Professor Gowan Dawson
Professor of Victorian Literature and Culture
Tel: +44 (0)116 252 2779
- BA (University of East Anglia)
- MA (University of Nottingham)
- PhD (University of Sheffield)
I teach on the following undergraduate and MA courses:
- EN3020: Literature 1789-1870 (convenor)
- EN3030: Literature 1870-1945
- EN3000 Evolution and Entropy: The Sciences in Nineteenth-Century Literature
- EN3128 Late Victorian Gothic: Texts and Context
- MA in Victorian Studies: Approaches to Victorian Literature and Culture
- MA In Victorian Studies: Evolution and Entropy: Representations of the Sciences in Victorian Literature
I'm the School of Art’s Director of Research and the Director of the Victorian Studies Centre.
Show Me the Bone: Reconstructing Prehistoric Monsters in Nineteenth-Century Britain and America (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016), pp. viii + 476 [ISBN 02-263-3273-4].
Darwin, Literature and Victorian Respectability (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), pp. xii + 282 [ISBN 05-218-7249-9]. Paperback edition 2010 [ISBN 05-211-2885-4]
With Geoffrey Cantor, Richard Noakes, Sally Shuttleworth, and Jonathan R. Topham, Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical: Reading the Magazine of Nature (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), pp. xi + 329 [ISBN 05-218-3637-9]. Paperback edition 2008 [ISBN 05-210-4978-8].
Edited books and journals
Co-editor, with Geoffrey Cantor, The Correspondence of John Tyndall, vol. 1: 1840–43 (London: Routledge, 2015) [ISBN 1-84893-409-2].
Co-editor, with Bernard Lightman, Victorian Scientific Naturalism: Community, Identity, Continuity (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2014) [ISBN 0-226-10950-3].
General editor, with Bernard Lightman, Victorian Science and Literature, 8 vols. (London: Routledge, 2011–12) [ISBN 1-138765-791/805/813/821/832/848/856/864].
Associate editor, with Laurel Brake and Marysa Demoor et al., Dictionary of Nineteenth-Century Journalism (London: British Library, 2009) [ISBN 07-123-5039-X].
Co-editor, with Louise Henson, Geoffrey Cantor, Richard Noakes, Sally Shuttleworth, and Jonathan R. Topham, Culture and Science in the Nineteenth-Century Media (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004) [ISBN 0-754-63574-0].
Guest editor, with Sally Shuttleworth, Victorian Poetry, special number on ‘Science and Victorian Poetry’, 41 (2003) [ISSN 0042-5206].
‘Dickens, Dinosaurs, and Design’, Victorian Literature and Culture 44 (2016), 761–78 [ISSN 1060-1503].
With Sally Shuttleworth and Chris Lintott, ‘Constructing Scientific Communities: Citizen Science in the Nineteenth and Twenty-First Centuries’, Journal of Victorian Culture 20 (2015), 246–54 [ISSN 1355-5502].
‘Paleontology in Parts: Richard Owen, William John Broderip and the Serialization of Science in Early Victorian Britain’, Isis 103 (2012), 637–67 [ISSN 0021-1753].
‘Literary Megatheriums and Loose Baggy Monsters: Paleontology and the Victorian Novel’, Victorian Studies 53 (2011), 203–30 [ISSN 0042-5222].
‘“By a Comparison of Incidents and Dialogue”: Richard Owen, Comparative Anatomy and Victorian Serial Fiction’, 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century 11 (2010), http://www.19.bbk.ac.uk/index.php/19/issue/view/79 [ISSN 1755-1560].
‘Literature and Science under the Microscope’, Journal of Victorian Culture 11 (2006), 301–15 [ISSN 1355-5502].
‘Walter Pater’s Marius the Epicurean and the Discourse of Science in Macmillan’s Magazine: “A Creature of the Nineteenth Century”’, English Literature in Transition 1880–1920 48 (2005), 38–54 [ISSN 0013-8339].
With Jonathan R. Topham, ‘Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical’, Literature Compass 1 (2004) VI 056, 1–9 [ISSN 1741-4113].
‘Intrinsic Earthliness: Science, Materialism and the Fleshly School of Poetry’, Victorian Poetry 41 (2003), 113–29 [ISSN 0042-5206].
With Sally Shuttleworth, ‘Introduction: Science and Victorian Poetry’, Victorian Poetry 41 (2003), 1–10 [ISSN 0042-5206].
‘Stranger than Fiction: Spiritualism, Intertextuality, and William Makepeace Thackeray’s Editorship of the Cornhill Magazine, 1860–62’, Journal of Victorian Culture 7 (2002), 220–38 [ISSN 1355-5502].
With Sally Shuttleworth and Richard Noakes, ‘Women, Science and Culture in the Nineteenth Century’, Women: A Cultural Review 12 (2001), 57–70 [ISSN 0957-4042].
‘“The Great O. versus the Jermyn St. Pet”: Huxley, Falconer, and Owen on Paleontological Method’, in Victorian Scientific Naturalism: Community, Identity, Continuity, ed. by Gowan Dawson and Bernard Lightman (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2014), 27–54 [ISBN 0-226-10950-3].
