Professor Nicole Pohl


Professor in Early Modern Literature and Critical Theory

School of Education, Humanities and Languages


Nicole Pohl has published and edited books on women's utopian writing in the seventeenth and eighteenth century, European salons and epistolarity, and the Bluestockings. She is the Editor-in-Chief of the Elizabeth Montagu Correspondence Online (EMCO) project.

Nicole Pohl is welcoming MA/MRes/PhD projects that concern any aspect of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century literature, utopias and utopianism.

Teaching and supervision


Modules taught


  • Shakespeare Core module
  • Special Subject: The State of Utopia
  • World Literatures
  • Crime, Culture and Transgression
  • Special Topic/Themes: 'Angry Writing': Protest Literature


  • MA English Studies
  • MRes As part of a Master's level research programme, Nicole Pohl provides an exciting opportunity for students to pursue individual projects located within the interdisciplinary study of Utopian Studies.
  • PhD Supervisions


International Fellowship Scheme

  • In 2011, I was successful in inviting Prof Liam Semler, Australia, under the International Fellowship Scheme to work with me on Margaret Cavendish.

Supervision and Examination

  • Cleo Cameron, Radical Enlightenment and the early novel (University of Northampton, external supervisor)
  • Julia Ipgrave, ‘First the Original’: The place of Adam in 17th-century Theories of the Polity (2nd Supervisor), 2013
  • Victoria Bancroft, ‘Cross-over’ comedy in 17th-century England (DoS), 2013
  • Jenny Mayhew, English Godly Art of dying manuals c 1590-1625 (DoS), 2011
  • Mary Gifford, The Portrayal and Negotiation of Medical themes in the early novel 1740-1760 (DoS), 2019
  • Alison Baxter, Debatable  Lands: Exploring the Boundaries of Fiction and      
  • Nonfiction through Family History, 2019
  • Rachel Egloff, A Study of the Life and Works of Baroness Blaze de Bury: A Counter-narrative of Women’s Involvement in Nineteenth CenturyEuropean International Politics (DoS), 2020

Current Supervision

  • Carly Schabowski, The Rainbow Man – A novel. Between History and Fiction – The author’s responsibility to fact versus fiction within historical fiction (DoS)
  • Anne Thompson, New Beginnings: The short story and opening lines (DoS)

Current External Supervision

  • Mila Burkikova, Craft and political activism ( Charles University, Prague)

Internal Examinations

  • Julia Effertz, The woman Singer and her song in French and German prose fiction (c. 1790-1848), 2011
  • Victoria Bancroft, ‘Cross-over’ comedy in 17th-century England, 2013
  • Alice Nuttall, Fur, Fangs and Feathers: Colonial and Counter-Colonial Portrayals of American Indians in Young Adult Fantasy Literature, 2015
  • Virginia Flew, Loondon Exhibitions of Contemporary Art, 1760-1782: The impact on Landscape painting and its reception (2017)
  • Hester Bradley, 2019

External Examinations 

  • Madelaine (Millie) Schurch, Women, Empiricism and Epistolarity, 1740-1810 (PhD, University of York), 2019
  • Madeleine Pelling, ‘Bluestocking Collecting, Craft and Conversation in the Duchess of Portland’s Museum, c. 1770-1786 (PhD, University of York), 2018
  • Sotirios Triantafyllos, The Social and Cultural Conception of Space in Early Modern European Utopias (PhD, University of Oxford), 2018
  • Mahmood, Nawzad Hassan Khoshnaw, Utopia’s Quest from Somewhere to Everywhere: Humanitarian Thought-Experiment or Exansionist Blueprint? (PhD, University of Leicester), 2016
  • Amer Altaher, What happened to Utopia in the Eighteenth Century? (MPhil, University of Leicester), 2015
  • Aimee Richards, How Far was Elizabeth Carter a Forerunner of Mary Wollstonecraft? (MPhil, Swansea University), 2015

Research Students

Name Thesis title Completed
Chris Griffiths Authenticity in the work of W G Sebald and Bruce Chatwin Active


Nicole Pohl works on eighteenth-century English literature with a particular interest in women's letters and literature, European Enlightenment and European literary networks. Her other research area is utopias and utopianism.

Nicole Pohl has published and edited books on women's utopian writing in the seventeenth and eighteenth century, European salons and epistolarity. Nicole Pohl is welcoming MA/MRes/PhD projects that concern any aspect of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century literature, utopias and utopianism.

