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Research Team Profiles

Researchers engaged in Eighteenth-Century and Romantic Studies research

Dr Katherine Aske

Senior Research Assistant, Sterne Digital Library project

I am an English Literature scholar and I completed my doctorate at Loughborough University in 2015. My research has focussed on understandings of female beauty and the concept of physiognomy in eighteenth-century literature, and I am now moving into the medical humanities to explore the development of skincare and proto-dermatology in the long eighteenth century.

I work at Northumbria University as a Senior Research Assistant on the AHRC ‘Sterne Digital Library’ project, and am also the Events Assistant for the British Academy funded ‘Novel Impressions’ network. I completed a postdoctoral research position at the Université de Bretagne Occidentale, Brest, in 2016, working on the digital humanities project Digitens. I currently work as the Theatre Reviews Editor for BSECS Criticks.



Dr Ashleigh Blackwood

Leverhulme Research Trust Fellow

Ashleigh is a scholar of medical humanities, with specific interests in eighteenth-century literature and the history of professionalised, public and lay medicine. She has published work on reproductive medicine and the professionalization of obstetrics and gynaecology... more>>>


Bethany Brigham

PhD Candidate, Medical Fictions and Healing Words: The Gothic Narratives of the Medical Profession, 1750-1850

After having completed both an English Literature and History BA and English Literature MA at Northumbria University, I am now undertaking a Northern Bridge AHRC-funded PhD. This project focuses on gothic fiction in relation to the discourse and practice of the medical profession in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. My broad research interests are the cultural uses and transmissions of literary narrative, convention and trope, and the relationship between fiction and medico-scientific contexts. My area of expertise is Mary Shelley, particularly in regards to Frankenstein.



Brycchan -Carey ,-Northumbria -UniProfessor Brycchan Carey

Professor of English

I spent my childhood in the west of Cornwall before leaving in the mid-1980s without much of a life plan! After several years trying out various jobs including local radio and the wine trade, I returned to education...more>>>


a woman smiling for the cameraDr Rachael Durkin

Senior Lecturer in Music

Dr Rachael Durkin leads the performance and pedagogical strands of the Foundation and BA Music degrees at Northumbria University. Her research interests focus on the history of musical instruments (organology), particularly string instruments of the baroque era... more>>>


Joanne Edwards

PhD Candidate, Women, Art and Patronage: The Delavals of Seaton Delaval Hall

After studying at Northumbria University to complete my BA and MRes in English Literature, I am now undertaking a four-year PhD project funded by Northern Bridge. My project is in partnership with the National Trust, working closely with Seaton Delaval Hall. My thesis aims to explore the Delaval women’s engagement and patronage of the visual arts and to reflect on the ways in which heritage sites, specifically country houses, represent and create narratives about women. My work aims to raise important questions not only for historical scholarship of the eighteenth-century interior, but also for twenty-first-century curatorship and heritage as a whole on topics including the importance of diversity within a museum collection, the public/private ownership of that collection, and how these issues are interpreted for and communicated to the public.



Dr David Fallon

Senior Lecturer in English

David evolved on the Wirral in Merseyside and studied English Language and Literature at Oxford University, before completing an interdisciplinary MA at Queen Mary, University of London, and then a D.Phil. at Oxford ... more>>


Allan Ingram Humanities Northumbria UniversityProfessor Allan Ingram

Professor of English

My first degree and doctorate, on James Boswell and the writing of melancholy, were both taken at Nottingham, after which I taught for six years as Lecturer in English at what was then Newland Park College... more>>


ADSS Clarklower Facultystaff 255Professor Clark Lawlor

Professor of Eighteenth-Century English Literature

I studied English literature at the University of Oxford before specialising in eighteenth-century literature for my MA and PhD at the University of Warwick, although I also retained an interest in American... more>>


Helen Leighton Rose

PhD candidate, Women’s agency and subversion, 1707-1870; the changes wrought by industrialisation upon the social lives and the perceived ownership of women’s bodies.

