Professor Gowan Dawson
BA (East Anglia), MA (Nottingham), PhD (Sheffield)
Professor of Victorian Literature and Culture
T: +44 (0)116 252 2779
Professor Dawson’s main research interests are in the nineteenth century, especially in the cultural history of Victorian science, as well as in the print culture of the period.
He is the author of Darwin, Literature and Victorian Respectability (Cambridge University Press, 2007), and co-author of Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical: Reading the Magazine of Nature (Cambridge University Press, 2004). With Bernard Lightman, he is general editor of Victorian Science and Literature, 8 vols. (Pickering and Chatto, 2011–12), and editor of Victorian Scientific Naturalism: Community, Identity, Continuity (University of Chicago Press, 2014). He has recently completed a new book, Show Me the Bone: Reconstructing Prehistoric Monsters in Nineteenth-Century Britain and America, and has edited, with Geoffrey Cantor, the first volume of The Correspondence of John Tyndall (Pickering and Chatto, 2015).
In 2012/13 Professor Dawson held a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship, and has also received research grants from the British Academy, the National Science Foundation (USA), the UK-India Education and Research Initiative, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. He is currently co-director, with Sally Shuttleworth and Chris Lintott, of the AHRC-funded project ‘Constructing Scientific Communities: Citizen Science in the 19th and 21st Centuries’, an innovative collaboration between Leicester, Oxford University, the Natural History Museum, the Royal College of Surgeons and the Royal Society. The project, which was awarded a large 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
Professor Dawson would welcome postgraduate students (MA or PhD) with interests in any of the following areas of research:
- Mid- to Late Victorian literature
- Literature and science
- Pre-Raphaelite and Aesthetic writing
- Nineteenth-century journalism and print culture
Professor Dawson is currently supervising the following students
Derek Ball - 'Mid-Victorian mathematics and the novel: Comparing George Eliot with other novelists'
Teaching and Administration
Professor Dawson teaches 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
Professor Dawson is the School of English's Director of Teaching. He also runs the Victorian Studies Centre spring seminar series.