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Professor Sharon Ruston

Professor

Sharon Ruston

County College

Lancaster University

Bailrigg

Lancaster LA1 4YD

United Kingdom

Tel: +44 1524 592248

Location: B92

Research overview

My main research interests are in the relations between the literature, science and medicine of the Romantic period, 1780-1820. My first book, Shelley and Vitality (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), explored the medical and scientific contexts which inform Shelley's concept of vitality in his major poetry. Since then, I have been working on Mary Wollstonecraft's interest in natural history, William Godwin's interest in mesmerism, and Humphry Davy’s writings on the sublime; these form chapters in my most recent book, Creating Romanticism: Case Studies in the Literature, Science, and Medicine of the 1790s (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013). I am currently co-editing the Collected Letters of Sir Humphry Davy and his Circle.

PhD supervision

Romantic literature and science, medicine and technology; Romantic poetry; literature and science; literature and medicine; animals and literature; Romantic women's writing; literature and chemistry; literature and natural history.

Career Details

2013-present: Lancaster University: Chair in Romanticism

2009–2013: University of Salford: Chair in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture

2006–2009: Keele University: Senior Lecturer in English

2000–2006: University of Wales, Bangor: Lecturer in English Literature

Research Grants

AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Awards: Extended Programme with the Working-Class Movement Library (2010-15): £230,000 (Co-PI)

AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Training Programme (2009-11): ‘Theories and Methods: Literature, Science and Medicine’ (www.LitSciMed.org.uk): £48,131 (Lead-PI)

AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award with the Royal Institution (2009-12): £50,040 (Lead-PI)

British Academy Small Research Grant (February 2010): £7390. Project: The Collected Letters of Sir Humphry Davy and his Circle (Lead-PI)

RISF Funding, University of Salford (January 2010): £3750. Project: The Collected Letters of Sir Humphry Davy and his Circle (Lead-PI)

Society for the History of Chemistry and Alchemy (SHAC) (January 2010): £1000. Project: The Collected Letters of Sir Humphry Davy and his Circle (Lead-PI)

Wellcome Trust Research Expenses Grant (January 2010): £4993.50. Project: The Collected Letters of Sir Humphry Davy and his Circle (Co-PI)

British Society for the History of Science Grant (October 2009): £500. Project: The Collected Letters of Sir Humphry Davy and his Circle (Lead-PI)

British Academy Small Research Grant (July 2008): £4575. Project: ‘Vital Romanticism: Literature, Science and Medicine in the Romantic Period’

British Academy Small Research Grant (July 2007): £2125. Project: ‘Mary Wollstonecraft and Natural History’

AHRB Research Leave to match institutional leave granted by University of Wales, Bangor (September  British Academy Small Research Grant for research in the British Library and the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine (February 2004): £2871

British Academy Small Research Grant for research during the summer of 2003 in the British Library and the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine (January 2003): £2668

British Academy American Libraries Exchange Agreement grant for research at the Huntington Library in California (June 2002): $5000

Current Teaching

Course Convenor: British Romanticism

The Theory and Practice of Criticism

Current Research

I am currently co-editing, with Professor Tim Fulford, the Collected Letters of Sir Humphry Davy and his Circle (to be published in four volumes by OUP in 2018). The project website is here: www.davy-letters.org.ac.uk. I am also co-editing, with Dr John Holmes, the Ashgate Research Companion to Nineteenth-Century Literature and Science, and writing the chapter on 'Chemistry' (to be published in 2015).

My Role

I am currently Research Director for the Department of English and Creative Writing.

External Roles

I am an external examiner for the University of Glasgow. I sit on the Executive Committee of the British Society for Literature and Science. I am a Fellow of the English Association.

Web Links

The Collected Letters of Sir Humphry Davy and his Circle: www.davy-letters.org.uk

LitSciMed: www.litscimed.org.uk

Guardian Blog Post (November 2013): http://www.theguardian.com/science/the-h-word/2013/nov/12/mary-wollstonecraft-gbbo-feminism-nature-nurture

Royal Society Podcast (September 2012): http://royalsociety.org/events/2012/rights-of-woman/

Aeolian Harp Podcast: https://soundcloud.com/sounding-out-aeolus/sounding-out-aeolus-podcast-4

 

Qualifications

University of Liverpool

  • 1995–99      Ph.D. thesis, ‘P. B. Shelley and the Science of Life’
  • 1994–95      M.A. degree in English Renaissance and Romantic Literature
  • 1991–94      B.A. (hons) degree in English Language and Literature (First Class)

 

University of Wales, Bangor

  • 2003            Postgraduate Certificate of Teaching in Higher Education (Distinction)

PhD Supervisions Completed

  • Alison Morgan, ‘P. B. Shelley’s Popular Songs’ (2009-12). Completed.
  • Wahida Amin, ‘Science and Poetry: The Case of Humphry Davy’ (AHRC Funded; 2009-12)
  • Jessica Roberts, ‘Vitalism in the Periodical Press’ (2010-13) 
  • Jennifer Morgan, ‘Transmission and Reception of P. B. Shelley in Working-Class Journals’ (AHRC Funded; 2010-13)

PhDs Examined

  • November 2012: External Examiner to Leanne Stokoe, “Poetry […] concealed by facts and calculating processes”: political economy in the prose of Percy Bysshe Shelley (University of Newcastle, PhD)
  • November 2012: Examiner for Prof. Dr. Ralf Haekel: ‘The Soul in British Romanticism’ (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Habiliitation, second PhD thesis)
  • January 2009: External Examiner to Jane Darcy, ‘The interaction of medical and literary constructions of melancholy and madness in biographical writing, 1750–1900’ (King’s College, London, PhD)

 

Contact me

Professor Sharon Ruston

B92, County Main

Department of English and Creative Writing

Lancaster University LA1 4WY

Tel: 01524 592248

Email: s.ruston@lancaster.ac.uk

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