History and cultures of science
The Department has a special research interest in the areas of magic, science and the supernatural from the Renaissance to the present day.
Activities and events
- Papers from Dickens Day 2009 'Dickens and Science' are now part of a special issue of 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century.
- EMPHASIS (Early Modern Philosophy and the Scientific Imagination) research forum
- John Dee: Interdisciplinary studies in English Renaissance Thought (Dordrecht: Springer, 2006), ed. by Stephen Clucas
- Late Victorian Gothic Tales (Oxford University Press, 2005), ed. by Roger Luckhurst
- The Victorian Supernatural (Cambridge University Press, 2004), ed. by Nicola Bown, Carolyn Burdett and Pamela Thurschwell
- The Book of Skin (London: Reaktion; Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2004), by Steven Connor
- The Invention of Telepathy (Oxford University Press, 2002) by Roger Luckhurst
- Nicola Bown: research is focused on the Victorian period and ranges across visual culture, literature, history of science and material culture.
- Carolyn Burdett: research interests have focused on the literature, culture and politics of the period 1880-1920. Her monograph on the South African-born novelist, Olive Schreiner (1855-1920), Olive Schreiner and the Progress of Feminism: Evolution, Gender, Empire (Palgrave, 2001), explores the relationship between feminism and anti-imperialism, post-Darwinian evolutionary thought, and ideas of progress at the fin de siècle.
- Steve Connor Professor of Modern Literature and Theory at Birkbeck, and author of The Book of Skin (London: Reaktion, 2004) and Fly on the history of the fly in poetry, painting, religion and science (London: Reaktion 2006).
- Stephen Clucas: expertise in the history of natural philosophy and the occult sciences (especially early modern matter theory, alchemy, magic, and the art of memory). He is also interested in general questions such as the formation of early-modern disciplines, the nature of early modern 'scientific' discourses, the relationship between religious beliefs and early modern 'science' or magic, etc.
- Roger Luckhurst, Professor in Modern and Contemporary Literature, whose research interests include science fiction, trauma and the history and cultures of science.
- Gill Partington: research interests in critical theory and contemporary culture, with a particular focus on 'texts and technologies'. Current work explores the impact of new media on narrative forms and reading/writing practices, and on established notions of 'fact' and 'fiction'.
- Laura Salisbury, RCUK Research Fellow in Science, Technology and Culture, whose research and teaching interests include modernist, postmodernist and contemporary fiction; modernity and the contemporary; poststructuralism; philosophies of temporality, ethics and affect; psychoanalysis; gender and language; neuroscience and language.
- All of our undergraduate courses all have an element of independent research, where you can investigate topics of particular interest to you.
- Our postgraduate courses include option courses that focus on the eighteenth-century. Some relevant option courses, which have run in the past, are:
- Psychoanalysis and Difference
- Reading Time in the Twentieth Century
- The Confusion of Tongues: Illness, Language, Writing
- Death, Disease and the Early Modern City
- Magic, Science and Religion in the Renaissance
- Modernism and the Ideal Society
- Metaphormosis: Change and Transformation in Modernity
- MPhil/PhD degrees: you can expect world-class supervision from our departmental experts.