EHU Nineteen


EHU Nineteen is an interdisciplinary research centre focussing on long-nineteenth century studies. We offer:

  • Nationally and internationally excellent research in nineteenth-century topics, with specialisms including digital humanities and print culture, masculinity and gender studies, children’s literature and humour, and neo-Victorianism.
  • A visiting speaker series featuring leading names and emerging researchers in  Romantic and Victorian studies.
  • Collaborative opportunities with museums, galleries and cultural heritage partners across the North West and UK.
  • International conferences including hosting BARS/NASSR 2021: New Romanticisms, ‘Substance Use and Abuse in the Long Nineteenth Century’ and an annual ‘Romanticisms’ conference.
  • A diverse and innovative teaching portfolio in nineteenth-century subjects at undergraduate and postgraduate level.
  • Outstanding PhD supervision with the opportunity to apply for Edge Hill’s Graduate Teaching Assistantship package.


Dr Laura Eastlake
Dr Laura Eastlake
Senior Lecturer in English Literature, Co-Director EHU19
[email protected]
01695 657176
More details about Dr Laura Eastlake

Bob Nicholson
Dr Bob Nicholson
Reader in History and Digital Humanities, Co-Director EHU19
[email protected]
01695 650992
More details about Dr Bob Nicholson

Photograph of Andrew McInnes
Dr Andrew McInnes
Reader in Romanticisms, Co-Director EHU19
[email protected]
01695 584783
More details about Dr Andrew McInnes

Dr Kym Brindle portrait image
Dr Kym Brindle
Senior Lecturer in English Literature
[email protected]
More details about Dr Kym Brindle

Professor Alyson Brown
Professor Alyson Brown
Professor of History, Associate Head of Department (Research and Postgraduate)
[email protected]
01695 657175
More details about Professor Alyson Brown

Dr Kerri Andrews
Dr Kerri Andrews
Reader in English Literature
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More details about Dr Kerri Andrews

Dr Catherine Quirk
Lecturer in Drama
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Dr Dr Douglas Small
Lecturer in Nineteenth Century Literature
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More details about Dr Douglas Small

Dr Zayneb Allak
Dr Dr Zayneb Allak
Lecturer in Creative Writing
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More details about Dr Zayneb Allak

Dr Rita Dashwood
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
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More details about Dr Rita Dashwood

Professor Paul Ward
Professor Paul Ward
Professor of Public History and Community Heritage, Head of Department, English, History and Creative Writing
[email protected]
01695 650977
More details about Professor Paul Ward

Portrait of Dr Emma Butcher
Dr Emma Butcher
Lecturer in English Literature and Heritage
More details about Dr Emma Butcher

portrait of Julia Clayton
Julia Clayton
Doctoral Researcher
[email protected]

Professor Derek Heim
Professor of Psychology
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Michael Horton
Graduate Teaching Assistant
[email protected]
01695 650913


EHU Nineteen hosts an annual Research Seminar Series as well as regular academic conferences.

The EHU Nineteen Seminar Series combines the Romanticism and Victorian Seminar Series which have run from 2010. The Seminar Series invites research papers from established scholars and emerging researchers on topics as wide-ranging as eighteenth-century Gothic texts and orientalism to girls’ periodicals and Victorian audiobooks. For further information, please contact: [email protected]

poster showing three 19thC figures standing before a lantern projecting the words 'EHU19 Virtual Speaker Series 2022'

Upcoming Events

Dr Clare Clarke (Trinity College Dublin) — ‘A Shrine of Pilgrimage: Dark Tourism in Late Victorian Newspapers’ Ripper Reportage’

Pre-Recorded talk: available at sign-up.

Live Q&A: Thursday, 5th May, 6pm GMT

Book Tickets



Previous Conferences & Seminar Series

Spooky Season 2021

As the nights darken, join us for a season of talks, film screenings, and performances celebrating the spookier side of the nineteenth century.

Poster for EHY19 Spooky Season

Event partners:

The Atkinson Museum and Gallery, Southport
Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park
The Arts Centre, Edge Hill University

Virtual Seminar Series 2020-2021

Our seminar series for 2020-2021 will take place virtually via pre-recorded talks and live Q&A discussions on Zoom. To learn more about these events, and to book your free tickets,  please follow the Eventbrite links below.

