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Personal profile


At present I serve as Honours Coordinator both for the School (LLCL) and for Literary Studies specifically. I convene undergraduate offerings on Romanticism, the Victorian period, creative writing, and Anglo-Irish literature.

I am a specialist in literature of the (very) long nineteenth-century, with particular interests in British Romanticism, Orientalism, Irish studies, and the reception of the classical tradition. Primarily I work on the poetry of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Wordsworth, Tennyson, and John Keats, with attention to other authors such as Joanna Baillie, Sara Coleridge, Edward Gibbon, Charles Lamb, and Thomas de Quincey. Increasingly I am drawn to nineteenth-century interdisciplinarity, particularly the relation of literary texts to material culture. I’m also an author of narrative non-fiction. What unites these themes is a fascination with what happens when different cultures come into contact; whether it’s the way that nineteenth-century authors reinterpret classical myth, or how esoteric Buddhist practices pass into modern settings.               Crippled Immortals     

My first book, Tragic Coleridge (2013), argues that a philosophy of sacrifice permeates Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poetical and critical works, drawn primarily from his reading of the ancient Greeks, Shakespeare, Milton, and contemporary German writers. I followed this with Crippled Immortals (2018), a narrative nonfiction about my adventures in Singapore, Malaysia, and China. My latest book is China from the Ruins of Athens and Rome: Classics, Sinology, and Romanticism, 1793-1938 (Oxford University Press, 2020).

I came to Monash in 2017 having studied at University College Dublin (BA), the University of Bristol (MA), and the University of Warwick (PhD), and having held fellowships at Nanyang Technological University and Durham University. At Monash I am co-director of the interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies Research Unit. Amongst other affiliations I am a member of the Friends of Coleridge, the Irish Studies Association of Australia and New Zealand, and the Romantic Studies Association of Australasia. In 2017 I was elected a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society.

Current projects include:

- Chinese spirituality in nineteenth-century Anglophone literature

- Coleridge's theory of double-touch, and its influence on Keats

- Religion in Irish literature and culture (an edited volume for Cambridge University Press)

- The reception of William Blake in Australia

Research interests

Victorian literature
Anglo-Irish literature
Classical reception
Poetry and Poetics
The Gothic
Narrative non-fiction

External positions

Treasurer, Irish Studies Association of Australia and New Zealand

1 Jan 2020 → …

Editor, Australasian Journal of Irish Studies

1 Jan 2019 → …

Fellow, Royal Asiatic Society

31 Mar 2017 → …

Research area keywords

  • Romanticism
  • Victorian literature
  • Ireland
  • Anglo-Irish literature
  • Gothic
  • classics
  • Poetry
  • Poetics
  • Postcolonial literatures
  • Creative Nonfiction
  • China
  • Orientalism


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