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Durham University

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Professor Fiona Robertson, MA, MPhil, DPhil (Oxon)

Professor of Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Literature in the Department of English Studies
Deputy Head of Faculty (Research) in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities

Contact Professor Fiona Robertson (email at fiona.robertson@durham.ac.uk)

Fiona Robertson is Professor of Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Literature in the Department of English Studies, and Deputy Head (Research) of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities.

She studied as an undergraduate and postgraduate at the University of Oxford, where she was a Junior Research Fellow and Lecturer before joining the Department of English Studies at Durham (1990-2004) as a Lecturer and Reader. Between 2004 and 2016 she held professorial posts in Birmingham and London. She is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, an Honorary Fellow of the Association for Scottish Literary Studies, and an Advisor in Scottish Literature to the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland. She served on the panels for English in the Research Assessment Exercise 2008 and the Research Excellence Framework 2014, and was a panellist for Creative and Performing Arts in the preparatory stages of the New Zealand REF 2018. Fellowships and awards include grants from the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, the Leverhulme Trust, and the AHRC, and fellowships at Wolfson College, Oxford, the American Antiquarian Society, the Huntington Library in California and the Newberry Library in Chicago. She is one of the editors of the Oxford University Press journal Notes & Queries.

Her main areas of research expertise are British and American writing, 1750 to 1850. She has published extensively on literature of the Romantic Period, especially Walter Scott, and on American historical fiction. Scholarly editions include selected works by Stephen Crane and a collection of writings by forty-four women writers, 1778-1838. Her new study, The United States in British Romanticism (OUP), ranges across genres and disciplines, including poetry, drama, economics, natural history, historiography, and representations of race. Recent shorter works include two co-edited collections of new scholarship on the heraldic imagination and essays on Scottish Gothic and on 'Transatlantic Engagements' in the Romantic Period. She organised the public lecture series 'Horace Walpole and his Legacies:Tercentenary Lectures' in Durham in 2017, and co-organised the conferences 'Romantic Antiquarianism' (Georgian Group, London, 2016) and 'Visible Identities' (Society of Antiquaries, London, 2017).

She has supervised successful PhD theses on a range of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century topics, including women writers and aesthetics, Victorian medievalism, Mary and Percy Shelley, treason law and theatre, Southern American literature, Christina Rossetti, Dickens and Collins. She is happy to supervise PhD projects in any area of her research interests.

Research Groups

Department of English Studies

Research Interests

  • 18th- and 19th-Century British and American Literature
  • Romantic Poetry and Prose
  • Literature, Architecture, and Design 1750-1850
  • Traditions of Literary Romance
  • Sir Walter Scott
  • Romantic Antiquarianism

Indicators of Esteem

  • 2017: Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries:
  • 2016: Honorary Fellow of the Association for Scottish Literary Studies:

Selected Publications

Authored book

  • Robertson, Fiona (2012). The Edinburgh Companion to Sir Walter Scott. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
  • Robertson, Fiona (2001). Women’s Writing, 1778-1838: An Anthology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Robertson, Fiona & Mellors, Anthony (1998). Stephen Crane, The Red Badge of Courage and Other Stories. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Robertson, Fiona (1994). Legitimate Histories: Scott, Gothic, and the Authorities of Fiction. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  • Robertson, Fiona (1991). Walter Scott, The Bride of Lammermoor. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Chapter in book

  • Robertson, Fiona (2018). Transatlantic Engagements. In The Oxford Handbook of British Romanticism. Duff, David Oxford: Oxford University Press. 723-738.
  • Robertson, Fiona (2017). Gothic Scott. In The Edinburgh Companion to Scottish Gothic. Davison, Carol & Germanà, Monica Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. 102-114.
  • Robertson, Fiona & Lindfield, Peter N. (2016). Introduction: Speaking of Arms. In Semy-de-Lys: Speaking of Arms, 1400-2016. Robertson, Fiona & Lindfield, Peter N. Emblems and Enigma: The Heraldic Imagination. 1-6.
  • Robertson, Fiona (2014). Historical Fiction and the Fractured Atlantic. In Rethinking British Romantic History, 1770-1845. Fermanis, Porscha & Regan, John Oxford: Oxford University Press. 246-270.
  • Robertson, Fiona (2014). Walter Scott and the American Historical Novel. In American Novels to 1870. Kennedy, J. Gerald & Person, Leland Oxford: Oxford University Press. 107-123.
  • Robertson, Fiona (2007). Walter Scott. In The Edinburgh History of Scottish Literature. Manning, Susan Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. 183-190.
  • Robertson, Fiona (2004). James Smith, Horace Smith. In The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 171-174, 185-186.
  • Robertson, Fiona (2004). Romance and the Romantic Novel: Sir Walter Scott. In A Companion to Romance. Saunders, Corinne Oxford: Blackwell. 287-304.
  • Robertson, Fiona (1999). ’Novels’. In An Oxford Companion to the Romantic Age: British Culture 1776-1832. McCalman, Iain Oxford: Oxford University Press. 286-295.
  • Robertson, Fiona (1998). Scott, Waverley. In A Companion to Romanticism. Wu, Duncan Oxford: Blackwell. 211-218.
  • Robertson, Fiona (1998). Walter Scott. In Literature of the Romantic Period: A Bibliographical Guide. O’Neill, Michael Oxford: Clarendon Press. 221-245.
  • Robertson, Fiona (1997). Keats’s New World: An Emigrant Poetry. In John Keats: Bicentenary Readings. O’Neill, Michael Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. 27-47.
  • Robertson, Fiona (1997). Scott. In Lives of the Great Romantics by their Contemporaries. Mullan, John London: Pickering & Chatto. 3.
  • Robertson, Fiona (1994). Thomas Campbell. In Nineteenth-Century British Literary Biographers. Serafin, Steven Detroit: Gale. 21-33.
  • Robertson, Fiona (1993). Castle Spectres: Scott, Gothic Drama, and the Search for the Narrator. In Scott in Carnival. Alexander, J. H. & Hewitt, D. S. Aberdeen: Scottish Academic Press. 444-458.
  • Robertson, Fiona (1992). ’Byron’, ‘Scott’, and L’Étendard Culturel: Le Romantisme’. In La Première Moitié du XIXe Siècle, Lettres Europeénes: Histoire de la Littérature Europeén. Benoit-Dusausoy, Annick & Fontaine, Guy Paris: Hachette. 554-563, 598-602.

Journal Article

  • Robertson, Fiona (2015). Walter Scott and the Restoration of Europe. The European English Messenger 24(1): 46-57.
  • Robertson, Fiona (2013). Disfigurement and Disability: Walter Scott’s Bodies. Otranto 003.
  • Robertson, Fiona (2013). Scott in 2013: New Scholarship and Old Connections. Bulletin of the Edinburgh Sir Walter Scott Club
  • Robertson, Fiona (1998). British Romantic Columbiads. Symbiosis: A Journal of Anglo-American Literary Relations 2: 1-23.
  • Robertson, Fiona (1998). Scott’s Halting Fellow: The Body of Shakespeare in the Waverley Novels. Scott Newsletter 33: 2-13.
  • Robertson, Fiona (1997). Of Speculation and Return: Scott's Jacobites, John Law, and the Company of the West. Scottish Literary Journal 24(1): 1-24.
  • Robertson, Fiona (1996). Copied-Text: The New Edinburgh Waverleys. Review of English Studies 59-65.

Other (Print)

  • Robertson, Fiona & Mellors, Anthony (2013). The Uncanny Stephen Crane.

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Supervises