15 October 2020 — ‘Returning to Mont Blanc in 2020’, Prof Cian Duffy (Lund University)

“For the last 20 years, I’ve been spending summers in Chamonix. For much of that same time, I’ve been writing about the role of Chamonix in Romantic-period literature. In this talk, I reflect on going back to that place and back to those texts in 2020.”

3 December 2020 — ‘Careless John Clare’, Dr Erin Lafford (University of Derby)

This talk considers how Clare explores the aesthetic, emotional, and ethical facets of carelessness. It asks what negligence has to do with writing poetry at the same time as it examines how Clare wrote about the social and ecological consequences of not caring.


10 February 2020 — ‘Mars in the Magazines’, Dr Will Tattersdill (University of Birmingham)

This is a talk about Mars in the 1890s – the Mars of H. G. Wells, with which War of the Worlds (1897) remains one of the most famous imagined communications. It wasn’t the only one, though. Here I’m going to discuss a serious proposal for actual real-life Martian communication made by the eugenicist and statistician Francis Galton (1822-1911). Putting it alongside Wells, I hope to provoke thought on the relationships between science, fiction, and the periodical press of the fin de siècle.


Wednesday 10 March 2020 — ‘Performing Egyptian Magic’, Dr Eleanor Dobson (University of Birmingham)

This talk explores ancient Egyptian imagery in Victorian performance magic, and ancient Egyptian magic in nineteenth-century literature, to unearth a culture that saw cutting-edge imaging techniques repeatedly aligned with antiquity. It also charts ancient Egyptian presences in magic lantern slides, photographs, and early moving pictures, illuminating a particular visual strand in a longstanding cultural tradition in which ancient Egypt is read as byword for magic.

Conference: Substance Use and Abuse in the Long Nineteenth Century

This two day interdisciplinary conference examined the changing roles of drugs and chemical substances in the history, literature, and medical discourses of the long nineteenth century.


  • Professor Susan Zieger, University of California Riverside
  • Dr Noelle Plack, Newman University
  • Dr Douglas Small, University of Glasgow

For full details see http://[email protected]

Conference: Romanticism Goes to University

A Two Day Symposium, hosted by Romanticism @ Edge Hill University, including workshops on editing the Romantics, teaching Romanticism, digital humanities, and impact in and of long nineteenth century studies

19th-20th May 2018

Byron’s bear, kept in his student room to challenge the ban on pets – Shelley’s expulsion from Oxford, for refusing to recant the atheism expressed in his provocative pamphlet – Victor Frankenstein as the undergraduate from hell – women writers debarred from university tuition but developing new models of mentorship in relation to Dissenting academies and other institutions: the university has an awkward reputation within Romantic period writing, becoming a symbol of authority and tradition to be resisted and challenged. On the other hand, ‘Higher Education’, broadly considered, occupies a significant space within Romantic thought, offering the potential for self-betterment and social improvement in revolutionary ways, from poetry embodying a radical call to arms and prose reconceptualising individual and national identity to print culture more generally offering a newly democratic public space of opinion formation.

‘Romanticism Goes to University’, a two day symposium hosted by Romanticism @ Edge Hill University, aims for a two-fold focus: firstly, a space for discussion and debate about the role of higher education – pedagogy, didacticism, the Romantic lecture and essay, and the university as an institution – in the Romantic period itself; and secondly, an opportunity to scrutinize the state of the discipline in today’s university: what does it mean to teach and research Romanticism now? How is the Romantic period presented in undergraduate and postgraduate programmes? What are the major trends in Romantic research at the moment? To what extent does what is taught in Romantic period courses reflect and / or motivate research?

Alongside academic papers and panels, our symposium will offer a space to discuss teaching and research concerns through a mixture of expertly led workshops and roundtable discussions. These workshops will be of especial interest to Postgraduate and Early Career Researchers, although more established staff would be more than welcome to attend.

