ‘Stranger than Fiction: Spiritualism Intertextuality and William Makepeace Thackeray’s Editorship of the Cornhill Magazine 1860-62’ Journal of Victorian Culture 7 (2002) 220-38

Chapters

  • ‘“The Cross-Examination of the Physiologist”: T. H. Huxley and the Resurrection’ in The Metaphysical Society (1869-1880): Intellectual Life in Mid-Victorian England ed. Catherine Marshall Bernard Lightman and Richard England (Oxford: Oxford University Press 2019) 91-118
  • ‘Science in the Periodical Press’ in The Routledge Research Companion to Nineteenth-Century British Literature and Science ed. John Holmes and Sharon Ruston (London: Routledge 2017) 172-86
  • ‘Literature’ in The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Darwin and Evolutionary Thought ed. Michael Ruse (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2013) 436-42
  • ‘Science and Its Popularization’ in The Cambridge Companion to English Literature 1830-1914 ed. Joanne Shattock (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2010) 165-83
  • ‘Victorian Periodicals and the Making of William Kingdon Clifford’s Posthumous Reputation’ in Science Serialized: Representations of the Sciences in Nineteenth-Century Periodicals ed. Sally Shuttleworth and Geoffrey Cantor (Cambridge MA: MIT Press 2004) 259-84
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Supervision

"I am keen to supervise PhD research in most areas of Victorian literature and print culture as well as the cultural history of nineteenth-century science. My recent research students include: Richard Fallon ‘Reshaping Dinosaurs: The Popularisation of Extinct Animals in Anglo-American Culture 1877-1921’ (AHRC funded and published by Cambridge University Press as Reimagining Dinosaurs in Late Victorian and Edwardian Literature: How the ‘Terrible Lizard’ Became a Transatlantic Cultural Icon); Matthew Wale ‘“The Sympathy of a Crowd”: Periodicals and the Practices of Natural History in Nineteenth-Century Britain’ (AHRC funded and to be published by Pittsburgh University Press); Hayley Flynn ‘Victorian Dream Theory and the Periodical Press’; Danielle Benyon-Payne ‘The Suicide Question in Late-Victorian Gothic Fiction’; and Derek Ball ‘Mathematics in George Eliot’s Novels’. "

Teaching

"I teach on the following undergraduate and MA courses: EN3128 Late Victorian Gothic: Texts and Context MA in Victorian Studies: Approaches to Victorian Literature and Culture MA In Victorian Studies: Evolution and Entropy: Representations of the Sciences in Victorian Literature "

Press and media

"I have appeared on several television programmes for the BBC: with Philippa Perry on Victorian Sensations for BBC4 (2019); with Giles Brandreth on BBC1’s The One Show (2016); and on Locomotion: Dan Snow’s History of Railways for BBC2 (2013). I have also written articles for the Times Literary Supplement Nature and American Scientist and as part of the AHRC-funded ‘Constructing Scientific Communities’ project have recorded podcasts for a series on public participation in science called ‘The Conversationalist’. "

Qualifications

"BA (Hons) University of East Anglia MA University of Nottingham PhD University of Sheffield "
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