Professor Harriet Guest is the present director for the Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies. Her last book was Empire, Barbarism and Civilisation: William Hodges, James Cook and the Return to the Pacific. In recent months, she has been writing on Jane Austen, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Amelia Alderson Opie.
Her latest book, Unbounded Attachment: Sentiment and Politics in the Age of the French Revolution (Oxford University Press) will be published in November 2013.
Professor Harriet Guest teaches the MA module From Wollstonecraft to Jane Austin: Femininity and Literary Culture
My current research focuses on the changing roles available to British women, and particularly women writers, in the 1790s. I discuss some of the more familiar writers of the period - Mary Robinson, Charlotte Smith, Mary Wollstonecraft, Helen Maria Williams, and Hester Piozzi, for example - in the context of the work of more obscure figures, such as anonymous writers of pamphlets, speeches and sermons who claim to be women, or women who appear briefly in newspapers, plays, caricatures and songs. I am interested in the unevenness and apparent incoherence of their writing on public issues such as the war with France , and in the extent to which this may enable or oblige them to approach the debates that dominate the period in surprising and innovative ways.
I also continue to research the eighteenth-century British presence in the South Pacific, and in particular the voyages of James Cook and William Bligh.
I have supervised PhD dissertations on a range of topics including the following: Women, privacy and religion in eighteenth-century England, Romantic Women Poets, Catharine Macaulay, Mary Hays, Eighteenth-century theories of beauty, The correspondence of Mary Delany, Gender in eighteenth-century botanical texts, The critical reception of Jane Austen, Female Spectatorship in the second half of the eighteenth century.
I am interested in supervising postgraduate research on aspects of British cultures in the period 1740-1820, and in particular on issues to do with the representation of women in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and on Pacific exploration in the C18th.
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Department: English and Related Literature