Dr Ewan Jones, Downing




Biographical Information

I'm Associate Professor in the Nineteenth Century at the Faculty of English, and a fellow and Director of Studies for Part II at Downing. I completed my BA, MPhil and PhD at King's College, Cambridge, and was previously Thole Research Fellow at Trinity Hall. I teach for Part I, Papers I (Practical Criticism and Critical Practice), 6 (English Literature and its Contexts 1660-1870) and 7a (English Literature and its Contexts 1830-1945); and for Part II, Papers 9 (Love, Gender and Sexuality, 1740-1824), 10 (1847–1872), 15 (The Ethical Imagination), 16 (The History and Theory of Literary Criticism) and 17 (Lyric). I supervise dissertations in the above areas.

My research concentrates upon poetics, embodied cognition, and computational approaches to intellectual history. Guiding questions include: how might we reconsider 'close reading' not as an act of interpretation or evaluation, but as a specific practice of cognitive attention? How can aesthetic phenomenology shed insight upon historical communities of readers, rather than produce subjective impressionism? How can we devise sharable and portable pedagogical routines that de-habituate standard modes of attending? How might the computational analysis of large datesets engage constructively (rather than antagonistically) with analogue forms of reading?

My second monograph, The Turn of Rhythm, will be published by the University of Virginia Press, in 2023: portions of this work have recently appeared in Representations and ELH. I am currently at work on a third book, on the historical practices of group attention; a collected volume on the same topic, co-edited with Marion Thain, is forthcoming with Marion Thain. I have also participated in the Concept Lab, an interdisciplinary project that has developed open-source computational resources that seek to uncover and analyse historical datasets. I have also collaborated with Phyllis Weliver on a project to digitise manuscripts relating to Alfred Lord Tennyson.

I've been a Fulbright Scholar, residential fellow at the Swedish Collegium of Advanced Study, and visiting fellow at Ludwig Maximilian Universität and Pomona College. For the academic year 2021/22, I was awarded a Leverhulme Research Fellowship. 

Research Interests

Verse form; aesthetics; psychoanalysis; history and philsophy of science; computation and digital culture.

Areas of Graduate Supervision

I have supervised doctoral work on themes that include: 'radical conservatism' in Victorian poetry; queer theory and historical poetics; the reception of Wagner in Anglophone poetry; morphogenetic conceptions of form; metre and exact measurement. I welcome enquiries from prospective graduate students whose work intersects with any of my research interests. 

Selected Publications


  • Jones, E., The Turn of Rhythm: How Victorian Poetry Shaped a Concept (University of Virginia Press, 2023).
  • Jones, E., Coleridge and the Philosophy of Poetic Form (Cambridge University Press, 2014; paperback 2017).
  • Jones, E., and Thain M., eds., Close Reading as Attentional Practice (Edinburgh University Press, forthcoming, 2024). 


