Dr Louise Joy, Homerton



Biographical Information

I am a fellow and Director of Studies (Part I) at Homerton College, where I have been a Lecturer in English since 2006. 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 2015 I was awarded a CUSU Student-led Teaching Award.

Research Interests

My research interests are primarily rooted in the literature and intellectual history of the long eighteenth century. My work is concerned in various ways with relationships between literature and education. My first book considers how literary texts position the child reader as a kind of critic, analysing the nature of the critical work which literature invites the child reader to undertake and reflecting on the kinds of critics which childhood reading trains. My second book provides a new theoretical account of eighteenth-century didacticism by examining the ways in which certain works from the period seek to educate by fostering scrutiny of, while operating on, the reader's emotions. I am interested in finding productive ways of bringing together ideas and approaches from literary studies, philosophy, political theory, and the history and theory of education to put pressure on some of the concepts to which my work seeks to contribute understanding. These include: didacticism; enlightenment; education; criticism; scepticism; conversation; emotion; childhood; children's literature; happiness; idealism; progressivism.

Areas of Graduate Supervision

I welcome applications from graduate students interested in working on any of the above.

Selected Publications


Eighteenth-Century Literature and the Emotions (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming)

The Aesthetics of Children’s Poetry: A Study of Children’s Verse in English, ed. with Katherine Wakely-Mulroney (Aldershot: Ashgate, forthcoming)

Literature’s Children: The Critical Child and the Art of Idealisation (London: Bloomsbury, forthcoming)

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

 Articles and Book Chapters

‘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, forthcoming)

‘“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




‘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)