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Jim Watt took his BA and PhD at Cambridge, and then had two years of a Junior Research Fellowship at St Catharine’s College before coming to York. He has published two books in the Cambridge Studies in Romanticism Series, Contesting the Gothic: Fiction, Genre and Cultural Conflict 1764-1832 (1999) and British Orientalisms, 1759-1835 (2019), and has two other books forthcoming, an edition of Oliver Goldsmith’s The Citizen of the World (part of the Collected Works of Oliver Goldsmith, ed. Michael J. Griffin and David O’Shaughnessy (CUP, 2024)) and an essay collection co-edited with Alison O’Byrne, Discovering Britain and Ireland in the Romantic Period: Grand Tours (CUP, 2025). Jim's teaching interests are primarily in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and he is the convenor of the Intermediate Option Module 'Inventing Britain' and the MAs in Eighteenth Century Studies and Literature of the Romantic Period, 1775-1832.
Jim is especially interested in British identities, in relation both to empire and – as explored by the Gothic – the more distant past. His main project currently is a book by the provisional title of The Comedy of Difference which explores metropolitan conceptions and critiques of empire across the period 1770-1850, with a particular emphasis on the reflexivity of popular Orientalism (drama, pantomime, comic verse, and graphic satire).
Jim has supervised PhD and MRes dissertations on a wide range of topics including ‘male Gothic’, Yorkshire Gothic, Matthew Lewis, the later works of Ann Radcliffe, eighteenth-century representations of Alfred the Great, vampires, informant narratives, the collaborative relationship of Mary and Percy Shelley, the Scottish Enlightenment, representations of rotten boroughs, and Salman Rushdie and the eighteenth century. He would welcome enquires from anyone interested in doing research on topics dealing with the long eighteenth century, including projects which explore the relationship between this period and our contemporary moment.
Tel: 01904 324978
Department: English and Related Literature