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Dr Rosalind M Powell

BA(Cantab.), MPhil(St.And.), PhD(St.And.)

  • BS8 1TB


Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

Eighteenth-century literature; poetry and poetics; analogy; translation and imitation; natural philosophy; physico-theology; literature and science 1700-1830; religious poetry; Biblical and classical imitation; national identity.

My research focuses on poetry of the long eighteenth century. Broadly, I am interested in the possibilities and limitations of poetic language for the production of translations, original poetry, and descriptions of science or anti-science. I have written on botany, aesthetic theory, religious expression and anti-Newtonianism in the works of Christopher Smart and his contemporaries. My first book, Christopher Smart’s English Lyrics (2014), considers Smart’s reception of Biblical and classical verse in terms of national and religious identity.

My current research looks at the use of analogy and poetic language in poetry written between 1704 and 1830. The project considers the use of analogy as a poetic device in relation to botany, optics, language theory, and music. The study considers the interrelations between the theories of philosophers, theologians and scientists – such as Newton, Locke, Linnaeus, and Butler – and authors including Charlotte Smith, Erasmus Darwin, James Thomson, Mark Akenside, William Blake, and Edward Young.


Consultation hours


I currently teach on the following units: Literature 1550-1740 (Y1), Transformations (Y1), Approaches to Poetry (Y1), Literature and Science: Newton to Darwin (Y2), Literature 3: 1700-1830 (Y3), Renaissance Literature: Texts and Contexts (MA), and Romantic Poetry and Poetics (MA)

Research supervision

I would be delighted to hear from students interested in pursuing doctoral work in eighteenth­century and Romantic literature, particularly in poetry and poetics, literature and science, and translation or imitation. I would also welcome enquiries about research projects in literature and science topics between 1660 and 1860.

Additional activities

I became a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2014. I am a member of the executive committee of the British Society for Literature and Science and a member of the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies.


Structured keywords and research groupings

  • Centre for Humanities Health and Science


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