Eva Dema, St John's

Degree: PhD
Course: English
Supervisor: Dr Ruth Abbott
Dissertation Title:

Thomas Hardy and the Modern Manuscript (1898-1928)

Biographical Information

I studied at St. John's College, Cambridge for both my BA in English and an MPhil in Modern and Contemporary Literature. After taking a year away from academia - during which I worked with various charities focused on advancing social and educational mobility - I returned to Cambridge to begin an AHRC-funded PhD in 2021. Before coming to Cambridge I was educated entirely at state schools in South London and, as a first-generation student, I'm particularly interested in issues relating to access to higher education.

For Lent Term 2024, I will be a Visiting Scholar at Columbia University, working on a project focused on the international manuscript market at the turn of the twentieth century. During Summer 2024, I will be taking up the William H. Helfand Fellowship at the Grolier Club of New York to continue my work on this project.

Research Interests

My thesis centres on Thomas Hardy's poetry manuscripts, and marks the first critical study of the revisions the author made to his verse, rather than his prose. More broadly, it seeks to establish the significance of these largely unstudied documents within the histories of both manuscript studies and close reading practices.

Areas of Interest: 19th century literature; revision; manuscripts & textual studies; book history & collecting; literary labour; working-class literature; dialect & (non)translation; contemporary poetry (particularly relating to class and/or queerness); Thomas Hardy; Charles Dickens; Edward Thomas; Siegfried Sassoon; Frank O'Hara.

Selected Publications

Journal Articles:

  • ‘Printing Thomas Hardy’s Pronouns’, forthcoming from Essays in Criticism (2024)
  • ‘‘Sacred to the Memory’: Thomas Hardy’s Tombstones’, forthcoming from The Review of English Studies (2024): https://doi.org/10.1093/res/hgae028 [Winner of the Review of English Studies Essay Prize]
  • ‘‘Wind, wind, wind, always winding am I’: Dickens’s Metafictional Clockwork’, The Review of English Studies, 73 (June 2022), 552–567: https://doi.org/10.1093/res/hgab094 [Winner of the David Paroissien Prize, awarded by the Dickens Society]

Book Reviews:

Conference Papers:

  • ‘‘Unforeseeing the Preservation’: Hardy the Curator’, Hardy and Heritage (Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris, October 2023)