I am a Professor in the Department of English, specialising in British Romantic literature, literary theory, and visual culture. I developed my interest in Romanticism while pursuing an undergraduate degree in English and Philosophy at the University of Liverpool in the late 1980s. Following the completion of my PhD on the poetry of Wordsworth and Byron I joined the Department of English at the University of Leicester where I have taught a wide range of subjects, including eighteenth and nineteenth century literature, the novel as a genre, literary theory, visual culture, and twentieth-century and contemporary literature.
I am a former Co-site Director for the Midlands4Cities Doctoral training partnership, a former Director of Postgraduate Studies for the College of Arts Humanities and Law, and a Trustee of the English Association.
When not reading and writing, I garden and cook enthusiastically, if not well, and perform with the 'popular' music combo Alberteen.
My main research interests are in Romantic period literature and art, with a particular focus on the literature and visual culture of the revolutionary and Napoleonic wars. Wordsworth After War, a book arising from my AHRC Leadership Fellow project Wordsworth 2020 (2019-21), is scheduled for publication in 2023.
I am the author of Suffering and Sentiment in Romantic Military Art (Ashgate 2013). This book engages with themes emerging from my earlier study Waterloo and the Romantic Imagination (Palgrave 2002). I am also the editor of a collection of essays on war and romanticism entitled Romantic Wars: Studies in Culture and Conflict 1793-1822 (Ashgate 2000), and a co-edited volume of essays entitled Visual Culture and the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars (Routledge 2016).
As well as leading on Wordsworth 2020 and the AHRC Research Network Passions of War (2015-17) I have worked as a co-investigator on the AHRC/Tate Major Research Project The Sublime Object (2008-10).
As curator I have worked on exhibitions at Tate Britain and the Wordsworth Museum.
The Sublime, revised second edition (Routledge, 2017)
Suffering and Sentiment in Romantic Military Art (Ashgate, 2013)
Patti Smith: Horses (Continuum, 2008)
Waterloo and the Romantic Imagination (Palgrave, 2002)
Romantic Wars: Studies in Culture and Conflict, 1793-1822 (Ashgate, 2000)
With Satish Padiyar and Philippa Simpson (eds.), Visual Culture and the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars (Routledge, 2016)
With Ashley Chantler and Michael Davies (eds.),
Literature and Authenticity: 1780-1900: Essays in Honour of Vincent Newey. (Ashgate, 2011)
With Vincent Newey (ed.), Mortal Pages, Literary Lives: Studies in Nineteenth-Century Autobiography (Scholar Press, 1996)
Selected Articles and Essays
Marginal Figures, in The Cambridge Companion to Lyrical Ballads, ed. by Sally Bushell (Cambridge University Press, 2020), pp. 118-34
Wordsworth after Peterloo: The Persistence of War in The River Duddon and Other Poems, in Commemorating Peterloo: Violence, Resilience and Claim-making During the Romantic Era, ed. Michael Demson and Regina Hewitt (Edinburgh University Press, 2019), pp. 250-70
Wordsworth, Waterloo and Sacrifice. Sacrifice and Modern War Literature: from the Battle of Waterloo to the War on Terror, ed. by Alex Houen and Jan-Melissa Schraam (Oxford University Press, 2018), pp. 20-33
Stendhal, Sebald and the Return of Waterloo. Waterloo Remembered: The Literary Reception of the Battle of Waterloo in the 19th Century, Interferences litteraires, 20 (2017): 11-26
Longing For Home: Robert Hamilton, Nostalgia and the Emotional Life of the Eighteenth-Century Soldier, Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies 39.1 (2016), pp. 25-40
Picturing Valenciennes: Philippe-Jacques de Loutherbourg and the Emotional Regulation of British Military Art in the 1790s, Battlefield Emotions 1500-1800: Practices, Experience, Imagination, ed. by. Erika Kuijpers and Cornelis van der Haven (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), pp. 249-68
The Prelude as History, The Oxford Handbook of William Wordsworth, ed. by Richard Gravil and Daniel Robinson (Oxford University Press, 2015), pp. 414-29
The Sublime, William Wordsworth in Context, ed. by Andrew Bennett (Cambridge University Press, 2015), pp. 283-90
Turner's Desert Storm, Tracing War in British Enlightenment and Romantic Culture, ed. by Neil Ramsey and Gillian Russell (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), pp. 151-70
Betwixt Life and Death: Don Juan and the Sublime, Byron's Ghosts: The Spectral, The Spiritual, and the Supernatural, ed. by Gavin Hopps (Liverpool University Press, 2013), pp. 186-207
On War: De Quincey's Martial Sublime, Romanticism, 19.1 (2013), pp. 19-30
Modernism and the Sublime, The Art of the Sublime, ed. by Nigel Llewellyn and Christine Riding, Tate Research Publication (January 2013)
I currently teach and convene the following modules:
EN3147 Romanticism: Revolutionary Writing from Blake to Shelley; EN001 Research Methods and Writing Skills for Postgraduates. I also teach on EN2350 Eighteenth-Century Literature.
I am happy to provide informed perspectives on any of the following topics:
British literature and art of the Romantic period; Wordsworth and Byron; the Sublime; British culture and the revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. My curatorial work on the Art of the Sublime with Tate Britain and my co-curated exhibition on Wordsworth's poetry of the River Duddon with the Wordsworth Museum has been widely publicised. I have also given interviews on the poet and rock musician Patti Smith for the Independent and German national radio.
I am a trustee of the English Association and a former member of the executive committee of the British Association of Romantic Studies.
I am a Fellow of the English Association and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
2019: ‘Violent Waters: Wordsworth After Peterloo’. ‘Peterloo at 200’ panel at NASSR conference Chicago 2019, 7-11 August.
2017: ‘Representing War Trauma’. Workshop at University of Oxford Rothermere American Institute, 30 August 2017.
‘Wordsworth After War’. Keynote lecture at ‘Two-way Tickets: Travel, Home and War’, a one-day conference at University of Oxford Wolfson College, 20 June 2017.
2015: ‘Missed Encounters: W. G. Sebald and the Literature of Waterloo’. Keynote lecture for ‘Relational Forms III: Imagining Europe: Wars, Territories Identities. Representations in Literature and the Arts’, a two-day conference at the University of Porto, Portugal, 19-20 November 2015.
2015: ‘Wordsworth, Waterloo and Sacrifice’. Keynote lecture at the Wordsworth Summer Conference, 3-8 August 2015.