Dr John Regan, Clare Hall



Research Interests

My current research interests centre on the cultural dialogue between poetics and historiography in the long eighteenth century. I am most interested in how ambivalent judgements of human progress- obtaining widely in historical texts in the latter eighteenth century- are at play in processes of artistic composition, and in moments of affective response to aesthetic objects. This involves exploring Kantian and British traditions of aesthetics, and examining the extent to which historical, philosophical and ethical concerns are at work in the production of art- whether written, painted, or built. Correlative interests include versification, prosody and the loud reading of verse. 

Areas of Graduate Supervision

I welcome research proposals on the following topics: eighteenth and nineteenth-century literature and historiography, versification, prosody, theories of versification, philosophy of aesthetics and historiography. I would also welcome proposals on the fiction of Iris Murdoch. 

Selected Publications


Author- Poetry and the Idea of Progress, 1760-1790. (London: Anthem Press, 2017).

Co-Editor, Rethinking British Romantic History 1780-1840 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014).

Author- The Transmission of Knowledge in Eighteenth-Century Scottish Publishing Houses: A Data-Driven Account (Under preparation)


Articles and chapters

'Negative Liberty in the Eighteenth Century: A Conceptual Address to Quentin Skinner' Co-Authored with Professor Peter de Bolla. Under preparation.

Distributional Concept Analysis: A Computational model for parsing conceptual forms across the 18th Century' Co-Authored by John Regan, Peter de Bolla, Ewan Jones, Paul Nulty, Gabriel Recchia. Under consideration with New Literary History

‘Tracing shifting conceptual vocabularies through time’. In: Proc. of Detection, Representation and Management of Concept Drift in Linked Open Data (Drift-a-LOD), Bologna, Italy, 20 November 2016 (pp. 2-9). Co-Authored with Gabriel Recchia, Peter de Bolla, Ewan Jones, Paul Nulty.

Hume's system: the Structure of a Concept. (Under preparation)

‘Introduction’ to Rethinking British Romantic History 1770-1845 (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2014)

‘‘[D]estined to complete a certain cycle’: Francis Jeffrey and Byron’s Orientalism’. The Keats-Shelley Journal Volume LX (New York: The Keats-Shelley Association of America, 2011)

‘Representing Orality: Scott’s The Lay of the Last Minstrel and Conjectural History’, Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net (Montreal: University of Montreal, 2012)

'Ambiguous Progress and Its Poetic Correlatives: Percy’s Reliques and Stadial History' English Literary History 81.2 (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014)

'No "Nonsense upon stilts": James Mill and the Poetics of Benthamite Historiography' in Rethinking British Romantic History 1780-1840 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014)