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The University of Southampton
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Dr Zoe Hawkins 


Dr Zoe Hawkins's photo

I joined English at Southampton in 2016, having previously taught at the University of Exeter, Blackfriars Hall (Oxford), and University College London (UCL). It was also at UCL that I studied for my BA, MA, and PhD.

My research interests lie predominantly in early modern poetry and in the political prose of the English Civil War period. My published work to date, which has appeared in journals including the Review of English Studies, has primarily been concerned with John Milton’s writing, but my next large project will be on the tracts and pamphlets published in response to the execution of Charles I.

Research interests

I am currently working on my first monograph, Closets and Kitchins: Home in the Prose and Poetry of John Milton. Where previous studies have tended to focus on the broader issue of domesticity, my book attends specifically to spatial and political concerns, exploring, for instance, why Milton chose to stage several of the most aggressive confrontations of his polemical prose in chambers, kitchens, and garrets. I trace the image of the home through Milton’s poetic and prose careers, showing that the domestically centred anxieties of his youthful poetry are often refigured as pugnacious strategies in his prose, and that these are in turn reworked into social ideals in his epic and late poems. Ultimately, I conclude Milton’s politicised treatments of domestic space both reflect and contribute to an early modern redefinition of ‘public’ and ‘private’ life.

My next major project is a literary and historical study of one of the most influential English books of the early modern period: the Eikon Basilike (1649). The Civil Wars of the 1640s irrevocably changed the English political system, helped to define Anglo-Scotch relations, spawned modern bicameral politics, and acted as a catalyst for changing understandings of ‘public’ and ‘private’ life. The Eikon Basilike was easily the noisiest publication of the period: it ran to over 36 editions in its first year alone, in spite of Parliamentarian efforts to suppress it; and it seems to have been the first, possibly the decisive, turning point in the popular swing back to monarchism. I hope to write the biography, as it were, of the Eikon Basilike, examining its debts and its contributions to the history of its period, and also its afterlives.

I also have a separate interest in the cultural history of wings and flight, and am working on articles about the imagery of wings in the poetry of Herbert and Vaughan; literal and figurative winged men in early modern science writing; and the conservatism of wing-images in Milton’s Paradise Lost.

Though my teaching usually centres on early modern literature I enjoy teaching poetry across a range of periods and am currently one of the tutors on the Literary Transformations module.

Dr Zoe Hawkins
Faculty of Arts and Humanities University of Southampton Avenue Campus Highfield Southampton SO17 1BF United Kingdom

Room Number NNN: 65/2037

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