Professor of English and Comparative Literature and Associated Academic Staff in the History of Art Department, University of Oxford, and Margaret Candfield Fellow, University College



Publications | Blog entries | Invited lectures | Broadcasts | Professional activities and appointments | Faculty web page | web page


  • The Genealogy of the Romantic Symbol (Oxford University Press, 2007) [Read chapter 1 here] [Corrigenda: downloadable as a PDF file in US letter size or A4 size]
    • "a stylish, superbly erudite account of this subject" (Terry Eagleton, Culture and the Death of God)
    • "This book offers one of the most profound reflections on symbol since Paul de Man: subtle, original and provocative. It is a brief book, but extremely rich, and often brilliant" (Michael John Kooy, Times Higher Education Supplement; read the complete review here)
    • "remarkably successful . . . in broadening the historical and disciplinary parameters of its primary subject . . . particularly innovative in paralleling the natural sciences with the humanities. . . . Despite the complexity of its topic, the book is never obscure in its approach, critiquing the most intricate topics with precision and clarity" (Jeffrey Einboden, Coleridge Bulletin)
    • "will take its place before long among the indispensable contributions to Romantic studies, and to the still pressing debates about the status and worth of the Romantic endeavour" (Uttara Natarajan, Notes & Queries)
    • "There is a great deal more to this study than the title might suggest. . . . The scope of the volume is in fact thoroughly European, as is befitting any discussion of the emergence of Romantic thought, and diachronically rich with excurses into classical thought as well as the work of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century philosophers and theologians" (Carol Tully, Modern Language Review)
    • "anyone interested in the history of the Romantic symbol, and the bearing of that history on the concept itself, will find a great deal of compelling and challenging material between the covers of this surprisingly slim volume . . . much more bang for the buck on that subject than anyone else, to my knowledge, for the last half century or so" (Charles Rzepka, MLQ)
  • Editor, Norton Critical Edition of Wordsworth's Poetry and Prose (New York: Norton, 2013)
    • "It is likely to set the agenda for classroom study of Wordsworth for years to come, and is an essential text for scholars" (Pamela Clemit, TLS)
  • Co-editor, with Richard Gray, Gary Handwerk, Michael Rosenthal, and Klaus Vieweg, Inventions of the Imagination: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Imaginary since Romanticism (University of Washington Press, 2011)
    • "makes an important contribution not only to the history of philosophy and the study of romanticism, but also to contemporary questions in hermeneutics, theories of knowledge and aesthetics" (Dalia Nassar, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews)
  • Editor, Fearful Symmetry, vol. 14 of the Collected Works of Northrop Frye (University of Toronto Press, 2004) [Corrigenda: p. 82 n. 51: for Propety read Property; p. 197 n. 17: the note should have specified that the story of Giotto's circle is in Vasari's Life; p. 497 (index): add Hadrian, 433n.25; p. 506 (index s.v. Paine): date of The Age of Reason should be 1795.]
  • Co-editor with Paul Magnuson and Raimonda Modiano, Norton Critical Edition of Coleridge's Poetry and Prose (New York: Norton, 2003)
  • Textual editor, Opus Maximum, vol. 15 of The Collected Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge (Princeton University Press, 2002) [I edited the text; prepared the textual apparatus, statement of editorial policy, and headnotes; and selected the illustrations] [Corrigenda: p. xvii, l. 14: for as compromise read as a compromise; p. xxvii under L&L: for Frags 1–3 read Frags 1–4; p. 10, ll. 11–12: for holds and gives read hold and give (i.e. ignore the emendations); p. 60, l. 9: for anchor read sanction; p. 66, ll. 12–13: for fundamental read prudential; p. 66, l. 17: for practicality read practicability; p. 72, l. 6: for and a read and not a; p. 75, l. 7: for substraction read substratum; p. 80, l. 9 of text (not headnote): for factors read facts; p. 84, l. 5 of C's note: for dependency read dependancy; p. 96, l. 9: for no satisfactory read receive no satisfactory; p. 131, l. 27: for than A B read that A B; p. 207, l. 5: for terms read term; p. 207, l. 14: for contain it read or contain it; p. 352, l. 14 (Greek): for logsmôn read logismôn; p. 355, l. 26 (Greek): for thaumzein read thaumazein; p. 362, textual notes e-f and g-h should begin: ms: . . .]

