Dr Rhian Williams
- Lecturer in Literature and Ecology: 1750 to the Present (English Literature)
telephone: 0141 330 1897
Dr Williams' research traces the poetics of material history by examining how prosody, form and genre emerge from and intervene in cultural, social and political contexts, particularly between 1770 and 1900, but more broadly in Anglophone poetry, as explored in her book, The Poetry Toolkit: The Essential Guide to Studying Poetry (revised second edition, Bloomsbury 2013; third edition in progress). Her significant research interests are in ecological writing and in literature and theology. She was co-investigator on an AHRC-funded network, 'Values of Environmental Writing' with colleagues in English Literature and in Geographical and Earth Sciences and recent and forthcoming publications have focused on eco-critical readings of Romantic-period writing. She is also interested in how the materialist turn in higher criticism of the Bible shaped secular readings of poetry and has published work on Matthew Arnold's and Herman Melville's poetry in this context.
Dr Williams' work - covering areas such as the politics of poetry reading, including its ecological potential; nineteenth-century poetry and theatre; the Brownings, including their poetry and their letters; Shakespeare’s nineteenth-century reception; the cultural significance of prosody, and editing nineteenth-century writing - has been widely published in journals such as Victorian Poetry, Victorian Literature and Culture, Literature Compass, Literature and Theology, and in several essay collections. She is the co-editor of four volumes of The Brownings' Correspondence, covering the key years 1854-56 when Elizabeth Barrett Browning was finishing Aurora Leigh and Robert Browning published Men and Women.
She is particularly interested in supervising work in any of her research fields, particulary eco-criticism, cultural poetics, poetry and religion, and nineteenth-century literature.
Dr. Williams is currently developing new projects that seek to recover the poetics of everyday ecologies since the eighteenth century. This has partly been funded by a grant from the Royal Society of Edinburgh and has so far resulted in an article on the eighteenth-century naturalist, Gilbert White and 'everydayness'.
Rhian Williams is a Lecturer in Nineteenth-Century English Literature. She studied at the University of Bristol and received her doctorate from the University of Birmingham. Before joining the University of Glasgow in 2009 she taught at the University of Warwick and then at De Montfort University, where she was the post-doctoral research fellow on the AHRC-funded “The Brownings Correspondence Project”.
Dr Williams edited the newsletter, and served on the executive committee, for the British Association for Victorian Studies (www.bavsuk.org) from 2004 to 2011 and was the Honorary Secretary to the Browning Society (www.browningsociety.org) from 2009 to 2011). She has discussed poetry and poets' lives on BBC Radio and worked as an adviser on the BBC4 docu-drama, Edgar Allen Poe: Love, Death and Women, dir. Louise Lockwood, broadcast October 2011.
In 2010-11, Dr Williams co-organised three major international conferences:
- British Association for Victorian Studies 10th Anniversary Conference, Victorian Forms & Formations, 2-4 September 2010
- Contradictory Woolf: the 21st Annual Conference on Virginia Woolf, 9-12 July 2011
- British Association for Romantic Studies, 12th International Biennial Conference: Enlightenment, Romanticism, Nation, 28-31 July 2011
Co-I, 'Values of Environmental Writing' AHRC Network Grant, 2010-11 (PI: Dr. Hayden Lorimer, Geographical and Earth Sciences; Co-I: Dr. Alex Benchimol, English Literature).
P-I, 'Parochial Histories: The Poetics of Ecological Record Keeping and Material Change, c. 1770-1830', Royal Society of Edinburgh Small Research Grant.
I would be delighted to supervised projects on:
- Poetry and Poetics
- Ecological approaches to literature and culture
- Theology and Poetry
- Eighteenth- and nineteenth-century poetry
I have been privlieged to supervise doctoral students whose thesis work is now being published in various formats:
- Sarah Bissell, New Women Fiction (2014)
- Laura Eastlake, Victorian Responses to Ancient Rome (AHRC-funded, 2014)
- Henry King, C. H. Sisson and the British post-war poetry 'scene' (AHRC-funded, 2013).
I am currently supervising:
- Heather Stevenson, The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, Image and Text (co-supervised with Dr. Adrian Streete)
- Jo Young, Poetics of War and Motherhood (co-supervised with Dr. Carolyn Jess-Cooke)
- Louise Creechan, Literacy in the Victorian novel and culture (co-supervised with Dr. Megan Coyer, and Professor Christine Ferguson at the University of Stirling)
- Michael Black, Virginia Woolf and William Blake (co-supervised with Dr. Jane Goldman)
- Djouher Benyoucef, Thomas Hardy and Eco-Cinema (co-supervised with Dr. Dave Borthwick)
- Daniel Petersen, Eco-Monstrosity in Cormac McCarthy and R. A. Lafferty (co-supervised with Dr Alex Benchimol)
I am committed to research-led teaching and to developing innovative pedagogy. I have held a Learning and Teaching fund award in the past, and have worked with Education Scotland in the development of 'learning journeys' for students studying the history of weather and ecology. My book, The Poetry Toolkit, is used in our first year course on Poetry and Poetics, and in many other Higher Education institutions in the UK and America.
I am the convener of the Honours Dissertation in English Literature.
In 2017-18, Dr. Williams is offering classes on:
- Romantic Ecologies (co-convener with Dr. Alex Benchimol)
- Romantic Worlds: Encountering Environments, M. Litt. Topic Course (convener)
- Victorian Literature: Writing the Times, M. Litt. Core Course
- Victorian Literature: Readers, Writers, Publishers, M. Litt. Core Course
And lectures on:
- 1A: Poetry & Poetics
- Irish and Scottish Literature
- 16: Literature 1780-1840
- 17: Literature 1830-1914
- 18b: Literature since 1945
- English Literature Core course