Dr James Lello, St Catharine's




Biographical Information

I am Director of Studies and College Teaching Officer at St Catharine’s College, where I also completed my BA, MPhil and PhD. 

Research Interests

I work on British and American literature in the long nineteenth century, with a particular emphasis on Henry James. My PhD was fully funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and explored the importance of ‘intonation’ in James's work; it argues that his handling of tone, rhythm, and cadence contributes towards a prosodic sophistication typically reserved for verse, and so contributes towards his broader aspiration to transform the cultural status of the novel. I am particularly interested in what happens when we no longer conceive of language, especially syntax and semantics, as the primary or even exclusive modes of expression. I am currently revising this for a book on Henry James's art of tone.

I am also preparing a second research project, provisionally titled: ‘Nineteenth-Century Philosophical Sentences’. This considers amongst other things William James’s sense of style, its literary reception, and the broader debates surrounding philosophical aesthetics during the period (with particular reference to British Idealism).

At undergraduate level, I teach Part I, Papers I (Practical Criticism and Critical Practice) and 7a (English Literature and its Contexts 1830-1945), and for Part II, Papers 15 (The English Moralists) and 16 (The History and Theory of Literary Criticism). I also co-run a series of wide-ranging seminars on critical theory 'from Plato to the Present Day' at St Catharine’s College. I have supervised numerous undergraduate dissertations on Henry James as well as on nineteenth-century aesthetics.


Selected Publications


‘Henry James and “The Auditive Intelligence”’, The Cambridge Quarterly, vol. 49, no. 4 (December 2020), 313–332.  https://academic.oup.com/camqtly/article-abstract/49/4/313/6179165

'The Mystery of "Collaboration" in Henry James', Humanities , vol. 10, no. 1 https://doi.org/10.3390/h10020069


Review of Understanding James, Understanding Modernism’ ed. David H. Evans, Modern Language Review, no. 114, vol. 1 (2019), 129-30. https://doi.org/10.5699/modelangrevi.114.1.0129