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Professor Fiona Robertson joined St Mary’s in September 2012 as the Horace Walpole Professor of English Literature. She is a specialist in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British and American literature, with particular interests in the poetry and prose of the Romantic Period, Sir Walter Scott, American fiction, editorial theory and practice, and the literary genre of romance.
She has an MA, MPhil, and DPhil from Hertford College, University of Oxford, and was a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow of Hertford College and a Lecturer at Pembroke and St Anne’s Colleges before taking up a Lectureship (from 1997 a Readership) at the University of Durham. She then became Research Professor of English Literature at Birmingham City University, where she was the first Director of its MA in Writing. She has held visiting fellowships at Wolfson College, Oxford, the Huntington Library, California, the Newberry Library, Chicago, and the American Antiquarian Society, as well as fellowships awarded by the AHRC and the Leverhulme Trust. She has given papers and invited lectures at numerous international conferences.
She has published widely in her areas of research expertise, with essays and chapters on the Romantic Period, in particular. Her books include critical and editorial studies of Walter Scott - Legitimate Histories: Scott, Gothic, and the Authorities of Fiction (Oxford, 1994), The Bride of Lammermoor (Oxford, 1991), and The Edinburgh Companion to Sir Walter Scott (Edinburgh, 2012). She has also edited works by 44 women writers, 1778-1838 (Oxford, 2001), and The Red Badge of Courage and Other Stories by Stephen Crane (Oxford, 1998). Her new monograph The United States in British Romanticism is an intervention in transatlantic scholarship which considers the works of a wide range of canonical and non-canonical writers from the 1770s to the 1840s. Her current projects include a volume in the new Cambridge Edition of the Novels of Thomas Love Peacock; a monograph on the nineteenth-century emblem; and essays for The Oxford Handbook of British Romanticism, The Oxford History of the Novel in English and Rethinking Romantic History, 1700-1840.
Fiona Robertson was a member of the Sub-Panel for English during the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, and is a member of the Sub-Panel for English in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework. She has advised universities and funding bodies in the UK, North America, Australia, and Asia, and serves on the advisory and editorial boards of several scholarly organisations and journals. She has supervised successful PhD projects in British and American literature from the 16th to the 20th centuries, and has examined doctoral theses at the universities of Oxford, Durham, Liverpool, Birmingham, and at BCU. She welcomes proposals for doctoral research in any area of British and American literature, 1750-1870, and is especially interested in proposals for topics involving the relations between literature, architecture, and design, conceptually and in practice.