  • Jones, E., and Roxburgh, N., 'The Age of Irritability', forthcoming in Explorations in the Digital History of Ideas, ed. Peter de Bolla (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2023). 
  • Jones, E., ‘Rhythm’, forthcoming in Handbook of Poetic Forms, ed. Jessica Bundschu and Irmtraud Huber (De Gruyter).  
  • Jones, E., 'Habits of Inattention', forthcoming in The Attentive Ear, ed. Carmel Raz (Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania, 2024).
  • Jones, E., 'Reading in a Darkened Room: I. A. Richards and the Uses of Distraction ', forthcoming in Close Reading as Attentional Practice, ed. Ewan Jones and Marion Thain (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2024).
  • Jones, E., 'Computing Knowledge in Historical Corpora', forthcoming in Histoires de mots: Saisir le passé grâce aux données textuelles, ed. Léo Dumont, Octave Julien and Stéphane Lamassé (Éditions de la Sorbonne, 2023), 107–25.
  • Jones, E., 'Poetic Vigils, Rhythmical Vigilance', in Zeiten der Wachsamkeit, ed. Arendt Brendecke and Susanne Reichlin (Boston, Berlin: De Gruyter, 2023), 131–156.
  • Jones, E., ‘Impractical Criticism’, English: Journal of the English Association, 71.275 (December 2022), 304–08. 
  • Jones, E, 'Verse Arabesque', Victorian Poetry ('Poetry and the Victorian Visual Imagination: New Conversations' special issue, ed. Heather Bozant Witcher and Jill Ehnen), 60.4 (Winter 2022), 465–491.
  • Jones, E., 'Coleridge's Metres', in The New Cambridge Companion to Coleridge, ed. Tim Fulford (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2022), 96–110.
  • Jones, E., 'Tennyson's Phantom Ballads', Victorian Poetry, 59.2 (Summer 2021), 201–221.
  • Jones, E., 'What is a Computational Emotion?', Studia Neophilologia ('Bodies and Architectures as Spatial Sensing Systems' special issue, ed. N. Katherine Hayles and Sophia Ahlberg), 93.2 (October 2021), 173–189.
  • Jones, E., 'Pretty Vacant: Shelley's Metrical Stops', The Wordsworth Circle, 52.1 (Winter 2021), 72–93 ('Metrical Movements' special issue, ed. Charles Mahoney). 
  • Jones, E., 'How to Learn, Together, Alone', Critical Inquiry, 47.S2 (Winter 2021), 123–126.
  • Jones, E., Recchia, G., Nulty, P., Regan, J., & de Bolla, P., 'The Idea of Liberty 1600-1800: A Distributional Concept Analysis', Journal of the History of Ideas, 83.3 (July 2020), 381-406.
  • Jones, E. and Weliver, P., 'The Tennysons' Princess, and the Performance of Childhood', in The Edinburgh Companion to Literature and Music, ed. Delia da Sousa Correa (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2020), 462–475.
  • Healey R, Jones, E., Recchia, G., Nulty, P., Regan, J., ., & de Bolla, P., ‘The Uses of Genre: Is there an ‘Adam Smith Question?’, Representations 149 (Winter 2020), 73–102.
  • Jones, E. and Nulty, P, 'Quantitative Measures of Lexical Complexity in Modern Prose Fiction', Digital Scholarship in the Humanities, 34.4 (December 2019), 914–937.
  • de Bolla, P., Jones, E., Nulty, P., Recchia, G. and Regan, J., 'The Conceptual Foundations of the Modern Idea of Government in the British Eighteenth Century: A Distributional Concept Analysis'. International Journal for History, Culture and Modernity, 7.1 (September 2019), 619–652.
  • Jones, E., Recchia, G., Nulty, P., Regan, J., & de Bolla, P., 'Distributional Concept Analysis: A Computational Model for parsing Conceptual Forms',  Contributions to the History of Concepts, 14.1 (Summer 2019), 66–92.
  • Jones, E., 'Rhythm and Affect in "Christabel"', Critical Rhythm, ed. Jonathan Culler and Ben Glaser (Fordham UP, 2019), 274–295.
  • Jones, E., ‘Thermodynamic Rhythm: The Poetics of Waste’, Representations, 144 (Fall 2018), 60–88.
  • Jones, E., 'The Sonic Organization of "Kubla Khan"', Studies in Romanticism, 57.2 (Summer 2018), 243–264.
  • Jones, E., Carlson J. & Ruderman, D., 'Romanticizing Historical Poetics' in Essays in Romanticism, 25.1 (2018), 1–9 ('Romanticizing Historical Poetics' special issue, ed. Julia S. Carlson, Ewan Jones and David B. Ruderman').
  • Jones, E., 'Wordsworth's Strenuous Indolence', in Essays in Romanticism, 25.1 (2018), 101–121 ('Romanticizing Historical Poetics' special issue, ed. Julia S. Carlson, Ewan Jones and David B. Ruderman').
  • Recchia, G., Jones, E., Nulty, P., Regan, J., & de Bolla, P., 'Tracing shifting conceptual vocabularies through time' in Knowledge Engineering and Knowledge Management: EKAW 2016 Satellite Events, EKM and Drift-an-LOD, Bologna, Italy, November 19–23, 2016, Revised Selected Papers, ed. P. Ciancarini, P. et al., 19–28.
  • Jones, E., 'Coventry Patmore's Corpus', ELH 83.3 (Fall 2016), 839–872.
  • Jones, E., '"Let the Rank Tongue Blossom": Browning's Stuttering', Victorian Poetry, 53.2 (Summer 2015), 103–132.
  • Jones, E., 'Split Lines in Shakespeare and Coleridge', Essays in Criticism, 65.4 (October 2015), 421–446.
  • Jones, E., 'John "Walking" Stewart, and the Ethics of Motion', Romanticism, 21.2 (July 2015), 119–131.
  • Jones, E., 'Lyric Explanation: Tennyson's Princesses', Thinking Verse, 4.1 (November 2014), 50–78. 
  • Jones, E., '"Earth Worm Wit Lies Underground": the Compositional Genesis of Coleridge's "Limbo" Constellation', Modern Philology, 110.4 (May 2013), 513–535.
  • Jones, E., '"Less Gross than Bodily": Materiality in the Conversation Poem Sequence', Review of English Studies, 64.264 (April 2013), 267–88.
  • Jones, E., 'Coleridge, Hyman Hurwitz and Hebrew Poetics', Coleridge Bulletin, Winter 2012, 59–68.


  • Jones, E. ‘Vincent Barletta, Rhythm: Form and Dispossession, Ben Glaser, Modernism's Metronome: Meter and Twentieth-Century Poetics’, Poetics Today, 44.3 (September 2023), 487-494.
  • Jones, E., 'Joseph North, Literary Criticism: A Concise Political History', Review of English Studies, 70.294 (April 2019), 396–98.
  • Jones, E., 'Andrew Piper, Dreaming in Books: The Making of the Bibliographic Imagination', Nineteenth-Century Literature, 71.1 (June 2016), 132–36.
  • Jones, E., 'Chris Murray, Tragic Coleridge', Coleridge Bulletin, Winter 2015, 125–29.
  • Jones, E., 'Romantic Poetry: An Annotated Anthology, ed. Michael O'Neil and Charles Mahoney', Coleridge Bulletin, Summer 2014, 77–83. 
  • Jones, E., 'Tim Milnes, The Truth About Romanticism', Coleridge Bulletin, Summer 2012, 118–122.
  • Jones, E., 'Richard Holmes, The Age of Wonder'Coleridge Bulletin, Summer 2010, 106–111.
  • Jones, E., 'Noel Jackson, Science and Sensation in Romantic Poetry', Coleridge Bulletin, Winter 2009, 87–91.