The RECSO Network, currently supported by The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH) under the ‘New Network Scheme’, is a graduate-led initiative to facilitate interdisciplinary training, teaching and research in the long eighteenth century. As well as providing a physical space for researchers from different disciplines to encounter one another, in 2014-15 we will be holding a fortnightly series of talks, events, and seminars. Please visit

The RECSO Team

Graduate Committee

The RECSO Blog and Network is administrated by a committee of graduate volunteers, who represent their respective faculties, author news posts, chair sessions, organise events, and carry out a variety of roles within the programme.

Emily Knight (History of Art, 1st Yr. DPhil, Director and Seminar Coordinator)

Emily is a D.Phil student in History of Art supervised by Prof. Hanneke Grootenboer and Prof. Shearer West. Her research focuses on posthumous portraiture in the late eighteenth to early nineteenth centuries in Britain, considering the ways in which these works became a language for mourning and commemoration. Further information can be found on her profile page. Contact: [email protected] | Twitter: @eamknight

adam picAdam Bridgen (English, 2nd Yr. DPhil, Founder and Former Director)

Adam founded RECSO in early 2014, and directed the project in its first year as a TORCH Network. He continues to support the project, and is currently working on RECSO’s long-term financial plan as a part of the university, and consulting with other graduate groups who wish to set up similar period-specific networks.

Adam is a DPhil student of English, and his research explores the significance of colonial slavery in eighteenth-century labouring-class poetry, specifically as a means of interrogating ideas of identity and social politics within Britain. Adam has previously worked on the the Digital Miscellanies Index , held a fellowship at the Huntington Library, and following his doctorate he hopes to further pursue his interest in labouring-class epistolarity. Contact: [email protected]

Jennifer Wood (English, 2nd Yr. DPhil, Social Secretary)

Jennifer is an AHRC-funded D.Phil. student in English at University College, Oxford, supervised by Prof. Nicholas Halmi and Prof. Pamela Clemit. Her thesis examines William Godwin’s hitherto unacknowledged status as a major node in an intricate system of epistolary networks that spanned over five decades of the Romantic period (c.1778-1836). Specifically, it considers how – and in what ways – the private letter enabled Godwin to forge, sustain, develop, and often terminate relationships (both personal and professional) in a discursive, intellectually rigorous, pre-digital era. For Jennifer’s detailed research profile, click here. Contact: [email protected]

Peter Hill (Oriental Studies, Junior Research Fellow, Awards Officer)

Peter is in the process of completing his DPhil in Oriental Studies, working on Arabic literature and intellectual history of the nineteenth century. He is writing a thesis on utopian aspects of the cultural production of the Arab ‘Renaissance’ (Nahda), and their grounding in the social history of the Ottoman-Arab world of the long nineteenth century. This was a period of major contact with European culture, and his research has been centrally concerned with translations of French and English literature into Arabic - for instance Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe and Fénelon’s Les aventures de Télémaque. His article on the first Arabic translations of Enlightenment literature recently appeared in Intellectual History Review, and another on early translations of English fiction into Arabic in the Journal of Semitic Studies. He also writes for the Oxford Left Review, the Oxonian Review and Muftah magazine. Contact: [email protected]

Dr David Kennerley (History, Postdoctoral Research Assistant, Seminar Coordinator)

David is currently a postdoctoral research assistant in the History Faculty at the University of Oxford. His research focuses on what the history of performance and the performing arts can reveal about social identities and power relationships in the past, particularly as regards gender, class and political culture. Further information can be found on his profile page. Contact: [email protected]

P1010264%281%29 (1)Dr Fiona Gatty (History of Art, Seminar Coordinator)

Dr Fiona Gatty is an art historian and recently completed her doctoral studies on the topic of ideal beauty in late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century French art and art criticism, with a particular emphasis on the historical and teleological importance of accurate costume, and the aesthetic impact of drapery in the definition of ideal beauty. She is particularly interested in the attention given to clothing by the father of art history and archaeology, Johann Joachim Winckelmann and the impact of his work on late eighteenth-century French art theory and practice. She was a contributor to ‘The Beautiful and the Monstrous: Essays in French Literature’ by Amaleena Damle, Aurelie L’Hostis (Eds) (2007). She also publishes exhibition reviews, regularly gives conference papers, and teaches aesthetics, and eighteenth -and nineteenth-century French art history. Contact: [email protected]

10574279_10154415745170526_7371923923286975787_n (1)Joe Davies (Music, 2nd Yr. DPhil, Conference Advisor)

Joe is in the second year of a doctoral project (funded by the AHRC) that aims to develop an analytical and critical framework for understanding notions of fantasy, grotesquerie, and the uncanny in Schubert’s late music.

