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Professor Daniel Brown BA, PhD

Professor of English

Professor Daniel Brown's photo

Professor Daniel Brown is a Professor of English at the University of Southampton.

I came to the University of Southampton in 2013, having taught in the Department of English at the University of Western Australia from 1993 to 2012. I have also been a visiting lecturer in film studies at the University of Hong Kong and Australian studies at the Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest. Most of my teaching has been in literary studies from the early eighteenth- to the early twenty-first centuries, as well as film studies. I have a new third-year single module starting in 2018-19, ‘Medicine and Modernity: The Science and Literature of Life in the Nineteenth-century’ (ENGL3095).

I have supervised Ph.D theses in diverse areas, from late eighteenth-century gothic to Hopkins and other Victorians, and Virginia Woolf to Gabriel Garcia Marquez, J. G. Ballard and Toni Morison. I am happy to supervise Ph.D theses in a wide range of areas, but especially in G. M. Hopkins, Edward Lear and Lewis Carroll, fin-de-siecle literature and culture, modernism, and in my principal research areas of poetry and science, and poetry and philosophy, across the long nineteenth century.


Research interests

I have an abiding interest in the relations between literature, science and philosophy in the long nineteenth century. My current and recent publications include a book chapter on poetry and medicine for Literature and the History of Medicine, v.2: The Nineteenth Century, ed. Andrew Mangham (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming), and another on Edward Lear, ‘Being and Naughtiness’ in Edward Lear and the Play of Poetry, ed. James Williams and Matthew Bevis (Oxford University Press, 2016). I have written a couple of books on Gerard Manley Hopkins, the first of which, Hopkins' Idealism (1997) focused upon his poetry and thought in relation to British Idealism and energy physics. In writing the chapter on ‘Poetry and Science' for the Cambridge Companion to Victorian Poetry (2001), I wished to depart from the established approach to the area, of focusing exclusively upon canonical poets on science, by also discussing poetry by Victorian scientists. This led me to a principal research focus on poetry by nineteenth-century scientists. I received a large three-year grant from the Australian Research Council to conduct the manuscript and other research required for this project, and an article on my research appeared in New Scientist in 2011 (24 Dec. 2011, 58-59). The main outcome of this line of research, The Poetry of Victorian Scientists: Style, Science and Nonsense (2013; paperback 2015), the first book dedicated to the subject, argues that the Victorian renaissances in research science and nonsense literature are curiously interrelated. Further journal articles have resulted from this project, with one on the Irish mathematician and astronomer, William Rowan Hamilton and William Wordsworth being published in Studies in Romanticism (2012-13). I have also completed another journal article on mock-Valentines written by a range of Victorian scientists, including the paleontologist Edward Forbes, the physicists W. J. M. Rankine, John Tyndall and James Clerk Maxwell, and the mathematician James Joseph Sylvester.

In addition to publishing on romantic poetry and science, I have also written on Thomas de Quincey's essays. I have research interests in gender and philosophy in the late nineteenth-century. My article ‘George Egerton's Keynotes: Nietzschean feminism and fin-de-siècle fetishism' examines Egerton's ‘New Women' short stories in relation to Friedrich Nietzsche and early Scandinavian vectors of his thought, along with symbolist art and early writings by Sigmund Freud. I have published on British New Romanticism and desire in early poems by Thom Gunn and his one-time correspondent, the Australian writer Randolph Stow. Other research interests in film, philosophy and literature, are registered in an essay in PMLA, ‘Wilde and Wilder,' on Billy Wilder's Sunset Boulevard as an allegory and history of cinema. I continue to publish and review in the area of Hopkins studies, and am on the editorial board of the specialist journal Hopkins Quarterly.

I am currently completing a book project, The place of women in Victorian science: lyric records and hidden histories, which traces the roles, functions and opportunities allocated to women by Victorian professional science. It does so by attending to the subtle but neglected testimony of poetry written by male scientists and women who were engaged with science.


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Professor Daniel Brown
Faculty of Arts and Humanities University of Southampton Avenue Campus Highfield Southampton SO17 1BF United Kingdom

Room Number : 65/1018

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