The Centre for Victorian Studies


People are central to the Centre for Victorian Studies, making it a home to a diverse, widespread and welcoming research community.  

Academic staff 

Dr Julian North - Director of Centre for Victorian Studies, Associate Professor A headshot of Dr Julian North. She is smiling at something to the right of the camera, she has dark blonde hair which is tied up and is wearing a blue dotty shirt. Behind her is a screen with an image of George Eliot.

'As the Director of the Victorian Studies Centre, I have the pleasure of leading a wonderful team of scholars and students. We work together organising our 'Global Victorians' research seminar series, our annual public lecture, our 'Research Cafe' for postgraduates, and many other events. We also like to get together at our local Indian Restaurant whenever we can. As well as organising activities, I teach on our MA in Victorian Studies and have been privileged to supervise some great PhD projects on a variety of topics. I've experienced the CVS as a place of intellectual discovery and friendship. I feel lucky to be part of it.' 

  • Associate Professor in Romantic and Victorian Literature.
  • Director of and teacher on the Victorian Studies MA.
  • Research interests include life-writing, visual culture, the afterlives of Romantic poets, and the life and writings of Thomas De Quincey.
  • Supervises doctoral projects on topics such as Romantic and Victorian Literature especially biographical or autobiographical, nineteenth-century literary and visual culture, and authorship and the author's image in the nineteenth century.

Learn more about Dr Julian North.

Dr Claire Brock - Associate Professor A photograph of Claire Brock, a white woman with strawberry blonde hair and who is wearing a black top. She is shown smiling at something off camera to the left of her.

  • Research interests include gender and medicine, the history of surgery, patient narratives, nineteenth-century scientific literature, and medicine and literature.

  • Publications include Women and Medicine in the Long Nineteenth CenturyBritish Women Surgeons and their Patients 1860-1918, The Feminization of Fame 1750-1830, and The Comet Sweeper: Caroline Herschel’s Astronomical Ambition.

  • Teaches on the Victorian Studies MA, including the modules 'Women in Literature, Culture, and Society 1850-1900' and 'Bodies 1850-1918'.

  • Welcomes postgraduate students (MA or PhD) with research interests in any of the following: gender, health, and medicine; science, medicine, and literature in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; history of surgery; the body; clinical encounters and patient narratives from late nineteenth century to present.

Learn more about Dr Claire Brock.

Professor Gowan Dawson - Professor A headshot of Professor Gowan Dawson, a man, smiling at the camera. He has sunglasses on his head and a dark blue shirt on, and in the background is a sunny landscape dotted with old buildings.

  • Professor of Victorian Literature and Culture.
  • Previously director of CVS and founder of the Spring Seminar Series.
  • Research interests include the cultural history of Victorian science as well as in the print culture of the period.
  • Teaches on the Victorian Studies MA including the module 'Evolution and Entropy: The Sciences in Victorian Literature.'
  • Publications include Monkey to Man: The Evolution of the March of Progress Image, Show Me the Bone: Reconstructing Prehistoric Monsters in Nineteenth-Century Britain and America, and Darwin, Literature and Victorian Respectability.

Learn more about Professor Gowan Dawson.


Dr Felicity James - Associate Professor A headshot of Dr Felicity James. She is sat down holding a book and their is a full bookcase behind her. She has dark brown short hair, is wearing a blue dress and cardigan, and is smiling.

  • Associate Professor in Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Literature.
  • Research interests include sociability, friendship and creative exchange and collaboration amongst writers, and in life-writing.
  • Co-chair of the Charles Lamb Society.
  • Teaches on the Victorian Studies MA.
  • Is supervising PhDs on Elizabeth Gaskell, on women's writing, and on life-writing; in the past has supervised PhDs on eighteenth and nineteenth century novels, especially by women.

Learn more about Dr Felicity James.

Dr James Moore - LecturerHeadshot of Dr James Moore. He is wearing a suit and smiling at the camera, with some greenery behind him.

  • Lecturer in History.
  • Research interests include the political culture of Britain and her empire, popular politics, and urban governance. 
  • Teaches on the Victorian Studies MA.
  • Supervises doctoral projects on topics such as Victorian history, Victorian art, the history of political parties and political movements, the history of political ideas, the history of the British Empire, and the history of modern Egypt.

Learn more about Dr James Moore.


Dr Claire Wood - Associate Professor A headshot of Dr Claire Wood. She has a strawberry blonde bob and is wearing a black dress. Claire is leaning on a table with a red chair and a modern window behind her.

  • Associate Professor in Victorian Literature. 
  • Research interests include death, mourning, and commemoration; material culture; and Victorian afterlives.
  • Project lead on the international project 'The Dickens Code' which seeks solutions to Dickens's undeciphered shorthand writing. A free online exhibition gives public access to the fruits of the project. 
  • Secretary of the Dickens Society.
  • Teaches on the Victorian Studies MA including the module 'Dickens: A Writer in Progress.'
  • Supervises doctoral projects on Dickens, sensation fiction, ghost stories, and Victorian Lives/Victorian Deaths.

Learn more about Dr Claire Wood.

Emeritus Professors 

Professor Richard Foulkes -

Professor Joanne Shattock -

PhD students 

We have a vibrant and diverse community of Postgraduate Research Students.

You can also browse a list of our Visiting Scholars.

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