 Keynote Speakers and their Workshops:

Prof. Anthony Mandal, Cardiff University: Editing the Romantics

Dr. Katie Garner, University of St. Andrews: Teaching Romanticism

Prof. Judith Pascoe, Florida State University: Digital Romanticism

Prof. Alice Jenkins, University of Glasgow: Post-Romantic Impacts

Proposals for individual papers, panels of 3 speakers and a chair, or innovative presentation formats, are invited on the following topics (although they are certainly not limited to them):

– the Romantic University as institution: authority, tradition, renewal, resistance, challenge

– education in the Romantic period: children’s literature, pedagogy, didacticism, self-improvement, social development, democracy, alternatives to traditional educational spaces

– the Romantic lecture and / or the Romantic essay: creative non-fiction, oral culture, table talk, conversation

– poetry, prose, and print culture with educational and / or otherwise transformative aims

– the Romantic period in the undergraduate and / or postgraduate classroom: canonicity, representation, diversity, the challenges of the Teaching Excellence Framework, student satisfaction and its alternatives, employability

– impact and public engagement with a Romantic period / long nineteenth century focus

– new approaches to Romantic studies, including, but not limited to: digital humanities, the spatial turn, the international turn, the affective turn, medical humanities and disability studies

– publishing and / or editing in and on the Romantic period

Please submit abstracts of 250 words for individual papers, or panel proposals / innovative presentation formats of 500 words (including a brief introduction and details of each paper), along with a short biography of presenters, to [email protected] by Friday 2nd February 2018.

There will be the opportunity for selected papers to be revised for a special edition of Romantic Textualities, as well as the publication of themed entries in the blog series ‘Teaching Romanticism’.

Edge Hill University has an excellent reputation for teaching and research in Romantic Studies. ‘’Romanticism Goes to University’ will build on the success of our previous symposia, ‘Edgy Romanticism’ (2016) and ‘Romanticism Takes to the Hills’ (2017), as well as the Romanticism @ Edge Hill research seminar series (EHU 2010-present) and our postgraduate conferences, co-hosted with Keele University: the Student Byron Conferences (EHU 2011-13), ‘Byron and the Romantic World’ (Keele 2016), and ‘Writing Romantic Lives’ (EHU 2017).

Conference: Romanticism Takes to the Hills


Conference: Edgy Romanticism


Romanticism Seminar 2018

Victorians Seminar 2017


Romanticism Seminar 2017


Romanticism Seminar 2016


Romanticism Seminar 2015



  • Wednesday 11th February | Leigh Wetherall Dickson (Northumbria)
    “My name in capitals, like Kean”: Don Juan, Notoriety and A New Canto’.
  • Wednesday 18th February | Fred Botting (Kingston)
    ‘120 Shades of Ann: Radcliffe, Sade, Kant’.
  • Wednesday 4th March | Jonathan Shears (Keele)
    ‘Byron’s Hypochondria’.
  • Wednesday 11th March | Jeremy Davies (Leeds)
    ‘William Madocks, the Shelleys, and the strike at Tremadoc’.

Room M43. All Welcome. Admission free.

Romanticism Seminar 2014

Admission free. All welcome 4.30-6.30pm Edge Hill University, St Helens Road, Ormskirk, L39 4 QP.

Each session will take place on Wednesdays. Room M44

February 12th, 2014: Kelvin Everest (University of Liverpool) ‘Kowtow: a reading from a new novel about Britain and China 1793/2010’.

February 19th : Cian Duffy (St Mary’s University College, Twickenham) ‘Percy Shelley and the Jane Williams Poems’

March 20th: Jon Mee (University of York) ‘Are books social? Book clubs and reading societies in the Romantic period’

March 19th: Paul Baines (University of Liverpool) ‘Edward Rushton in Romantic Era Liverpool’.

For further details please contact: Dr Mary Hurst  [email protected]


Romanticism Seminar 2013

Wednesday 13 February 2013, room M.42

Michael Bradshaw (Edge Hill University), ‘ Becoming a Centaur: Thomas Hood and Body Dysmorphic Disorder’

Wednesday 20 February 2013, room M.39
Simon Kövesi (Oxford Brookes University), ‘John Clare, Gadamer and Orisons of Prejudice’

Wednesday 6 March 2013, room M.39
Michael O’Neill (University of Durham)
‘”New relations are ever developed”: Shelley and Poetic Dialogue’

Wednesday 13 March 2013, room M.39
Kerri Andrews (Strathclyde University), ‘Ann Yearsley and the Periodical Press’

Wednesday 20 March 2013, room M.39
Gavin Hopps (St Andrews University), ‘Byron’s Ghosts and the Re-Enchantment of Romanticism’

Romanticism Seminar 2012

Second annual Student Byron Conference: ‘Byron Now’, May 23rd, 2012. Keynote speakers were David McClay, Curator of the John Murray Archive at the National Library of Scotland whose paper was entitled ‘Byron in the 21st Century: an archival perspective’ and international Byron scholar Bernard Beatty who spoke on ‘Byron’s moment and Byron’s Now’.

