Eliza Haughton-Shaw, King's

Degree: PhD
Course: 18CR
Supervisor: Dr Fred Parker
Dissertation Title:

The Wound and the Show: Pain and Eccentricity in Writing by Sterne, Wordsworth, Lamb, and Dickens


Biographical Information

I read for my BA in English Language and Literature at St Anne’s College, Oxford, and an MLitt in Victorian Literature at the University of Glasgow, before embarking on my doctoral studies at Cambridge University in 2015. During 2019, I spent three months working within a SEND school in Cambridge, and am committed to continuing to work in the area of special education. 

Research Interests

My doctoral thesis explores representations of eccentrics and eccentricity between the mid-eighteenth and later nineteenth century; it draws on a range of theorists, from David Hume to the psychoanalyst D.W. Winnicott, working on comparable problems around failed or functionally imperfect sympathy with others. Eccentricity is poised between sociability and isolation, and I map its complex and shifting cultural relationship with ideas of odd or anomalous subjectivity, and with the troubling legacy of empiricism.

My research interests more generally include laughter and the comic, play and creativity, psychoanalysis (in particular Freud, D.W. Winnicott, and Marion Milner), literature and its relation to (especially Enlightenment) philosophy, Romanticism, and Victorian Nonsense. Writers who I work on — or think with — include Lord Shaftesbury, Samuel Johnson, David Hume, Laurence Sterne, Mary Hays, William Wordsworth, Charles Lamb, Lord Byron, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Edward Lear, Lewis Carroll, Sigmund Freud, D.W. Winnicott, and Marion Milner.

Areas of Supervision

Part I: English Literature 1660-1870; Practical Criticism.

Part II: Love, Gender, Sexuality 1740-1824; Practical Criticism.

I have given classes on such topics as epic and mock-epic; Augustan satire; theories of laughter and the comic; sentimental literature; sympathy and theories of reading; eighteenth-century philosophy (Shaftesbury, Hume, Smith); literature and empiricism; Romanticism; Victorian Nonsense poetry.

I have supervised Undergraduate dissertations on Victorian Nonsense; Alexander Pope; Jonathan Swift. I am interested in supervising on these and any topics relevant to my research interests.

Selected Publications

‘"Antic Dispositions": Lear and Dickens’, Victorian Poetry (forthcoming, Summer 2020)

‘Charles Lamb’s Imperfect Solitudes’, Romanticism (accepted)

I recently I co-convened a two-day conference at King's College, Cambridge on the subject of Happiness: Enlightenment to Present.  I am currently co-convening a conference on 'Habit in the Long Eighteenth Century' (call for papers forthcoming).