Ben Wilkinson-Turnbull is a fourth year DPhil student and Clarendon Scholar at Mansfield College, University of Oxford. His doctoral research focuses on the materiality of women’s texts between 1580 and 1760. Prior to coming to LMH for his BA and subsequent MSt, Ben attended a state school in Leeds. He is a proud working class, northern, queer, first generation academic.
Ben's doctoral research focuses on the materiality of women’s writing between 1580 and 1760. The varied methods of textual production employed by women writers means much work remains to be done in understanding the material forms (paper, fabric, stone, metal, and hybrids of the above) used to produce and circulate their works. By comparing women's textual practices to those of their male contemporaries his thesis demonstrates the underappreciated aesthetic complexity of women's writing, explores new forms of textual transmission, and aims to improve our understanding of how form affects meaning.
Alongside his work as a feminist literary historian, Ben is also a contributing editor to The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Jonathan Swift working on his later political writings. As part of this research, he is currently writing an article with Prof. Christine Gerrard provisionally entitled 'Pulteney, Patriots and Plunderers: Jonathan Swift’s The Answer of William Pulteney, Later Political Writings, and a “lost” Pamphlet of 1730', that examines his discovery of an important new source for one of Swift's later pamphlets.
At Oxford University he has also worked as a Research Assistant on Prof. Ros Ballaster's “Opening the Edgeworth Papers” and Dr Julia Smith’s The Oxford Traherne projects. He is currently interning on The Elizabeth Montagu Correspondence Online, a collaborative digital project based between Oxford Brookes and Swansea Universities.
At LMH, Ben teaches English on the foundation year. Modules offered over the course of the academic year include Close Reading, The Canon of English Literature, and Literature and the Body.
Ben has also taught widely on literature written between 1550 and 1830, having taught Papers 1 (Shakespeare), 3 (1550-1660), 4(1660-1760), and 5 (1760-1830) at LMH and Jesus College. He also teaches at a faculty level as a graduate teaching assistant on 'Paper 6: Language, Persuasion, People, Things'. He has supervised a number of undergraduate dissertations, including topics on early modern book history, the construction of queer masculinity in eighteenth century literature, Restoration utopias, and contemporary women's writing, and welcomes enquires from potential supervisees.
Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles
‘Originality, Plagiarism, and Posthumous Publication: Grace Gethin’s Reliquiæ Gethinianæ (1699)’ Review of English Studies 72:304 (2021), pp.301-20. (https://doi.org/10.1093/res/hgaa094)
Jonathan Swift, The History of the Last Four Years and Other Works (CUP). Forthcoming. With Christine Gerrard and Corrina Readioff.
The Palgrave Encyclopaedia of Early Modern Women’s Writing: The Material Book (Palgrave). In Production. With Helen Smith.
‘Swift and Women Writers’ in Jonathan Swift in Context, eds. Pat Rogers & Joseph Hone (CUP). Forthcoming.
‘Grace, Lady Gethin’ in The Palgrave Encyclopaedia of Early Modern Women’s Writing (Palgrave). In Production.
‘Epitaphs’ in The Palgrave Encyclopaedia of Early Modern Women’s Writing: Poetry (Palgrave). In Production.
‘Elizabeth Freke’ in The Palgrave Encyclopaedia of Early Modern Women’s Writing (Palgrave). Under Contract. Forthcoming.
‘Writing Surfaces’ in The Palgrave Encyclopaedia of Early Modern Women’s Writing: The Material Book (Palgrave). Under Contract. Forthcoming.
‘Early English Books Online and Digital Materiality’ in The Palgrave Encyclopaedia of Early Modern Women’s Writing: The Material Book (Palgrave). Under Contract. Forthcoming.