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Ms Emma Hills BA, MA

Postgraduate Research Student

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Emma Hills is a PhD English Literature and Book History researcher at the University of Southampton and the University of Exeter, funded by the SWWDTP (AHRC).

I completed my BA in English at the University of Southampton in 2018, and immediately began my MA in English Literature and Victorian Studies at the University of Exeter which I completed in 2019. After being awarded funding by the SWWDTP (AHRC) in 2019, I began my PhD working with the Universities of Southampton and Exeter, and the National Trust. My thesis considers the influences of nineteenth-century British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli’s reading on his political imperial agendas.


BA English (First Class Honours), University of Southampton, 2018. MA English Literature and Victorian Studies (Distinction), University of Exeter, 2019

Research interests

Specialising in the long-nineteenth century, my primary research interests lie in Book History, Cultural Heritage, and imperialism. However, I also have strong research interests in post-colonial approaches to the nineteenth-century, and transnational studies, as well as imperialist visual and commodity cultures.

My current research focusses on the relationship between the role of literature, imperial ideology, and national identity in Disraeli’s reading and subsequent political agendas. My PhD thesis, entitled, ‘Literature and the Imperial Imagination: Benjamin Disraeli’s Reading, National Identity and Britain’s Global Expansion,’ analyses Disraeli’s understudied but extensively annotated working library, held by the National Trust, alongside his letters, personal notebooks, and his own fiction, as well as his political career, to understand the influence of his reading on the topography of Britain’s nineteenth-century project of global expansion.

I am the Deputy Editor for Romance, Revolution and Reform, the Open Access, interdisciplinary journal of the Southampton Centre of Nineteenth-Century Research. More information about RRR can be found on our website.

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Ms Emma Hills
Student Office, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Southampton, Avenue Campus, Southampton. SO17 1BF United Kingdom
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