Helen Leighton-Rose is a PhD candidate in History at the University of Northumbria, where she gained her Master’s Degree in 2019. Her research focuses upon the lives of Scottish women living in the market towns south of Edinburgh and has expanded to explore women’s agency and subversion in the period 1707-1870. Of interest are the changes wrought by industrialisation upon the social lives and the perceived ownership of women’s bodies.



ADSS Newbon Facultystaff 255Dr Pete Newbon

In January 2022 we lost our colleague Dr Pete Newbon. This has deeply saddened members of the research group, of which Pete was an important part. Pete joined Northumbria in 2012. He was a good colleague and friend, and an inspiring and hugely knowledgeable academic. Pete will be particularly remembered for his great love of poetry and his wonderful anecdotes about the escapades of his three daughters. Pete was working on an unfolding project to recover the poetry of Hartley Coleridge, a project on which he often spoke with great passion. This followed on from his excellent 2019 monograph exploring the figure of the 'boy-man' in the long nineteenth century. Our thoughts are with Pete's family.

If members of the academic community would like to contribute to an online book of condolences, please contact any member of the research group for further details.


Dr. Rosamund Paice

Associate Lecturer

I am an Associate Lecturer at Northumbria University, and have previously lectured at the Universities of Lancaster, Manchester, and Portsmouth. My research tops and tails the long eighteenth century. For my PhD, I focused on late works by William Blake in relation to art, empire, and commerce. I subsequently worked my way back to John Milton and have published on translation and love in his epics. My current research centres on poetic representations of lost gardens in the late seventeenth century.


Eloise Scott

PhD Candidate, Space, Solitude and the Sublime: Urban Romantic Writers and the Architecture of the Mind

I studied my BA at Newcastle University and my MA at Durham University, before joining Northumbria University for a PhD fully funded by Northumbria’s Research Development Fund. My research interests currently centre around Romantic writers Thomas De Quincey and William Wordsworth, exploring the ways in which London in the long eighteenth-century inspired sublime labyrinthine landscapes and subversions of solitude. I am particularly interested in how the traditional Romantic imagination is challenged by the metaphysical oppression of the city, and how the psychological repercussions of this are embodied within these writer’s poetry and prose through their use of internal geographical spaces to translate memory and trauma.



Prof. Juliet Shields

Professor of English Literature

I joined the Department of Humanities at Northumbria University in 2021, after working for 12 years at the University of Washington in Seattle. My teaching focuses on literatures of the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Anglophone Atlantic World... more>>


Dr David Stewart

Associate Professor in Romanticism

My first degree, in English and Philosophy, was from the University of Stirling. After this I studied for a Masters in Romanticism at the University of Glasgow where I completed a PhD in 2008. I joined... more>>


Laurence Sullivan

PhD Candidate, ‘Every Woman Her Own Doctress’: Literary Portrayals of Lay Women Practitioners on the Stage and Page in Eighteenth-Century Britain

My current research is funded by the Leverhulme Trust. It focuses on exploring literary representations of lay women who practiced medicine during the eighteenth century. Through the study of how such women were represented creatively on the page and stage, I aim to further develop our understanding of the role medical self-help played in society, and how women could be empowered by being given the means to take ownership of their own health, that of their household’s and, potentially, even that of the wider community around them. This interdisciplinary study enables the interplay between different forms of text to be revealed, contributing new knowledge to both the fields of literary criticism and medical/cultural history, each informing the other to highlight the key – but all too often overlooked – role women played in the realm of domestic medical practice during the eighteenth century



May SumbwanyambeMay Sumbwanyambe


May Sumbwanyambe is a librettist, radio dramatist, academic and award-winning playwright from Edinburgh. Previous productions include; After Independence (Arcola Theatre, Papatango Theatre); The Parrot House (The Royal Opera House, Guildhall School of Music and Drama)... more>>>


Professor Richard Terry

Members of the Eighteenth-Century and Romantic Studies Research Group were devastated by the tragic loss of Prof. Richard Terry on the 3rd of July 2020. Richard's death was sudden and unexpected. He was due to take up a Leverhulme Fellowship for the coming academic year (2020-2021) to work on a monograph entitled "A Sense of an Ending": Life Assurance and the English Novel, 1700-1900'. Richard will leave a big gap in the research group, one that it will be impossible to fill.  

