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Research interests

My current research attempts to articulate an aesthetics of excess in the work of Keats and the Pre-Raphaelites. The project juxtaposes the different forms of copiousness in Keats's writing against their later iterations as the Pre-Raphaelites' characteristic exhorbitance. It argues that outraging the demarcations between 'muchness' and 'too-muchness' represents Keats's attempt to define the limits of language and poetic form, as he set a precedent for the Pre-Raphaelites' experimentations in poetry, painting and criticism, which would eventually lead to the development of the Aesthetic Movement. My hunch is that the limits of his poetic and linguistic ability are generative of a poetics that is cognisant of these shortcomings, but is nevertheless expressive of a sublimity that can only be realised through this failure that occurs in poetry.

My broader research interests include eighteenth-century and Romantic literature, particularly Keats, Coleridge, Wordsworth, Austen, Mary and Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Hazlitt; medieval Italian literature, particularly Dante; nineteenth-century poetry; the Literature of Nonsense; and twentieth-century literature, particularly James Joyce, Harold Pinter, Tom Stoppard, Samuel Beckett, W. H. Auden, Kurt Vonnegut and Seamus Heaney. I am also variously interested in poetry and poetics; literature’s interrelations with philosophy (phenomenology, Hume, Saussurean linguistics and Derrida, in particular); and the relationship between literature and art.

I read English at the University of York for my undergraduate degree, and then for an MPhil in Eighteenth-Century and Romantic Literature at St Catharine's College, Cambridge, before coming to Bristol for my PhD.


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