Dr Clara Dawson

Senior Lecturer in Victorian Literature

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I joined the Department at Manchester in September 2014, after posts at Birmingham University and University of Edinburgh. I have held visiting research fellowships at Baylor University (US, autumn 2013), the Central European University (Budapest, autumn 2017) and a visiting teaching fellowship at the University of Hong Kong (autumn 2018). 

As a specialist in poetry of the long nineteenth century, my research has developed along two pathways: print culture and environmental humanities. My early career focused on print culture and resulted in a monograph, Victorian Poetry and the Culture of Evaluation (Oxford University Press, 2020). It developed new methodologies for analysing poetry and periodicals, a significant development in a field dominated by archival theory and book history. Research published since my monograph has focused on the gift annual, an important and under-researched area of Romantic and Victorian print culture. My contributions (in the most prestigious journal for Romanticism, Studies in Romanticism and a book chapter in The 1820s: Paradox and Change) develop new aesthetic categories for the gift annual and situate it in wider currents of Romantic and Victorian literature. My new research project on avian poetics takes an interdisciplinary approach and is based in the field of environmental humanities. The project combines poetry, natural history, and conservation science. 

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