School of the Arts, English and Drama

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Dr Oliver Tearle

Photo of Dr Oliver Tearle

Lecturer in English

Specialism: Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Literature

I became Lecturer in English in 2017 as part of Loughborough University's Excellence 100 campaign, although I have been teaching here for over ten years. My research is principally in literature of the period 1870-1950, focusing especially on the ghost story, twentieth-century poetry, and the rise of modernism. I am currently completing my third monograph on modernist poetry and the Great War.

In addition to my published academic research, I'm a keen blogger and run a successful literary blog which receives several million visitors every year. I also write books for a general readership, the latest of which was published by John Murray in November 2017.

My doctoral thesis was completed at Loughborough in 2010 and explored the emergence of the phenomenon of hallucination in works by a number of writers in the period 1880-1914. The thesis was revised for publication as Bewilderments of Vision (Sussex, 2013; paperback 2014), my first monograph, which focuses on canonical writers such as Henry James and Robert Louis Stevenson alongside more marginalised or neglected figures including Vernon Lee and Oliver Onions. I have also published articles on a range of authors and topics, including T. S. Eliot, Oscar Wilde, dystopian fiction, and Edwardian paranormal detective stories. Most recently, I wrote the entry on Vernon Lee for the Routledge Handbook to the Ghost Story (2017).

My other principal research interest is modernist poetry. My second monograph, T. E. Hulme and Modernism (Bloomsbury, 2013), the first book-length study of Hulme’s poetry, reassessed the role of the poet and thinker T. E. Hulme in the formation of British and American modernism. The book has been described as ‘refined and well-negotiated’ and ‘an important addition to the field’ (Modernism/Modernity) and 'Rich in insight .. [revealing] a number of hitherto under-discussed literary and intellectual cross-currents' (The Year's Work in English Studies). I was invited to speak on Hulme’s poetry at the international T. E. Hulme Colloquium, held at the University of Oxford in September 2013. I am currently working on my third monograph, a study of the First World War and the modernist long poem, which focuses on both canonical poems (such as T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land) and non-canonical works (e.g. Nancy Cunard's Parallax). This book, The Great War, The Waste Land, and the Modernist Long Poem, will be published by Bloomsbury in 2018.

I also have an interest in the emerging field of critical-creative writing and in interrogating the ways in which literary critics approach the discipline in the modern digital world. In 2011 I co-edited (with John Schad of Lancaster University) the volume Crrritic! (Sussex), which features an experimental essay by me as well as contributions from other writers and critics including Steven Connor, Jonathan Dollimore, and Geoffrey Hartman, as well as a prize-winning essay by Kevin Mills. In March 2013 I was invited to speak at Lancaster University (alongside Geoffrey Hartman and Keith Hanley) on critical-creative writing at the Geoffrey Hartman Videoconference, held in association with Yale University.

I am currently co-supervising a PhD student working on nineteenth-century stage adaptations of Oliver Twist. I welcome PhD applications in all areas of my research, especially modernist poetry.

In 2014, I was named one of Loughborough University's Research Rising Stars.

I am an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and at the 2014 Loughborough Academic Awards I received two commendations for ‘Innovative Teaching’ and ‘Fantastic Feedback’. I convene the Part B Academic and Professional Development lecture programme.

In semester 1 of 2017-18 I will be convening the Part C module ‘The Modern Poet’, which draws on my research on modernist poetry. With my colleague Dr Carol Bolton I will also be co-convening the core Part A module 'Introduction to Poetry'. In semester 2 I convene the Part B module 'Modernisms'.

I am keen on communicating my research to a wider audience and founded the literary blog Interesting Literature as a platform for other academics to share their research with people both within and beyond academia. Since I founded the project in 2012, it has grown to include not only a blog (which receives over 300,000 visitors a month) but a popular Twitter feed (now with over 110,000 followers including J. K. Rowling, the British Library, and the Oxford English Dictionary), a Facebook page, and a book, The Secret Library (Michael O'Mara Books, 2016). The blog has hosted numerous scholars including Roger Ebbatson, Regenia Gagnier, Michael Greaney, Claire Nally, and Sir Stanley Wells, and has been cited by the researchers of the popular BBC TV programme QI in several of their books.

My book, The Secret Library, has been featured in the Daily Express, the Daily Mail, the Daily Mirror, and the Huffington Post. A second book aimed at a general readership, Britain by the Book, was published by John Murray in November 2017.

I also write an occasional literature blog for the Huffington Post where I have shared my research on the ghost story and T. E. Hulme, among other subjects. In addition to these activities I undertake public lectures and talks and am a peer-reviewer for various publishers and academic journals.

In 2016 I wrote and presented the first in a series of short films produced by Loughborough University on classic literary texts. My video, on T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land, draws on my research into Eliot's post-war vision of Britain and has received over 25,000 views. In April 2016 I also appeared on BBC East Midlands Today to promote a public lecture I gave in Loughborough town centre, on T. S. Eliot's poetry.

As well as tweeting as @InterestingLit, I set up and run the Twitter account for the English programme (@lboroenglish).