Postgraduate Studies in 18th Century and Romantic Literature at York


-18th century studies
at York is centered in what’s called CECS, the
Centre for 18th Century Studies, that’s housed
in King’s Manor, very much a real community where
graduate students and faculty mix, get involved in
each other’s research. -My research, like those
of my colleagues here at the Centre for
18th Century Studies, is really richly
interdisciplinary. We don’t think about
literary texts on their own, but the kinds of
conversations and dialogues and contexts that
they’re fitting in. I’m currently completing
a book on representations of walking in 18th
century London. I have wide ranging
interests in representations of the city and the period. -Teaching is wonderful. What I’m definitely
enjoying the most about it is the fact that my research
is so interdisciplinary and I’m able to draw from
art and literature and music and different kinds
of theory, and I feel like it makes my
research so much fuller. -Something that makes the
Centre for 18th Century Studies really special is that we
have some incredibly eminent academics here, but
there’s absolutely no sense of standoffishness
between them and post graduate students, so it means that
we have an incredible degree of access to them all the time. -I’ve just finished
a book, and it’s called “Unbounded Attachment,
Sentiment and Politics in the Age of the
French Revolution.” It deals with the
intersection of the expanding market for print culture,
the language of sensibility, and politics in women’s writing
from Mary Wollstonecraft to Jane Austen. -The first book
that I wrote, this is a book about clouds
in the Romantic period, and I found that often,
when people were describing how clouds react to
one another, they used images of electricity. I’m lucky enough to be putting
together a master’s module at the Centre for
18th Century Studies on representation
of electricity, so I’ve been teaching
it this term, and it’s been very exciting. The students have liked it. -All PhD students
have the opportunity to teach if they
want to, and I found teaching to be the single most
exhilarating and stimulating aspect of the post
graduate experience. -1760 to 1840 is the period
I’m working on at the moment, on networks of improvement,
and what that’s about is the way that various
societies, associations, and clubs were involved in
the circulation of knowledge. -I hope that
students and scholars will gain from my research a new
way of thinking about the way that women interrupt with
the questions of sociability and conversation that
have preoccupied scholars of romanticism in
the last decade.

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