Third Romanticism at Edge Hill Research Seminar Series:

Wednesday 14 March 2012, Dr Ben Brabon and Dr Steve Van-Hagen (Edge Hill University), ‘Whores, Harlots and Housewives: The Postfeminist Eighteenth Century’

Wednesday 7 March 2012, Dr Mary Fairclough (University of Huddersfield), ‘Dr Thomas Beddoes and the Politics of the Imagination’

Wednesday 29 February 2012, Dr James Watt (University of York), ‘The Practice and Representation of Gothic Tourism’

Wednesday 15 February 2012, Dr Angela Wright (University of Sheffield), ‘Gothic Chivalry in the later work of William Godwin and Mary Shelley’

Wednesday 8 February 2012, Prof. Sharon Ruston (University of Salford), ‘Sublimation and the Sublime in the Poetry and Chemistry of the Romantic Period

Romanticism Seminar 2011

First annual Student Byron Conference: ‘Byron: Romantic Icon?’, 25 May 2011

Second Romanticism at Edge Hill Lecture Series:

6 April 2011: Dr Mary Hurst (Edge Hill University), ‘Confessions of a Byronic Hero’

30 March 2011: Dr David Higgins (University of Leeds), ‘Frankenstein’s Old Familiar Faces’

23 March 2011: Dr Jon Roberts (University of Liverpool), ‘Romantic Religions’

9March, 2011: Prof. David Punter (University of Bristol), ‘Blake and Pity’

2 March 2011: Dr Alan Rawes (University of Manchester),’ Derrida: Deconstruction and Shelley’s Compelling Rhyme Schemes’.

Romanticism Seminar 2010

22 June 2012: Dr Christine Kenyon-Jones (Kings College London), ‘Deformity transformed: Byron’s Lameness’

8 June 2012: Prof. Kelly Hurley (University of Colorado at Boulder), ‘Traumatophilia’

1 June 2012: Dr Essaka Joshua (Notre Dame University), ‘What Disability Studies can do for Romanticism’

18 May 2012: Prof. Bernard Beatty (Universities of Liverpool and St Andrews), ‘Gothic Byron: Mapping his Ghosts and Spirits’




EHU19 is delighted to announce a new MA in Nineteenth Century Studies. Whether you are a graduate with an interest in nineteenth century literature and culture, a current or aspiring educational or cultural heritage professional, or seeking to develop expert knowledge in preparation for a PhD, this interdisciplinary taught Masters degree allows you to explore the literature, history, cultural heritage and digital humanities of the nineteenth century and gain advanced skills in academic writing and research.Curator handles surgical objects in display case

For more information and to apply, please see the MA Nineteenth Century Studies course page.


Our EHUNineteen researchers also lead specialist research-led modules at undergraduate and postgraduate level in long nineteenth-century studies. These modules include:

LIT1020: Ways of Reading – This first year introductory literature module uses Victorian literature to explore various ways to engage with and analyse literary texts. The module begins with Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, introducing students to formalist, psychoanalytic, postcolonial and medical humanities approaches to this classic novel. The module then explores Victorian poetry, the detective fiction of Arthur Conan Doyle, and Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House.

HIS2032: Digital Detectives – This second year optional history module explores the development of crime and punishment in the 18th and 19th centuries. It begins with a discussion of the ‘bloody code’ and public executions, before tracking transformations in punishment such as the introduction of transportation and imprisonment. It also considers the representation of crime and criminals in Victorian popular culture. The module is taught in computer labs and makes extensive use of digital tools and archives.