His other research and teaching interests include the keyboard music of C.P.E. Bach, Mozart, and Haydn, German Romanticism, and reception history. Contact: [email protected]

Kelsey Rubin-Detlev (Medieval & Modern Languages, JRF confirmed, Enlightenment Associate)

Kelsey Rubin-Detlev, Medieval and Modern Languages, is a DPhil student and Ertegun Scholar working on notions of the Enlightenment in the correspondence of Catherine II of Russia. Contact: [email protected]

jacob picJacob Lloyd (English, 1st Yr. DPhil, Poetry Readings)

Jacob is a DPhil student in the English Faculty supervised by Professor Seamus Perry. His area of research is Romantic poetry within the long 18th Century, especially between 1790 and 1830. His thesis examines the verse of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Percy Bysshe Shelley and how they developed their political aesthetics. His primary focus is on how these poets negotiated the contradiction between the necessity of experiencing the world subjectively, through their poetry, and a political desire to create a community which relied on an objective framework. Contact: [email protected]

Anna Senkiw (English, 1st Yr. DPhil, Play Readings)

Anna is a first year DPhil student researching British Actresses and their Fans: ‘1776-1800: Cultivating Celebrity on the Stage, Page and in the Frame’. Her project explores how celebrity culture developed in the late eighteenth century in relation to the increasingly visual and literate society, the advancements in the technology and reach of print culture and the growing secular structure of society.

Anna’s interests include; eighteenth-century women writers, gender theory, life-writing (especially letters and autobiography), British theatre history, print culture and, of course, actresses. Contact: [email protected]

Kathleen Lawton-Trask (English, 4th Year DPhil)

Kathleen is a D.Phil student in English. Her dissertation focuses on women poets’ use of mock-heroic in eighteenth-century poetry. She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from Columbia University in New York City, where she studied fiction writing. She was a graduate research assistant on the Digital Miscellanies index for two years, and will take up an exchange fellowship at the Huntington Library in 2016. Her research interests include women’s poetry, mock forms, representations of the domestic, and digital humanities work. You can find her on and on twitter. Contact: [email protected].

Dr Ruth Scobie (History, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, ECR Advisor)

Dr Ruth Scobie is the Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Exploring Celebrity, at Worcester College, Oxford. She is working on a monograph, Islands of Celebrity: Oceania and the British Problem of Fame, 1770-1823, which links perceptions of the South Pacific in the late eighteenth century and Romantic period to transformations in the ideas and technologies of fame. She also runs the Celebrity Research Network at the Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH), organising a programme of interdisciplinary and cross-period events on fame, celebrity, reputation and notoriety in history, literature, and art.

Ruth studied for an MA in Eighteenth Century Studies (The Global Eighteenth Century), and a PhD in English Literature at the University of York, with the thesis title “The Many Deaths of Captain Cook: A Study in Metropolitan Mass Culture.” In 2012 she won the Keats-Shelley Prize for an essay on Mary Shelley and James Cook, published in 2013 in the Keats-Shelley Review. She has taught undergraduate courses at York and Oxford on eighteenth-century and Romantic literature, eighteenth-century empire and commerce, and literary theory, and recently devised and taught an English MSt course on “British Globalisations, Georgian to Romantic”. She has also published research-based posts and reviews for academic readers at Object Archives, Romantic Textualities, and BSECS Criticks, and for a general audience at and the Ashmolean Museum.  Contact: [email protected]  | Twitter: @18CenturyScobie

Advisory Panel

The RECSO project is advised by a panel of senior academics:


To participate in this Network, or to join the Network mailing list, please contact Emily ([email protected]). We are constantly looking for interesting speakers for both our own, and related, programmes – so if you have a talk which corresponds to the themes outlined above, please get in touch.