If members of the academic community would like to contribute to an online book of condolences, please contact any member of the research group for further details.


Dr Claudine van Hensbergen

Associate Professor in Eighteenth-Century English Literature

I joined the department at Northumbria in 2012 as Lecturer in Eighteenth-Century English Literature, having completed a doctorate at Oxford in 2010, and held research posts at Oxford, York and Tate Britain... more>>


Dr Diana Volonakis 

Postdoctoral Visiting Researcher of the National Swiss Science Foundation

Diana Volonakis is a Swiss National Science Foundation Early Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Humanities. She joined Northumbria University in 2021, having previously taught at the Kurt Bosch University Institute and the University of Geneva, where she completed her doctoral thesis the same year. She was a visiting scholar at Harvard Business School in 2017-2018. Diana is a historian of women’s industrial training and is particularly interested in women’s engagement in the 19th century watchmaking industries of Switzerland, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Her current research project is titled “Gendered occupational segregation and industrialisation: Women Watchmakers in England, 1760-1820”.  



a man wearing glassesProfessor David Walker

Professor of English

I have worked at Northumbria University since 1999 as a lecturer, senior lecturer, and Head of English and Creative Writing. More recently I was Head of the Department of Humanities from 2009 till 2012... more>>


June Watson

PhD Candidate funded by Northern Bridge AHRC, A Study of Scientific Female Networks, Women’s Agency, and their Contributions to Modern Science in the Long Eighteenth Century

Awarded B.A.History at Sunderland University 2018 and MRes History at Northumbria University 2019.

I returned to university after many years’ experience in the London antiques trade where my passion and knowledge of the eighteenth and nineteenth century was shaped and reinforced by the objects circulated and sold in the rapidly expanding market for ‘ethnographic curiosities’.

My thesis offers the first study of female scientific networks encompassing the history of science, cultural history, the notion of contact zones and gender history. No studies have emerged of women working in the inner circle of Sir Joseph Banks, President of the Royal Society, at his London home.  It will illustrate the complex lives of patriotic women who found their important contributions to science exploited by the powerful Banks, who brushed off all challenges to his leadership in world science.

My public exhibition of facsimiles of twenty-one botanical illustrations dated 1811-1812, from the archives of the Royal Botanic Garden, KEW illustrate my current research of an unrecorded elite female artist and botanist with links to Northumberland. This is currently touring galleries in Northumberland & Surrey 2021-2022, in collaboration with KEW and sponsored by Northumberland Archives.



ADSS Leighwetheralldickson Staffprofile 100Dr Leigh Wetherall Dickson

Associate Professor in Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Literature

My first degree was a BA in English Studies at Sheffield Hallam, followed by a PhD. In December 2006 I first joined Northumbria as the Leverhulme Research Associate for the three-year 'Before Depression:... more>>


Helen WilliamsDr Helen Williams

Senior Lecturer in Eighteenth-Century Literature

Helen received her BA from Northumbria University and her MA from Durham University before returning to Northumbria to complete a PhD in collaboration with the Laurence Sterne Trust at Shandy Hall... more>>


Daisy Winter

PhD candidate, The Emergence of Women’s Memoir in England, 1660-1740

After completing my BA and MA in English Literature at Northumbria University, I returned in 2019 to take up a fully-funded PhD. My research interests lie broadly in the relationship between print and manuscript cultures, concepts of interiority and cultural intimacy. I am currently researching the emergence and development of women’s memoir throughout the long eighteenth century. I am interested in the slipperiness of genre in this period, and the thesis encompasses a broad range of spiritual autobiographies, private diaries, novels, and other writings.



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