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Phoebe C. Downing


D.Phil Candidate in English language and literature

Balliol College   

The University of Oxford

Phoebe Downing Profile

Bachelor of Philosophy             (Hons. A.N.U.)
Master of Studies in English     (Oxford)



Phoebe Downing has a Ph.B. with first class honours and the university medal in English from the Australian National University. (2009). Awarded a General Sir John Monash award in 2010, Phoebe moved to England where she completed the M.St. in English language and literature with distinction at the University of Oxford (2011).

Phoebe is currently reading for a D.Phil. in English at Oxford, focusing on late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century British political and literary history. Her research focuses on the relationship between Fabian socialism and literary culture from the 1880s to the outbreak of the First World War. This interest has lead to research on a broad range of writers, publishers and editors including George Bernard Shaw, H. G. Wells, Edith Nesbit, Harley Granville Barker, Joseph Conrad, Emma Brooke, Holbrook Jackson, Grant Allen, Grant Richards, Charles Charrington, and Alfred Orage.

Further areas of interest include Victorian periodical culture; the emergence of British literary modernism; Victorian science and literature; and Australian fiction.

Phoebe currently teaches twentieth- and twenty-first century literature for Balliol College, Oxford. She was President of the Balliol Middle Common Room in 2011-12.


‘To Know A Man Well, Were to Know Himself’: William Hazlitt and the Great Romantic Tradition.
Ph.B. Thesis, Australian National University, 2009.
Supervisor: Professor Gillian Russell.

‘A Morality of an Old-Fashioned Faith’: Evolutionary Ethics in the Literary Criticism of Julia Wedgwood.
M.St. Thesis, The University of Oxford, 2011.
Supervisor: Professor Sally Shuttleworth.