LIT2046: British Children’s Literature – This second year optional literature module explores British children’s literature from the eighteenth century to the present day, analyzing significant constructs of childhood from the Romantic child to the Victorian waif and beyond. Students study classics of the genre such as Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland as well as more modern examples such as Julia Golding’s The Diamond of Drury Lane, a historical novel focusing on life in 1790s London.

LIT2050: Romanticism – This second year literature period survey introduces students to the literature and culture of the Romantic period, 1750-1850, exploring representations of home and abroad, the literature of sensibility, the spirit of the age, as well as childhood, gender, and animal rights. Canonical Romantic poetry is studied alongside lesser-known examples of Romantic drama and historical fiction.

LIT2051: Special Author. Our Special Author modules allow students to study in depth the writings of a single author. The module is taught by staff who are experts in the works of the featured author. Featured authors in recent years have included: Jane Austen, Rudyard Kipling, Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, and the Brontes.

HIS3038: Special Subject – Read All About It – This year-long research module explores the history of journalism and print culture, with a particular focus on the Victorian era. It examines the emergence of the popular press and discusses topics such as women’s magazines, investigative journalism, the provincial press, and the so-called ‘Harmsworth Revoltion.’ In the second semester, students undertake research on a project of their choice linked to the history of journalism. The module is taught in computer labs and makes extensive use of digital newspaper archives.

HIS3038: Special Subject – History of Interpersonal Violence – This year-long module examines the history of interpersonal violence in 19th and 20th century Britain. It begins with a broad theoretical examination of the definitions of violence, moral panics, the rise of new journalism, and the nature of masculinity. These theories will then be applied to historical analysis of particular forms of interpersonal violence, including gang violence, domestic violence, rape and murder.  The module encourages students to examine the extent to which interpersonal ‘violence’ is framed and defined less by everyday experience and more through the discourses and operation of the law and the print media. The courtroom and the newspapers can be interpreted as arenas in which this framing is played out, reinforced and modified. In the second semester, students undertake research on a project of their choice linked to themes of the module.

LIT3040: Victorians – This third year literature period survey analyses major Victorian authors like Charles Dickens and the Brontës in relation to significant cultural questions of the time, from evolution and empire to women’s rights; at the same time, the module also explores 19th-century popular culture and Victorian tastes for scandal, sensation, the supernatural, sex, and adventure.

LIT3045: Hosting a Literary Festival – This third year optional module offers students the opportunity to develop, plan, and host an event, celebrating a literary topic of their choice. Past events include a Festival of Forgotten Victorian Women, rediscovering significant women writers from the past and thinking about the future.

LIT3047 Postmodern Histories: Story and Memory – This module examines recent trends in literature that re-imagine historical figures and the space they occupy in cultural memory. With a particular focus on the nineteenth century, students will examine modern controversies for renowned Victorians like Lewis Carroll, as well as issues of truth and lies in Peter Carey’s rewriting of the mythology surrounding outlaw Ned Kelly and Margaret Atwood’s exploration of the fate of a sixteen-year-old ‘celebrated murderess’. This course considers postmodern (im)possibilities of life writing focusing on gaps and unresolved tensions that invite fictional retelling of the past in biofictions that transform the past for different desires and different times.

HUM4015: The Victorian City – This interdisciplinary MA module investigates the image and reality of the Victorian city in England. As a result of rapid industrialisation and urbanisation, urban centres became a source not only of interest but of fascination and anxiety in the nineteenth century. This engagement was vividly demonstrated in social accounts, journalism and popular fiction, particularly slum, detective and gothic fiction, through which social concerns about surveillance and safety were played out. The module brings together a range of historical, journalistic and literary documents from the period to facilitate students’ critical engagement with constructions of the city in the nineteenth century.

HUM4043 Neo-Victorian Fiction – This interdisciplinary MA module focuses on contemporary adaptation of the Victorian past. As part of a current trend of popularity for historical fiction, the Victorian period is crystallised as a site of creative and critical activity. The module investigates our enduring fascination with the Victorians considering the ways that nostalgia and self-conscious narrative experiment re-imagine an era.

HUM4046: Literature & Laughter – This MA level interdisciplinary module explores the theory and practice of the comic in nineteenth-century texts from the poetry of Lord Byron and novels of Jane Austen to Victorian print culture, joke books, and journalism.

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