Dr Claire Wilkinson, Faculty of English




Biographical Information

I studied for my BA at Cambridge (New Hall / Murray Edwards, 2007-2010) and then went to York to complete my MA (2010-2011). I returned to the Faculty of English in 2013 to begin work on my PhD as the Winton Doctoral Scholar in English and Economics. My thesis was titled 'Imaginary Economies: Literature and Financial Crisis, 1720-1975' and it examined the representation of four epochs of financial crisis in literary writing (the South Sea Bubble of 1720, the 'Railway Manias' of the 1840s, the (first) Barings Bank crisis (1890), and the oil crises of the early 1970s). The degree was awarded in 2017.

Since January 2018, I have held the post of Teaching Associate in Eighteenth-Century Literature at the Faculty of English.  I am a Fellow of Murray Edwards College and a Senior Member of Robinson College.

I'm particularly interested in issues related to access to further education and have run the Faculty's Sutton Trust and Experience Cambridge programmes for the past seven years, alongside a large project funded by the Cambridge Admissions Office which aims to introduce university level English to students from non-selective state schools.

Research Interests

I am currently completing my monograph, Re-writing the South Sea Bubble, which offers a new assessment of literature written at the time of 1720's South Sea Bubble.  My research looks at hitherto neglected writers and their work (including their letters, plays, poems, and wills, amongst other things), alongside new scholarship in history and economics, to argue that the cultural narratives that shape our understanding of the Bubble need to be revised.

My general research interests are: eighteenth- and nineteenth-century literature and culture; economics and literature 1688–1850; political economy; Marxism.

I was the co-convenor of ART / MONEY / CRISIS at CRASSH (http://www.crassh.cam.ac.uk/events/26186), and a contributing writer to a theatre project at the Barbican (September 2018), which explored alternative economic futures (http://metisarts.co.uk/we-know-not-what-we-may-be/).

Areas of Graduate Supervision

I contribute to supervision/teaching for the MPhil in 18th Century and Romantic Studies.

Selected Publications

Wilkinson, C. L, 'The Problem of Profit: Finance and Feeling in Eighteenth-Century British Literature' (review), Journal of British Studies, 60 (2021), 706-710.

Wilkinson, C. L., 'The Literary Origins of Financial Crisis', Cambridge Quarterly, 48 (2019), 78-83

Wilkinson, C. L., 'The Empty Centre of Conrad's Nostromo', Cambridge Quarterly, 47 (2018), 201-21

Wilkinson, C. L., '"The Visionary Scene was Lost in Air": the South Sea Bubble in Literature', in Political Economy, Writing, and the Formation of Knowledge, 1720-1850, ed. by Richard Adelman and Catherine Packham (Abingdon: Routledge, 2018), pp. 5-34

Wilkinson, C. L., 'Science and Poetry in Deep Time', Cambridge Quarterly, 46 (2017), 291-99