Dr Simon White

Reader in Romantic & Nineteenth-Century Literature

School of Education, Humanities and Languages

Simon White

Teaching and supervision


Modules taught


  • Landscapes and Mindscapes (Second-Year)
  • HUMAN-ANIMAL (Third-Year)


  • Romantic Nature Writing and its Afterlife (MA Elective)
  • Humans and Other Animals (MA Elective)


I am currently supervising PhD students working on ecocriticsm and place in Basil Bunting's poetry, and on a posthumanist study of dragons in late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century literature. I have previously supervised PhD students working on Sara and Hartley Coleridge to completion. I would be keen to supervise doctoral students with an interest in working- / labouring-class writing and culture, the representation of rural life and the rural community, the representation of the relationship between space / landscape and individual / community identity, witchcraft and magic in literature, or representations of the relationships between humans and other animals.


I recieved an AHRC Early Career Fellowship in 2011-12, the object of which was to complete my book Romanticism and the Rural Community (Palgrave, 2013). This focuses on the polemical writings of John Thelwall, Hannah More, Arthur Young and Thomas Spence, the poetry of Robert Burns, William Wordsworth, George Crabbe, Robert Bloomfield, John Clare, Susanna Blamire and Ebenezer Elliot, and the fiction of Jane Austen.

Between 2010-2012 I also led a collaborative British Academy funded project which is exploring the relationship between reported incidents of witchcraft and fictional narratives, and the manner in which the representation of witchcraft and magic contributes to the construction of county / regional identity in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century fiction.

My Oxford Poets and Exiled Writers project was funded by an Arts Council Grant.

Research impact

Mapping Magic

My Mapping Magic project facilitates the sharing of glimpses of the past in a forum “where everyone has the chance to see it, add to it, learn from it, debate it and use it to build up a more complete understanding of the world.” Anyone can go online and ‘pin’ a snippet of text, historical photo, video, audio recording or personal recollection to an interactive map. 

Regional launch events for Mapping Magic took place in Selkirk, Scotland, in partnership with Selkirk Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme; in Haworth, West Yorkshire in partnership with the Bronte Parsonage Museum; and in Shrewsbury, in partnership with Discovering Shropshire’s History.

Rural Community: The Past Shaping the Present Shaping the Future

With Oxfordshire Rural Community Council, I jointly organised a workshop programme (for humanities academics, local policy-makers and representatives of the charity sector) in 2013 entitled Rural Community: The Past Shaping the Present Shaping the Future. The aim of the workshops was to investigate ways in which the history and representation of rural community could shape local policy-development and implementation.

Oxford Poets and Exiled Writers

Finally, my Oxford Poets and Exiled Writers outreach project (2008-9), run jointly with a former colleague (Dr Rachel Buxton) and Asylum Welcome in Oxford, brought together established poets and exiled writers to produce new work on the theme of emigration and exile, culminated in the publication of See How I Land: Oxford Poets and Exiled Writers, eds. Carol Angier, Rachel Buxton, Stephanie Kitchen and Simon White (The Heaventree Press, 2009). and was a major part of one of the REF 2014 impact case studies for English at OBU.

Centres and institutes



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Professional information

Memberships of professional bodies

I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.