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  • Professor Simon Kövesi

    MA, PhD, PCTHE

    Interim Associate Dean for Research and Knowledge Exchange

    Department of English and Modern Languages

    Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

    Professor Simon Kövesi

    Phone number: +44 (0)1865 483587

    Email: skovesi@brookes.ac.uk


    I joined the English Department at Brookes in 2001, having previously studied and/or taught at the universities of Glasgow, Dundee, Nottingham Trent and North Carolina at Chapel Hill (USA). My PhD was entitled Sexuality, Agency and Intertextuality in the Later Poetry of John Clare (Nottingham Trent, 1999).

    Since then, the highlights of my published work include a monograph on contemporary Scottish novelist James Kelman, a campaign to challenge the private copyright to John Clare’s work in two collections of his poetry and associated publications, and my ongoing editorship of the John Clare Society Journal. I appeared recently in Andrew Kötting's feature film By Our Selves (2015), talking about Clare. My monograph John Clare: Nature, Criticism and History, was published in September 2017 by Palgrave. 

    Across my experience at the universities listed above - and just like my colleagues no doubt - I have taught and lectured on a range of literature from Chaucer to Mills and Boon Romances. I specialise in Romantic-period literary culture, working-class literature from 1800 to the present, contemporary Scottish literature, and the relationship between literature and the natural world. 

    I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, an Honorary Lifetime Member of the British Association for Romantic Studies and am Vice Chair and a Trustee of the registered charity the John Clare Society


    Modules taught

    I am External Examiner on the BA English at Aberystwyth University and on the MLitt (English) at the University of Dundee. 

    Undergraduate Teaching

    • U67081: Advanced Option: Poverty and the Novel
    • U67032: Crime, Culture & Transgression
    • U67083: Contemporary Literature

    Postgraduate Teaching

    • MA Elective module: Romanticisms.
    • I have supervised to completion the PhD theses of Dr Gregory Leadbetter on Samuel Taylor Coleridge (2010), novelist Dr Morag Joss on writing, crime fiction and issues of genre (2014), and Dr Robin Schofield on Sara Coleridge (2016). 
    • I have examined a variety of PhDs on poetry of the eighteenth century and of the Romantic perid.
    • I have supervised MA and BA dissertations on literature of the 18th and 19th centuries, Romanticism, Victorian poetry and fiction, contemporary fiction, and on class, the Gothic, masculinity, sexuality and nature. 


    I teach and research Romantic-period literature and culture, ecology and literature, working-class literature (1800 to the present), textual criticism and critical theory (especially ecocriticism), and contemporary Scottish literature.

    With Professor Bridget Keegan of Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska, I am co-writing a book on labouring-class poetry, 1700-1900, for Palgrave, to be published in around 2020. A longer-term project I am working towards is a book on literature and poverty, 1800-2000. The collection of original essays on John Clare I co-edited with Scott McEathron of Southern Illinois University, was published by Cambridge University Press in July 2015. In 2014 I organised the 150th anniversary conference on John Clare


    • Kovesi S, John Clare - Nature, Criticism and History, Palgrave Macmillan (2017)
      ISBN: 978-0-230-27787-8
    • Kovesi S, Ed., New Essays on John Clare: Poetry, Culture and Community, Cambridge University Press (2015)
      ISBN: 9781107031111
      Abstract Website
    • Kovesi S, James Kelman, Manchester University Press (2007)
      ISBN: 9780719070976
    • Kovesi S, James Kelman, Manchester University Press (2007)
      ISBN: 9780719070976

    Journal articles

    Book chapters

    Membership of professional bodies

    I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, an Honorary Lifetime Member of the British Association for Romantic Studies and a Trustee of the registered charity the John Clare Society.



    Recent Conference Papers and Talks

    • 'Romantic Improvement', British Association for Romantic Studies, York, 27-30 July 2017
    • English: Shared Futures, Newcastle, 5-7 July 2017
    • Oxford University Romantic Research Seminar: Screening of By Our Selves. followed by Q&A with Fiona Stafford, Balliol, 21 Nov 2016
    • Keynote Speaker, Romantic Voices, British Asssociation for Romantic Studies Early Career and Postgraduate 2016 Conference, Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities, 22-23 June 2016
    • Modern Language Association, Annual Convention, Texas, USA, 8-11 Jan 2016
    • Unencompassing the Archipelago, Somerville College Oxford, 14 Nov 2015
    • British Association for Romantic Studies, Cardiff, 16-19 July 2015
    • Modern Language Association, Annual Convention, Vancouver, Canada, 8-11 December 2015
    • John Clare in Space, Oxford Brookes University, 30-31 May 2014
    • James Kelman and the City, University of Glasgow and Glasgow School of Art, 8 October 2011.
    • Enlightenment, Romanticism & Nation, University of Glasgow, 28-31 July 2011.
    • Romantic Circulations, Roehampton University, 23-26 July 2009.
    • Class and the Canon: Allusion, Authority and Working-Class Literature, 1780-1900, University of Glasgow, 19 April, 2008.
    • The Red and the Green: Ecology and the Literature of the Left, Corpus Christi College, Oxford, 16-18 March, 2007.
    • Modern Language Association, Annual Convention, Philadelphia, USA, 27-30 December 2006.
    • Romanticism, Environment, Crisis, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, 23-27 June 2006.
    • Romanticism's Debatable Lands, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, 28-31 July 2005.
    • Romantic Conflict, University of Warwick, 24-27 July 2003.

    Recent guest research seminar papers delivered at:

    Edge Hill University; Magdalene College, Oxford (Romantic Realignments Seminar); University of Sheffield; University of Reading; Hertford College, Oxford (Romantic Realignments Seminar); Lancaster University; Keele University; University of Glasgow; University College London; University of the West of England; University of Greenwich.

    Press, publicity and reviews


    • Editor, The John Clare Society Journal (2008-)
    • Editorial Board,  The Drouth
    • Former Reviews Editor, Bulletin & Review of the British Association for Romantic Studies (2002-10)


    Sample Reviews

    I have also reviewed for: European Journal of English Studies; Romanticism; Journeys: The International Journal of Travel Writing; John Clare Society Journal; TLS; Bulletin & Review of the British Association for Romantic Studies.