Contact details

Role: Stipendiary Lecturer in English

Email: erin.lafford@ell.ox.ac.uk

Biography

I am a Departmental Lecturer in English Literature 1660-1830 at the University of Oxford, and a Stipendiary Lecturer and tutor at Lady Margaret Hall. I hold a DPhil in English Literature from the University of Oxford, an MLitt from the University of Glasgow, and a BA Hons from the University of Warwick. Before coming to LMH, I was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in English at the University of Derby.

Research interests

My research interests cover eighteenth- and nineteenth-century literature; Romanticism; medical and health humanities; environmental humanities; aesthetics; form; affect and emotions; ethics; critical and cultural theory; psychoanalysis. I have a special interest in the life and work of John Clare, and am currently finishing my first monograph titled John Clare and the Poetry of Illness. This is the first book-length study of how Clare drew consistently on poetry as a means of expressing and interpreting experiences of mental and physical suffering, forging connections between subjective idiosyncracies and a wider literary and imaginative culture of illness. It explores the thoughtful connections Clare made between symptoms and/as poetic technique, offers a more expansive study of illness as a site of poetic self-fashioning and formal experiment for Clare beyond the context of the asylum, and asks what more his writings can tell us about the relationship between illness and notions of exceptionalism in the Romantic cultural imagination.

I am also in the early stages of a new project, which explores what notions of carelessness might tell us about the medical and environmental imagination in long eighteenth- century literature and culture.

Teaching

At LMH, I teach tutorials and classes for FHS paper 4 (Literature in English 1660-1760) and paper 5 (Literature in English 1760-1830). For the English Faculty, I lecture on eighteenth-century and Romantic literature, covering topics such as women's writing, affect and emotion, and literature and medicine. I also teach an MSt C course on Writing Illness in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Literature, and supervise MSt and FHS dissertation projects.

Publications

Edited collections / special issues:

Simon Kovesi and Erin Lafford, eds., Palgrave Advances in John Clare Studies (London: Palgrave, 2020)

Rhys Kaminski-Jones and Erin Lafford, eds., 'Change of Air: Rethinking Romantic Atmosphere', special issue of Romanticism, 27.2 (2021)

Journal articles and book chapters:

'Dorothy Wordsworth and the Writing of Resolve', The Cambridge Quarterly (forthcoming)

'William Gilpin's Atmospheric Sympathy', Romanticism 27.2 (2021), pp. 159-72

'"fancys or feelings": John Clare's Hypochondriac Poetics', in Palgrave Advances in John Clare Studies, ed. by Simon Kovesi and Erin Lafford (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020), pp. 249-73

'"Mild health I seek thee": Clare and Bloomfield at the Limits of Pastoral', European Romantic Review 31.5 (2020), pp. 527-540

'John Clare, Herbalism, and Elegy', Romanticism 26.2 (2020), pp. 202-213