Dr Carol Bolton
Programme Director: English
Tel +44 (0)1509 222934
Location Room QQ.1.09, John Hardie
My research centres on the British Romantic period (1780-1830) and in particular writing that engages with exploration or colonial politics. A major focus of my work is Robert Southey (1774-1843), a neglected member of the 'Lake School' of writers, who as an ideologue of empire, played a crucial role in Romantic-period culture. My monograph,Writing the Empire: Robert Southey and Romantic Colonialism (2007), examines the influences of colonial expansion on his writing (as well as that of Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, James Montgomery and Mary Russell Mitford) during the creation of Britain's empire.
My interest in a wide range of Romantic-period genres, and intersections between literary and extra-literary discourses, is shown in my five-volume anthology Romanticism and Politics 1789-1832 (2006). I have also contributed a number of essays to journals and edited collections (see my list of publications) and I attend national and international conferences to promote my research on Southey, travel and exploration, and colonial politics. I administer the Midlands Romantic Seminar, which holds regular seminars and day conferences at venues in the Midlands and surrounding area, and brings together academics, postgraduates and independent scholars working on all aspects of Romantic-period culture.
I am currently working as an editor on the Collected Letters of Robert Southey, which is an eight-volume, electronic, critical edition of his correspondence. This is a major collaboration with East-Midlands based scholars: Professor Lynda Pratt and Professor Bill Speck (University of Nottingham), Professor Tim Fulford (De Montfort University) and Dr Ian Packer (University of Lincoln). The project has attracted funding from the AHRC, the British Academy and the Leverhulme Trust, as well as several North American libraries. I am also an editor of two volumes of Robert Southey: Later Poetical Works, 1811-1838 (4 vols) published in 2012 by Pickering and Chatto. My current project is a scholarly edition of Southey's pseudonymous work, Letters from England, due for publication in 2014. This uniquely fascinating travelogue combines fictional accounts with social commentary to create a complex work of literary merit which will appeal to a general readership, as well as students and scholars of Romantic-period literature and social history.
My teaching reflects my research interests. I am responsible for delivering the undergraduate modules: 'Introduction to Poetry 1', 'Introduction to Poetry 2', 'Writing of the 1790s: The Gothic and Revolution', 'The Nineteenth-Century Novel', 'Slavery and Empire, 1750-1850', and 'Romantic Writings, 1815-1832'. At postgraduate level I contribute to the MA modules: 'History, Nation and Difference', 'Victorian Views' and 'Literary Londons'. I also convene the elective modules: 'The Romantic Orient', 'Romantic Representations of the South Pacific' and 'Romantic Lives and Afterlives'. I am currently supervising two doctoral students, and I welcome Ph.D. proposals to research any aspect of Romantic studies.