She was on the Management Committee of COST Action IS0901: Women’s Writing in History, financed by COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology).The COST Action developed a large scale research project to lay the groundwork for a new history of European women’s participation in the literary field of the centuries before 1900. See:

Nicole is the General Editor of the interdisciplinary and peer-reviewed journal Utopian Studies. For enquiries, please contact her on:

  @ UtopiaSJournal

For a sample issue, please see:

She is the Editor-in-Chief of the Elizabeth Montagu Correspondence Online (EMCO) project:

Research group membership

Nicole Pohl is a co-convenor of the Eighteenth-Century Literature and Culture Seminar which is the English Faculty seminar for eighteenth-century studies at the University of Oxford. The seminar meets fortnightly during Oxford Term time, to hear papers by visiting academics from a range of faculties and disciplines. Since the first meeting in 1986, the character of the seminar has been scholarly, interdisciplinary and convivial. 

Nicole Pohl is a member of the

  • Society for Utopian Studies;
  • Utopian Studies Society; 
  • Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer die Erforschung des 18. Jahrhunderts;
  • Council for European Studies (CES)

Research grants and awards

  • British Academy travel scholarship to Copenhagen: Karen Margrethe "Kamma" Rahbek's literary salon at the Bakkehuset, £ 1350, 2019
  • Santander Research Scholarship Scheme (£ 1200): archival visit to Wroclaw
  • Oxford Brookes Research Excellence Award 2017/18 (£ 5000)
  • HEIF Knowledge Transfer Marketing FundThe Chearful Companion: An evening of culture by candlelight in the eighteenth-century home, hosted at Pegasus OutBurst, 2014 (£900)
  • HSS Research Event Fund, The Chearful Companion: An evening of culture by candlelight in the eighteenth-century home, hosted at Headington Hall, 2013 (£1200)
  • Mellon Fellowship, Huntington Library, USA ($2000), 2012
  • Co-investigator for AHRC Network Grant for pilot project, The Collected Letters of Elizabeth Montagu, £332163 (2010-12). See:
  • Scholarship to attend The Institute for the Editing of Historical Documents (Camp Edit), Madison, USA, $ 2000 (2009)
  • AHRC Research Leave Grant to complete The Collected Letters by Sarah Scott, 2009/10 (£25 370)
  • Co-Investigator of ISCH Action IS0901 (European Cooperation in Science and Technology):Women Writers in History - Toward a New Understanding of European Literary Culture, € 400 000 (2009-13)
  • Oxford Brookes Institute for Historical and Cultural Research conference grant (£ 500), 2009
  • ASECS Women’s Caucus Fellowship for Editing/Translating ($1000), 2008
  • Helen L. Bing Fellowship, Huntington Library, USA ($ 2000), 2002
  • AHRB Small Research Grant (£ 2500), 1999
  • Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung conference grant (DM 300), 1998
  • Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung conference grant (DM 300), 1997
  • University of London Central Research Fund (£ 500), 1995
  • British Academy Postgraduate Studentship (£27 000), 1994-1997

Research impact

  • Podium Discussion at King’s Place in London, 16 May 2016, Utopia – Then and Now
  • ‘Redezeit’, WDR  (German public-broadcasting institution based in the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia ), May 2016
  • Brighton Fringe Festival, podium discussion on Utopia with David Bramwell, Robert Llewellyn, Stevyn Colgan, 20 May, 2015
  • Appearance on the BBC Radio 4 program In Our Time on April 23, 2015 to speak on Frances Burney.
  • Public Debate with David Bramwell, Blackwell's Oxford, 18.9.2014, No 9 Bus to Utopia Tour
  • Appearance on the BBC Radio 4 program In Our Time on 6 June 2014 to speak about the Bluestockings
  • The Chearful Companion: An evening of culture by candlelight in the eighteenth-century home. This was an interactive event between Oxford Brooks English and Modern Language Department and the AHRC-funded Digital Miscellanies Index Project at the University of Oxford, supported by the early music duo Alva (Vivien Ellis and Gilles Lewis). Events were held at the Geoffrey Museum, London; Headington Hall, Oxford; St Peter’s College, University of Oxford, and the Pegasus Theatre, Oxford between 2012-2014. I lead a workshop on eighteenth-century textiles as part of the evening.



