Professor Philip Shaw

Professor Philip ShawProfessor of Romantic Studies,
School of English


Tel: +44 (0)116 252 2632

 Personal details

  • BA, PhD (Liverpool)
  • FEA

I maintain research interests in Romantic literature, visual culture, and the representation of war.

In 2008, I was elected Fellow of the English Association and in 2017 became Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. I am a former member of the Executive Committee of the British Association for Romantic Studies and of the AHRC Peer-Review College.

I am co-site Director for the Midlands3Cities Doctoral training partnership.




My main research interests are in Romantic period literature and art and in representations of war in British culture in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. At present I am working on a range of projects that engage with Wordsworth's later poetry.

I am the author of an inter-disciplinary book, entitled Suffering and Sentiment in Romantic Military Art (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2013), which examines representations of the effects of war on men, women and children in paintings, sketches, poetry and prose in the long eighteenth century. This book engages with themes emerging from my earlier study, Waterloo and the Romantic Imagination (Houndmills: Palgrave, 2002).

Neil Ramsey described Suffering and Sentiment in Romantic Military Art in The British Association of Romantic Studies Bulletin and Review (45. 2015) as ‘a beautifully written, theoretically deft and historically detailed study’. 

See also Scott Krawczyk's review in the Wordsworth Circle (46.4 2016): 'Detailed in its research, interdisciplinary in its scope, and highly original in its thinking, Suffering and Sentiment in Romantic Military Art … allows us not only to reassess the culture of sentiment and its collusion with nationalism but also to recover the absolute centrality during the Romantic era of artistic responses to soldiers and suffering’.

I am also the editor of a collection of essays on war and romanticism entitled Romantic Wars: Studies in Culture and Conflict, 1793-1822 (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2000) and a co-edited volume of essays entitled Visual Culture and the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars (London and New York: Routledge, 2016).

I am the principal investigator for the AHRC Research Network Passions of War. The Network brings together EU and international participants, representing a range of academic disciplines and professional backgrounds, to investigate the influence of war, from the early modern period to the end of the Second World War, on constructions of gender and sexual practices, and how these constructions and practices have, in turn, conditioned the ways in which wars are waged, mediated, felt and understood.

Research arising from the Network will be published in 2018 in forthcoming issues of the Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies and Critical Military Studies.

In 2010 I completed an art historical project with the Tate gallery entitled The Sublime Object. Drawing on research conducted for The Sublime (2nd edition; London and New York: Routledge, 2017), this three-year AHRC funded major research project gathered together a wide range of individuals under the umbrella of Tate's Collection to debate and collaborate on a series of interrelated events and research activities focused on the role of the sublime in our perceptions of the natural world.

In 2011, I co-edited a volume of essays entitled Literature and Authenticity: 1780-1902 (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2011).

I have also written a book-length study of Patti Smith’s debut album, Horses, for the series 33 1/3 (New York: Continuum, 2008).

My practical interests in popular music are reflected in my contributions to the critically-acclaimed band Alberteen.


I am currently working on several new research projects, including:

  • preparing a monograph on Wordsworth's later poetry
  • co-editing a special issue of Studies in Romanticism on literary responses to the Battle of Waterloo
  • co-editing special issues of articles on gender, sexuality and warfare
  • editing a special issue of the Wordsworth Circle to commemorate the bicentenary of the publication of Wordsworth's 1820 collection The River Duddon
  • writing an essay on Byron for the Oxford Handbook of Lord Byron
  • writing an essay for the Cambridge Companion to Lyrical Ballads
  • writing an essay on Napoleon and literature for the Cambridge History of the Napoleonic Wars


As a dissertation supervisor for the MA in English Studies, I welcome applications from prospective students, especially those with an interest in eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century topics.

In addition to MA dissertations, I currently doctoral theses on a range of literary and critical topics, including

  • Byron and Music
  • Theology and the Sublime
  • Byron and the Sublime
  • Coleridge and Philosophical Idealism

I am interesting in supervising doctoral research on any of the following topics:

  • British romantic poetry and prose
  • Wordsworth
  • Byron
  • romanticism and war
  • romanticism and the visual arts
  • art and aesthetics
  • literature and psychoanalysis

Learn more and apply for research degrees in English.

Funding opportunities: The School of English seeks expressions of interest from prospective research students in the 2017-2018 Midlands3Cities AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership.

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