Eliza Haughton-Shaw, Christ's

Degree: PhD
Course: 18CR
Supervisor: Dr Fred Parker
Dissertation Title:

The Wound and the Show: Sentiment and Suffering in Writing by Sterne, Wordsworth, Dickens and Lear


Biographical Information

I read for my BA at St Anne’s College, Oxford (2015), and for an MLitt at the University of Glasgow (2016), before coming to Cambridge to embark on doctoral work. My PhD explores tensions in the idea of the communicable, and how these find expression in the figure of the misfit in writing by Sterne, Wordsworth and Dickens. 

Within eighteenth- and nineteenth-century studies, inexpressibility is most often approached via the sublime; however, I am interested in a counter-aesthetic which presents what is inexpressible, shocking or incommunicable through comic, incongruous or bathetic effects. My research is focused by the presence of the simple or unthoughtful figure, a figure who often seems to be damaged, but whose pain has been erased, appears to go unfelt, or even to promote a peculiar pleasure (think Keats, ‘the feel of not to feel it’).

Research Interests

My broader research interests include literature and its relations with philosophy (sentimentality, in particular), the history of emotion, psychoanalysis, Comedy, Nonsense literature, and the long eighteenth-century. Writers of particular interest might include David Hume, Laurence Sterne, William Wordsworth, Charles Lamb, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Edward Lear, and Lewis Carroll.  

Areas of Supervision

I have taught students for Part I, Paper 6: English Literature and its Contexts 1660-1870, but I would be happy to supervise on any authors or topics which fall within the remit of my research interests.