JamesWhitehead1905My research interests include Romanticism and its legacies, psychiatry and mental illness in nineteenth and twentieth-century literature, including modernism especially, and life-writing. I arrived at LJMU in 2014. Before that I studied English at Oxford, UCL, and King’s College London, where I held a Wellcome postdoctoral fellowship and lectured in English and medical humanities. I have also been a lexicographer for the ongoing third edition of the OED.


I currently teach on the following modules at LJMU:

English 4011: Reading English
English 5000: Literary and Cultural Theory
English 5045 Romanticism and the Real: Politics and Culture in the Nineteenth Century
English 6053: Locating Madness
I have previously taught postgraduate modules on literature and psychiatry and convened an MSc programme in medical humanities, and taught on undergraduate modules covering life-writing, modernism, 19th century literature, Romanticism, 18th century literature, and introductory courses on studying poetry and language in literature.

I have supervised undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations in these areas and am always happy to discuss research plans with prospective students.


I have three principal research projects completed or in progress, one on the figure of the mad poet in the nineteenth century, due to appear in the near future with OUP, one on the representation and appropriation of schizophrenia in twentieth century culture, to appear in Liverpool University Press’s Representations series, and one on autobiographical narratives of mental illness or confinement. I am also interested in the literary qualities and cultural influence of medical case histories and other scientific writing.


Madness and the Romantic Poet (OUP, forthcoming 2015)

‘Biopower: bodies, minds, and biographical subjection in Victorian lives of the poets’, Victorian Network 6 (Winter, 2014) [online]

Book reviews for Review of English Studies, BARS Bulletin and Review, Social History of Medicine, Peer English, and Romantic Textualities: Literature and Print Culture 1780 – 1840. I have also been a peer reviewer for the online journal Stet, for BMJ Medical Humanities, and for History of the Human Sciences.

I am the correspondent for a society dedicated to the Romantic-period writer and critic William Hazlitt (1778–1830), and for the journal it produces, The Hazlitt Review. Queries or submissions for the society or journal should be sent to: hazlittsociety@gmail.com.

For more information see: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/hazlitt-society.

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