Guest-edited journal:


  • "The Theorization of Style", in Stefanie Fricke, Felicitas Meinert, and Katharina Pink (eds.), Romanticism and Knowledge (Trier: WVT, forthcoming 2015)
  • "The Anti-Historicist Historicism of German Romantic Architecture", European Romantic Review (forthcoming 2015)
  • "The Greco-Roman Revival", in David Duff (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of British Romanticism (forthcoming 2015)
  • "Symbolism, Imagism, and Hermeneutic Anxiety", Connotations: A Journal of Critical Debate, 23.1 (2013/14), 127–39
  • "Romanticism, the Temporalization of History, and the Historicization of Form", Modern Language Quarterly, 74 (2013), 363–89
  • Afterword to Helmut Hühn and James Vigus (eds.), Symbol and Intuition: Comparative Studies in Kantian and Romantic-Period Aesthetics (London: Legenda, 2013), 191–3
  • "Coleridge's Ecumenical Spinoza", in Beth Lord (ed.), Spinoza beyond Philosophy (Edinburgh University Press, 2012), 188–207. Abridged reprint in Tim Fulford (ed.), "Coleridge and His Circle: New Perspectives", special issue of Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net, 61 (April 2012 [i.e. November 2013])
  • "Telling Stories about Romantic Theory", European Romantic Review, 23 (2012), 305–11
  • "Byron between Ariosto and Tasso", in Frederick Burwick and Paul Douglass (eds.), Dante and Italy in British Romanticism (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), 39–53
  • "Ruins without a Past", Essays in Romanticism, 18 (2011), 7–27
  • "The Very Model of a Modern Epic Poem", European Romantic Review, 21 (2010), 589–600 [on Byron's Don Juan]. Reprinted in Thomas Pfau and Robert Mitchell (eds.), Romanticism and Modernity (New York: Routledge, 2011).
  • "Forward to Rome", The London Magazine, March/April 2009 [review of "Andrea Palladio: His Life and Legacy", Royal Academy of Arts, London]
  • "Coleridge on Allegory and Symbol", in Frederick Burwick (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Samuel Taylor Coleridge (Oxford UP, 2009), 345–58
  • "Coleridge's Most Unfortunate Borrowing from A. W. Schlegel", in Christoph Bode and Sebastian Domsch (eds.), British and European Romanticisms (Trier: WVT, 2007), 131–42
  • "Greek Myths, Christian Mysteries, and the Tautegorical Symbol", The Wordsworth Circle, 36 (2005), 6–8
  • "Northrop Frye's Fearful Symmetry", Essays in Criticism, 55 (2005), 159–72
  • "Lucy, Lucia, and Locke", Romanticism on the Net, 34–35 (May–August 2004 [i.e. January 2005]) [on Scott's Bride of Lammermoor and Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor]
  • "How Coleridge Was Wilder than Byron", Romanticism, 10 (2004), 144–57
  • Seven articles in the Encyclopedia of the Romantic Era, 1760–1850, ed. Christopher John Murray, 2 vols. (New York: Firzroy Dearborn, 2004):
    • "Art and Classical Antiquity"
    • "Boullée, Étienne-Louis" (French architect, 1728–99)
    • "Jacobi, Friedrich Heinrich" (German philosopher and novelist, 1743–1819)
    • "Klenze, Leo von" (German architect and writer, 1784–1864)
    • "Robinson, Henry Crabb" (English diarist, 1775–1867)
    • "Schinkel, Karl Friedrich" (German architect, painter, and designer, 1781–1841)
    • "Symbol and Allegory"
  • "The Metaphysical Foundation of Frye's Monadology", in Jeffrey Donaldson and Alan Mendelson (eds.), Frye and the Word: Religious Contexts in the Writings of Northrop Frye (University of Toronto Press, 2004), 97–104
  • "Walter Benjamin's Unacknowledged Romanticism", Lingua Humanitatis 2 (2002), 163–82
  • "When Is a Symbol Not a Symbol? Coleridge on the Eucharist", The Coleridge Bulletin, 20 (2002), 85–92
  • "Mind as Microcosm", European Romantic Review 12 (2001), 43–52
  • "The Norton Critical Edition of Coleridge's Poetry and Prose", Romanticism on the Net, 19 (August 2000)
  • "Why Coleridge Was Not a Freudian", Dreaming: Journal of the Association for the Study of Dreams, 7 (1997), 13–28 (special issue on Coleridge)
  • "How Christian Is the Coleridgean Symbol?" The Wordsworth Circle, 26 (1995), 26–30
  • "An Anthropological Approach to the Romantic Symbol", European Romantic Review, 4 (1993), 13–33
  • "From Hierarchy to Opposition: Allegory and the Sublime", Comparative Literature, 44 (1992), 337–60


In progress:

