Dr Roisin Laing
I am a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in the English Studies department. My research is primarily on nineteenth -century literary and scientific culture, with a particular focus on the representation and significance of children and childhood in the period.
I completed my MA at the University of Edinburgh, and stayed on for an MScR on authority in children’s literature. Following my PGCE at the University of Nottingham, I undertook a PhD here at Durham University, which I completed in 2016. My PhD focused on the influence of evolutionary theory on literary and scientific representations of precocity in the late nineteenth century. This project generated several publications on a range of literary and scientific writers, including Henry James, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Charles Darwin, and James Sully, and is currently being developed for monograph publication.
After my PhD I undertook a Visiting Research Fellowship at the University of Sydney. This fellowship provided a framework for my current project on the equivalence between the 'savage' and the child in nineteenth-century evolutionism, in the context of the British colonial encounter with Indigenous Australians.
Chapter in book
- Laing, Roisín (2020). Victorian Autobiography, Child Study and the Origins of Child Psychology. In Victorian Culture and the Origin of Disciplines. Lightman, Bernard & Zon, Bennett Abingdon, Oxon: Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.
- Laing, Roisín (2018). ‘What Maisie Knew: Nineteenth Century Selfhood in the Mind of the Child’. The Henry James Review 39(1): 96-109.
- Laing, Roisín (2016). 'Candid Lying and Precocious Storytelling in Victorian Literature and Psychology'. Journal of Victorian Culture 21(4): 500-513.
- McCloskey, Roisín (2015). 'The Charismatic Adolescent in Rudyard Kipling's Kim'. International Research in Children's Literature 8(1): 75-88.