Tom Littler, Clare

Degree: PhD
Course: English
Supervisor: Dr Fred Parker
Dissertation Title: Epistolary Erotics and Articulations of Female Sexuality in Eighteenth Century Love Letters

Biographical Information

I have a parallel career as a theatre director, working mostly in London but also across Europe. I'm currently Artistic Director of Jermyn Street Theatre, the smallest producing theatre in the West End. As a director, I have particular interests in Shakespeare and early- to mid-20th Century drama.

I read English at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford (BA, 2006, MA, 2010), Classics at the Open University (MA, 2016), 18th Century and Romantic Studies at Clare Hall, Cambridge (MPhil, 2017). I am now a part-time PhD candidate at Clare College.

Research Interests

My PhD is on constructions of female desire and sexuality in literary love-letters of the long 18th century. It asks questions about artlessness and artfulness; about abandonment and fantasy; about writers, readers, and heroines; about the love-letter's potential to enjoy a dual function as both dialogic and monologic. It ranges from the later Restoration through to the Regency period and Pushkin's Eugene Onegin. It focuses on the integration of Ovid's Heroides and female-voiced complaint into wider literature, beginning with the impact of the Dryden/Tonson 1680 Epistles. Keeping such texts in view, it explores receptions of Heloise and Abelard in the period, from Alexander Pope through Rousseau to Laclos to Mary Hays. I have a particular interest in Hays and The Memoirs of Emma Courtney.

Areas of Supervision

I enjoy teaching, and I have been supervising regularly since completing my MPhil in 2017. I am happy to consider teaching throughout the long 18th century and, separately, in Drama (including Tragedy, Shakespeare, Early Modern, and modern drama).

I have taught Part IB: Paper 6 (1660-1870) several times at Clare, and also for Hughes Hall, St Catharine's, and Girton, and am always delighted to teach this paper. I have also covered the teaching of the later parts of Part 1B: Paper 5 (1500-1700) at Clare. I have taught the Part II: Tragedy paper, which combines helpfully with my theatre background and my training in classics. I have taught Part II: Early Modern Drama for Homerton. I enjoy supervising dissertations on theatre and have done so on topics including Yeats, Pinter, Beckett, Theatre of the Absurd, McDonagh. I have also been invited to give seminars on Shakespeare (Ia) and Strindberg (II).

My research overlaps substantially with Part II: Love, Gender and Sexuality. I would also be delighted to supervise dissertations on classical reception from 1660 to the present day. I am always happy to teach IB:Paper 6. I am happy to talk to any students interested in theatre about supervising dissertations.

Selected Publications

'Total Translation: Approaching an Adapation of Strindberg's Dance of Death', in Adapting Translation for the Stage, ed. Emma Cole and Geraldine Brodie (London: Routledge, 2016)