Dr Louise Joy, Homerton




Biographical Information

I am a Senior College Lecturer at Homerton College, where I direct studies for Part I, and where I am also the Vice Principal. I completed my PhD and MPhil at the University of Cambridge, following an undergraduate degree at the University of Bristol. In 2013 I was a CRASSH Early Career Fellow, and in 2015 held a visiting research fellowship at Princeton. In 2020, I will hold the Crausaz Wordsworth Fellowship at CRASSH. In 2015 I was awarded a CUSU Student-led Teaching Award for outstanding student support, and in 2017 I was shortlisted for a CUSU Student-led Teaching Award in the outstanding supervisor (Arts/Humanities) category. In 2018, I received a CUSU Student-Led Teaching Commendation for oustanding supervisor (Arts/Humanities), and was shortlisted in the category for oustanding student support (academic) in 2018 and 2019.

Research Interests

My research is rooted in the literature and culture of the long eighteenth century. I am especially interested in women's writing, early prose fiction, the history and philosophy of education, feminist theory, affect, and the history of children's literature. My first book, Literature's Children (2019), brings literary theory into dialogue with the philosophy of education to provide a new account of the complex relations between literary aesthetics and literary didacticism. I have recently completed my second book, Eighteenth-Century Literary Affections (forthcoming 2020), which examines the mediating role played by the category of the affections in eighteenth-century contestations about reason and passion. Current projects include research towards a book provisionally called Enlightenment Progressivism: Literature, Education and Freedom, which seeks to understand some of the complicated ways in which authors and readers since the Enlightenment have envisaged that literary texts might fulfil, fail, or refuse to fulfil educational functions. Alongside this, I am also working on a project stemming from an MPhil course I teach entitled Novel Forms: Fictions, Factions and Femininities, which aims to generate new critical vocabulary for thinking about the early history of the novel by analysing the ways in which eighteenth-century female writers experimented with the patterning of prose to pioneer new prose forms allied to revisionist models of gender. With Jessica Lim, I am co-editing a volume of essays entitled A Literary Education: Women's Pedagogical Exchange, 1690-1850, which draws out some of the ways in which eighteenth-century discourses of education shaped what it meant for women to write, and the ways in which women writers shaped eighteenth-century discourses of education. I am also co-editing the first two volumes of The Cambridge History of Children's Literature (forthcoming 2021) with Eugene Giddens and Zoe Jaques.

Areas of Graduate Supervision

I welcome applications from graduate students interested in working on any aspect relating to my research.

Selected Publications


          Under Contract

Eugene Giddens, Zoe Jaques and Louise Joy, eds., The Cambridge History of Children's Literature, Vol. 1, Origins-1830 (Cambridge: CUP, forthcoming 2021)

Eugene Giddens, Zoe Jaques and Louise Joy, eds., The Cambridge History of Children's Literature, Vol. 2, 1830-1914 (Cambridge: CUP, forthcoming 2021)



Eighteenth-Century Literary Affections (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming, 2020)

Literature’s Children: The Critical Child and the Art of Idealisation (London: Bloomsbury, 2019), pp. i-247

The Aesthetics of Children's Poetry: A Study of Children's Verse in English, introduced and co-edited with Katherine Wakely-Mulroney (Abingdon: Routledge, 2018), p. 1-264

Poetry and Childhood, ed. with Morag Styles and David Whitley. Foreword, Andrew Motion (Trentham Press, 2010)


           Articles and Book Chapters

'Education and Childhood', in William Blake in Context, ed. Sarah Haggarty (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019), pp. 254-261

'Affect', in Keywords for Children's Literature and Culture, 2nd edition, eds. Lissa Paul, Philip Nel and Nina Christensen (New York: New York University Press, forthcoming 2019)

'Eighteenth-Century Children's Poetry and the Complexity of the Child's Mind', in Literary Cultures and Eighteenth-Century Childhoods, ed. Andrew O'Malley (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2019), pp. 117-138

‘The Laughing Child’, in The Aesthetics of Children’s Poetry: A Study of Children’s Verse in English, ed. with Katherine Wakely-Mulroney (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2018), pp. 111-127

‘“Face to face” or “side by side”? Eroticised friendship in Malcolm Saville’s Lone Pine series’, Children’s Literature Association Quarterly, 14:1 (Spring 2016), 41-58

‘Relative obscurity: the emotions of words, paint and sound in eighteenth-century literary criticism', History of European Ideas, 40: 5 (July 2014), 644-661

‘Tolkien’s Language’, in J.R.R. Tolkien, ed. Peter Hunt (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), 74-87

‘Morbid pathos in Isaac Watts’s Philosophy of Affectionate Religion’, Literature and Theology, 27:3 (September 2013), 297–312

‘From passion to affection: the art of the philosophical in eighteenth-century poetics’, Philosophy and Literature, 37:1 (April 2013), 72-87

‘“Snivelling like a kid”: Edith Nesbit and the child’s tears’, in Towards a Lachrymology: Tears in Literature & Cultural History, ed. Tim Webb, Litteraria Pragenzia: Studies in Literature and Culture, 22:43 (2012), 128-143

‘Emotions in Translation: Helen Maria Williams and British femininity’, Studies in Romanticism, 50:1 (Spring 2011), 145-171

‘Novel Feelings: Emma Courtney’s Point of View,’ European Romantic Review, 21:2 (2010), 221-234

‘Wordsworth and Mournful Adolescence’ in Poetry and Childhood, eds. Morag Styles, Louise Joy, David Whitley. Foreword, Andrew Motion (Trentham Press, 2010), pp. 55-61

Saint Leon and the Culture of the Heart,’ History of European Ideas, 33 (2007), 40-53


          Reference Works and Reviews 

'James Thistlethwaite's The Child of Misfortune' and 'John Huddlestone Wynne's The Child of Chance' in The Cambridge Guide to the Eighteenth-Century Novel, 1660-1820, ed. April London (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2020)

'Donelle Ruwe, British Children's Poetry in the Romantic Era', in Children's Literature (2017)

‘Andrew O’Malley, Children’s Literature, Popular Culture, and Robinson Crusoe’, in International Research in Children's Literature (2013)

‘Christopher Parkes, Children’s Literature and Capitalism: Fictions of Social Mobility in Britain, 1850-1914’, in International Research in Children's Literature (2013)

‘Michele J. Smith, Empire in British Girls’ Literature and Culture: Imperial Girls, 1880-1915’, in International Research in Children's Literature (2013)

‘Barbara Taylor, Wollstonecraft and the Feminist Imagination’, in Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy (2003)