Projects as Principal Investigator, or Lead Academic if project is led by another Institution

  • Cosmopolitan Bluestockings: Elizabeth Montagu and Belle van Zuylen/ Isabelle de Charrière (01/06/2021 - 01/09/2023), funded by: British Academy, funding amount received by Brookes: £6,262
  • Elizabeth Montagu Correspondence Online (01/09/2018 - 31/08/2023), funded by: Elizabeth Montagu Correspondence Online, funding amount received by Brookes: £78,730


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Professional information

Memberships of professional bodies

  • Since 2019,  assessor of Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) Collaborative Awards Scheme
  • Member of the  Editorial Board of the Palgrave Studies in Utopianism Series
  • Since 2017, member of the Arts & HumanitiesResearch Council (AHRC) Peer Review College
  • Since 2015, member of Vitae
  • Since 2009, member of the Association of Documentary Editing
  • Since 1997, member of British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies
  • Since 1997, member of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies
  • Since 1995, member of the Society of Utopian Studies (and member of Steering Committee)


Conferences organised


  • Writing Materials: Women of Letters from Enlightenment to Modernity. King’s College, London and The Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 2012
  • Voices in Dialogue: Ideational Production and Reception of Women’s Writing in Europe, Chawton House/University of Southampton, 2011
  • Utopian Studies Conference, New Lanark, 2005


  • Women’s Literary Networks, 1580-present, University of London, 2009
  • British Female Communities, 1640-1810, University of London, 1995

Invited keynote conference presentations/lectures 

  • ‘From Niels Klim to Jordskott; Utopia in the Nordic Tradition’, Nordic Utopias and Dystopias, NorLit Conference 2017, Turku, Finland

  • TORCH Enlightenment Correspondences Network: “Cosmopolites or Nationalists?”: Mme de Stael, Anna Amalia of Saxe-Weimar, Frederick II, Rahel Varnhagen and Caroline de la Motte-Fouque in Dialogue , in January 2017 in Oxford
  • ‘Of Balloons and Foreign Worlds: Mary Hamilton’s Utopianism’, Queen Mary, University of London, 2015 
  • 'An Editor's Duty is indeed that of most Danger' , Future of Editing Seminar, University of Oxford, 2014   ( Comment:
  • Eighteenth-Century Women’s Writing’, University of Basel, 2013
  • Graduate Workshop for Manuscripts and Women’s Writing, University of Madrid, 2012
  • ‘Craftivism: Craft + Activism=Utopia?’ Spectres of Utopia, University of Lublin, Poland, 2010
  • ‘Nostalgia, Utopia and the Country House’, Bridges to Utopia, University of Limerick, 2009

Selected conference presentations since 2003

  • 'The Dilemma of Evil in Utopia', Utopian Studies Conference, Charles University, Prague.
  • ‘Collective Roots: Homesteading and Political Protest’, Utopian Studies Conference, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona, 2012. 
  • ‘Living Backwards: Time and Hope in Werner Koch’s See-Leben Trilogy’, Utopia, Crisis and Justice, University of Cyprus, 2011.  
  • ‘The Plausible Selves of Sarah Scott’, Editing the Eighteenth Century, University of Glasgow, 2009. 
  • ‘Relative Values: Household and Community in Sarah Scott’s Work, BSECS, University of Oxford, 2009.
  • ‘The Paradox of the Voyage Utopia’, New Worlds Reflected: Representations of Utopia, the New World and other Worlds (1500-1800), University of London, 2009
  • ‘Editing Eighteenth-Century Letters’, "'I Remain, &c.': Addressing the Eighteenth-Century Letter," University of Oxford, 2008
  • ‘“Perfect Reciprocity”: Salon Culture and Epistolary Conversations’, Centre for Eighteenth-Century Studies, University of York, 2005
  • ‘An Emblem of Themselves’: The Country House as Utopia’,Women and the British Country House 1650-1900 Conference, University of  York, 2004
  • ‘Architecture and Utopia: Lady Mary Hamilton’s Munster Village’, Enlightenment Utopias ,Centre for Eighteenth-Century Studies, University of York, 2003
  • ‘Wunsch-Räume, Schreib-Räume: Die querelle des femmes and Utopia’, Querelle des femmes Conference, University of Frankfurt, 2003

Further details

Press, publicity and reviews