Dr Simon Avery

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+44 20 7911 5000 ext 68960
32/38 Wells Street London W1T 3UW
Wednesday 11-1

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English, Linguistics and Cultural Studies | Department

Simon Avery's interests include Victorian literature and culture, the 1890s and queer history.

I have taught at the University of Westminster since 2007, where I am currently Reader in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture. Along with Dr Leigh Wilson, I co-ordinate the PhD programmes for the Department of English, Linguistics and Cultural Studies, and I have previously been Course Leader for the Single Honours English Literature degree (2009-14).

Before coming to Westminster, I taught in the School of Humanities at the University of Hertfordshire (1999-2007) and the Department of English and Drama at Anglia Ruskin University (1996-1999), where I was also Deputy Director of a HEFCE-funded project on graduate and transferable skills. I hold an MA in Victorian Literature (University of Nottingham), a PhD in nineteenth-century literature and politics (Anglia Ruskin), and a postgraduate certificate in learning and teaching in higher education (University of Hertfordshire).

My key areas of teaching and research interest are nineteenth and twentieth-century poetry; the relations between Victorian literature and politics; the 1890s; historiography; life-writing; and sexuality. With Dr Katherine M. Graham, I am Director of the Queer London Research Forum, which we established in 2013 in order to investigate the histories of queer London c.1850-present.

My teaching lies principally in the areas of nineteenth-century literature and culture; gender and sexuality; and modern poetry.

I am module leader for the level six module Writing Sexuality, which examines constructions of sexuality in the late-19th and 20th centuries; the level six module Studies in Modern Poetry, which considers histories of poetry from the 1890s to the present; and the level five module Studies in Travel Writing, which examines literary and non-fictional representations of travel from the Grand Tour to the 21st century.

I also teach on the level four module The Victorians and, at MA level, the option module Victorian Explorations, and the core module Subjectivities in Modern and Contemporary Fictions.

My research is in two key areas:

Nineteenth-century Literature and Culture

I am particularly interested in the complex relations between literature, culture and politics in the nineteenth century. I have published books on Elizabeth Barrett Browning (2003; 2011), Thomas Hardy (2009; 2013), and Mary Coleridge (2010), and articles and book chapters on the Bront√ęs and politics, Mathilde Blind and Eleanor Marx, the Italian Risorgimento, and nineteenth-century historiography. I also have an interest in the ways in which the nineteenth century is represented in contemporary historical fiction and have published work on Pat Barker and Alan Hollinghurst in this respect.

Queer London

I am Director, with Dr Katherine M. Graham, of the Queer London Research Forum, which is housed within the Department of English, Linguistics and Cultural Studies. We established the Forum in 2013 with the aim of developing research into the histories of queer London c.1850-present from a range of interdisciplinary perspectives. We have hosted a major international conference on Queer London and a series of popular seminars on issues such as queerness and the digital archive; London's ageing queer populations; and London's Queer Literatures.

Current work with Dr Graham for the Queer London Research Forum includes editing a collection of essays coming out of the Queer London Conference.

Research Students

I welcome enquires from postgraduates looking to work on any area of nineteenth-century literature and culture; sexuality studies; life writing; and modern poetry.

My current MPhil and PhD students are working on areas as varied as:

  • H. Rider Haggard and life writing;
  • the drama of 'Michael Field' (Katherine Bradley and Edith Cooper);
  • Christina Rossetti and liminality;
  • the politics of exiled English convents, c.1600-1800.

2017

Framing the Object of Desire: The Politics of Art in Alan Hollinghurst's The Folding Star (2017)
Avery, S. 2017. Framing the Object of Desire: The Politics of Art in Alan Hollinghurst's The Folding Star. in: Mathuray, M. (ed.) Sex and Sensibility in the Novels of Alan Hollinghurst Basingstoke Palgrave Macmillan.

2016

Structuring and Interpreting Queer Spaces of London (2016)
Avery, S. 2016. Structuring and Interpreting Queer Spaces of London. in: Avery, S. and Graham, K.M. (ed.) Sex, Time and Place: Queer Histories of London, c.1850 to the Present London Bloomsbury Academic.
Politics, Legal Concerns, and Reforms (2016)
Avery, S. 2016. Politics, Legal Concerns, and Reforms. in: Long Hoeveler, D. and Denenholz Morse, D. (ed.) Blackwell Companion to the Brontes Oxford Wiley. pp. 471-484

2012

The Brontes and Politics (2012)
Avery, S. 2012. The Brontes and Politics. in: Thormahlen, M. (ed.) The Brontes in Context Cambridge Cambridge University Press.