  • Comparative study of historical understanding and artistic form in the "long eighteenth century" (contracted with Oxford University Press, supported by a Leverhulme Trust Major Research Fellowship for 2015–17)
  • Book on Coleridge
  • Two articles on Byron

Invited lectures (since 2005):

  • "Byron and Weltliteratur" (plenary lecture), Lord Byron and the Margins of Romanticism, Universität Vechta, Vechta, 21 June 2014
  • "Completing Classicisms in Eighteenth-century Rome: Winckelmann and Piranesi", University of Washington Rome Center, 29 April 2014
  • TORCH Book at Lunchtime seminar, Research Centre in the Humanities, University of Oxford, 12 February 2014
  • Seminar, Scholarly Editing in the Twenty-first Century, School of English, University of Newcastle, 6 November 2013
  • "The Theorization of Style" (plenary lecture), Romanticism and Know ledge, joint conference of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für englische Romantik and the North American Society for the Study of Romanticism, Internazionales Begegnungszentrum der Wissenschaft, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, 12 October 2013
  • Seminar in Eighteenth-Century and Romantic Studies, Faculty of English, University of Cambridge, 1 November 2012
  • "Coleridge's Ecumenical Spinoza" (plenary lecture), Coleridge Summer Conference, Cannington, Somerset, 24 July 2012
  • "Romanticism, the Temporalization of History, and the Historicization of Form", Department für Anglistik und Amerikanistik, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, 4 July 2012, and Englisches Seminar, Eberhard-Karls-Universität, Tübingen, 5 July 2012
  • Keynote speaker, Conflict and Catastrophe in the Long Eighteenth Century (Graduate Conference in Eighteenth-century and Romantic Studies), Faculty of English, University of Cambridge, 21–22 April 2012
  • Lecture on Anna Barbauld, Dipartimento di Lingue e Letterature Straniere, Università degli Studi di Parma, 13 March 2012
  • "The Form of History and the History of Form" (plenary lecture), International Conference on Romanticism, 5 November 2011
  • Seminar on Theory with Tilottama Rajan, Romanticism and Independence, North American Society for the Study of Romanticism (NASSR), Park City, Utah, 12 August 2011
  • Respondent, A Most Immense Inheritance: Inheritance in the Eighteenth Century and Romantic Period (Graduate Conference in Eighteenth-Century and Romantic Studies), Faculty of English, University of Cambridge, 2–3 April 2011
  • "Ruins of Modernity", Seminar on Enlightenment and Revolution 1660–1830, Stanford University, 24 February 2011
  • "Coleridge’s Ecumenical Spinoza", Spinoza and Texts, University of Dundee, 8 April 2010
  • "The Italian Journey to the Romantic Symbol (Le basi teoretiche del concetto romantico del simbolo: Goethe e Moritz in Italia)", Dipartimento di Italianistica, Università degli Studi di Padova, 13 November 2009 (summary in Italian here)
  • "Goethe in Venice", Purdue University Honors Program at Venice International University, 12 November 2009
  • "'Truth is always strange': Truth and Reality in Don Juan" (seminar), Romanticism and Modernity, NASSR, Duke University, 24 May 2009
  • "Truth and Reality in Byron’s Don Juan", Romantic Realignments Seminar, English Faculty, University of Oxford, 30 April 2009
  • "There Was No Such Thing as the Romantic Symbol", Romantic Realignments Seminar, English Faculty, University of Oxford, 26 April 2007
  • "Making the Visible Legible" (Literaturwissenschaftliches Kolloquium), Department für Anglistik und Amerikanistik, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, 8 June 2006
  • "Clearing the Film of Familiarity: The Poetic Reformation of Perception", Department für Anglistik und Amerikanistik, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, 7 June 2006
  • "Rationalism, Nationalism, and Historicism in German Romantic Architectural Writing", Department of Comparative Literature, New York University, 28 February 2006
  • "Coleridge’s Most Unfortunate Borrowing from A. W. Schlegel" (plenary lecture), British and European Romanticisms, sponsored by the Gesellschaft für englische Romantik, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, 8 October 2005
  • "Byron’s Reality", Département d’études anglaises, Université de Montréal, 4 February 2005


  • Audio slideshow on William Blake's Illustrations of the Book of Job, BBC News, published 19 May 2011
  • Interview on the Romantic symbol by Robert Harrison, Entitled Opinions, KZSU FM, Stanford University, broadcast 8 February 2011 (and archived on iTunesU)

Professional activities:

Wordsworth's Poetry and Prose
Imventions of the Imagination
Northrop Frye's Fearful Symmetry
Coleridge's Poetry and Prose
Encyclopedia of the Romantic Era
Oxford Scholarly Editions Online