With Bernard Lightman, ‘Introduction’, in Victorian Scientific Naturalism: Community, Identity, Continuity, ed. by Gowan Dawson and Bernard Lightman (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2014), 1–24 [ISBN 0-226-10950-3].
‘Literature’ in The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Darwin and Evolutionary Thought, ed. by Michael Ruse (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013), 436–42 [ISBN 0-521-19531-7].
‘“Like a Megatherium Smoking a Cigar”: Darwin’s Beagle Fossils in Nineteenth-Century Popular Culture’, in Darwin, Tennyson and Their Readers: Explorations in Victorian Literature and Science, ed. by Valerie Purton (London: Anthem Press, 2013), 81–96 [ISBN 0-857-28076-3].
‘Science and Its Popularization’, in The Cambridge Companion to English Literature 1830–1914, ed. by Joanne Shattock (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), 165–83 [ISBN 0-521-88288-5].
‘Aestheticism, Immorality and the Reception of Darwinism in Victorian Britain’, in Unmapped Countries: Biological Visions in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture, ed. by Anne-Julia Zwierlein (London: Anthem Press, 2005), 43–54 [ISBN 1-843-31159-3].
‘Victorian Periodicals and the Making of William Kingdon Clifford’s Posthumous Reputation’, in Science Serialized: Representations of the Sciences in Nineteenth-Century Periodicals, ed. by Sally Shuttleworth and Geoffrey Cantor (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2004), 259–84 [ISBN 0-262-03318-6].
‘Contextualising the “War” Between Science and Religion’, in Reinventing Christianity: Nineteenth-Century Contexts, ed. by Linda Woodhead (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2001), 239–50 [ISBN 0-754-616509].
‘Darwin Decentred’, Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 46 (2014), 93–96.
‘All in the Family’, American Scientist 98 (2010), 80–81.
‘First Among Equals’, Times Literary Supplement, 9 January 2009, 7-8.
‘A New Window on the Victorians’, Nature, 10 July 2008, 165-66.
I have also published more than 25 book reviews.
‘On Richard Owen’s Discovery, in 1839, of the Extinct New Zealand Moa from Just a Single Bone’, BRANCH: Britain, Representation and Nineteenth-Century History, extension of Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net, edited by Dino Franco Felluga (2012)
‘The Predatory Ape: Sex, Simians and Society in Nineteenth-Century Europe’, podcast for Endless Forms: Charles Darwin, Natural Science and the Visual Arts exhibition at The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (2009)
With Geoffrey Cantor, Richard Noakes, Sally Shuttleworth, and Jonathan R. Topham, Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical: An Online Index, v. 3.0 (hriOnline Publications <http://www.sciper.org>, 2007) [ISBN 0-9542608-7-2].
My main research interests lie in the nineteenth century, especially in the cultural history of Victorian science, as well as in the print culture of the period.
I'm the author of:
Show Me the Bone: Reconstructing Prehistoric Monsters in Nineteenth-Century Britain and America (University of Chicago Press, 2016)
Darwin, Literature and Victorian Respectability (Cambridge University Press, 2007)
I'm co-author of Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical: Reading the Magazine of Nature (Cambridge University Press, 2004).
With Bernard Lightman, I'm general editor of Victorian Science and Literature, 8 vols. (Routledge, 2011–12), and editor of Victorian Scientific Naturalism: Community, Identity, Continuity (University of Chicago Press, 2014).
I've also published articles on Dickens, Thackeray, Pater and D.G. Rossetti in
- Victorian Studies
- Victorian Literature and Culture
- the Journal of Victorian Culture
- English Literature in Transition 1880–1920
- Victorian Poetry
I'm an Honorary Research Fellow of the Natural History Museum, and serve on the editorial boards of
- the British Journal for the History of Science
- the Journal of Victorian Culture
- Notes and Records of the Royal Society
In 2012/13, I held a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship, and have also received research grants from
- the British Academy
- the National Science Foundation (USA)
- the UK-India Education and Research Initiative
- the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
Alongside Sally Shuttleworth and Chris Lintott, I'm currently co-director of the AHRC-funded project ‘Constructing Scientific Communities: Citizen Science in the 19th and 21st Centuries’, an innovative collaboration between
- the University of Leicester
- Oxford University
- the Natural History Museum
- the Royal College of Surgeons
- the Royal Society
The project, which was awarded a grant of £1,975,000 in the AHRC ‘Science in Culture’ theme, examines how methods of communication and engagement developed in the nineteenth-century periodical press offer potential models for facilitating ‘citizen’ involvement in contemporary science.
- 'Show Me the Bone': Fossils, Palaeontology and Prehistoric Creatures in Nineteenth-Century British and American Culture
I currently supervise the following students:
- George Eliot and Mathematics
- The Production and Reception of Writing about Prehistoric Reptiles in the Nineteenth Century’ (AHRC funded)
- Victorian Dream Theory and the Periodical Press
- Arthur Machen and Writers of the Welsh Diaspora in Late-Victorian London (AHRC funded)
- Victorian Natural History Journals (AHRC funded)