2011

Forming a new political aesthetic: the enabling body in Pat Barker's life class (2011)
Avery, S. 2011. Forming a new political aesthetic: the enabling body in Pat Barker's life class. in: Wheeler, P. (ed.) Re-reading Pat Barker Newcastle Cambridge Scholars Publishing. pp. 131-150

2010

Introduction (2010)
Avery, S. 2010. Introduction. in: Avery, S. (ed.) Selected poems of Mary Coleridge Exeter Shearsman Books. pp. 9-30

2006

Teaching Writing Within a Discipline (2006)
Young, T. and Avery, S. 2006. Teaching Writing Within a Discipline. in: Ganobcsik Williams, L. (ed.) Teaching Academic Writing in UK Higher Education: Theories, Practices and Models Basingstoke Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 85-97

2000

'Tantalising Glimpses': The Intersecting Lives of Eleanor Marx and Mathilde Blind (2000)
Avery, S. 2000. 'Tantalising Glimpses': The Intersecting Lives of Eleanor Marx and Mathilde Blind. in: Stokes, J. (ed.) Eleanor Marx: Life, Work, Contacts Aldershot Ashgate. pp. 173-187

2016

Sex, Time and Place: Queer Histories of London, c.1850 to the Present (2016)
Avery, S. and Graham, K.M. (ed.) 2016. Sex, Time and Place: Queer Histories of London, c.1850 to the Present. London Bloomsbury.

2013

The return of the native: Thomas Hardy (2013)
Avery, S. (ed.) 2013. The return of the native: Thomas Hardy. Broadview.

2011

Elizabeth Barrett Browning (2011)
Avery, S. 2011. Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Northcote House.

2010

Selected poems of Mary Coleridge (2010)
Avery, S. (ed.) 2010. Selected poems of Mary Coleridge. Exeter Shearsman Books.

2009

Thomas Hardy: the Mayor of Casterbridge, Jude the obscure: a reader's guide to essential criticism (2009)
Avery, S. 2009. Thomas Hardy: the Mayor of Casterbridge, Jude the obscure: a reader's guide to essential criticism. Basingstoke Palgrave Macmillan.

2004

Lives of Victorian literary figures, part II: the Brownings [volume one] (2004)
Avery, S. (ed.) 2004. Lives of Victorian literary figures, part II: the Brownings [volume one]. London, UK Pickering & Chatto.

2003

Elizabeth Barrett Browning (2003)
Avery, S. and Stott, R. 2003. Elizabeth Barrett Browning. London, UK ; New York, USA Longman.

2001

Writing With Style (2001)
Stott, R. and Avery, S. (ed.) 2001. Writing With Style. Harlow Longman.

2015

'A new kind of rays': gothic fears, cultural anxieties and the discovery of X-rays in the 1890s (2015)
Avery, S. 2015. 'A new kind of rays': gothic fears, cultural anxieties and the discovery of X-rays in the 1890s. Gothic Studies. 17 (1), pp. 61-75.

2010

Re-Reading EBB: Trends in Elizabeth Barrett Browning Criticism (2010)
Avery, S. 2010. Re-Reading EBB: Trends in Elizabeth Barrett Browning Criticism. The Journal of Browning Studies. 1, pp. 5-13.

2007

Mapping political history: Elizabeth Barrett Browning and nineteenth-century historiography (2007)
Avery, S. 2007. Mapping political history: Elizabeth Barrett Browning and nineteenth-century historiography. Victorian Review. 33 (2), pp. 17-33.
Casa Guidi neighbours: Eliza Ogilvy, Elizabeth Barrett Browning and poetry of the Risorgimento (2007)
Avery, S. 2007. Casa Guidi neighbours: Eliza Ogilvy, Elizabeth Barrett Browning and poetry of the Risorgimento. Browning Society Notes. 32, pp. 55-73.

2006

Telling it slant: Promethean, Whig, and dissenting politics in Elizabeth Barrett's poetry of the 1830s (2006)
Avery, S. 2006. Telling it slant: Promethean, Whig, and dissenting politics in Elizabeth Barrett's poetry of the 1830s. Victorian Poetry. 44 (4), pp. 405-424.

1998

Some Strange and Spectral Dream: The Brontes' Manipulation of the Gothic Mode (1998)
Avery, S. 1998. Some Strange and Spectral Dream: The Brontes' Manipulation of the Gothic Mode. Bronte Society Transactions. 23 (2), pp. 120-135.

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