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Professor Keith Hanley

Professor Emeritus

Keith Hanley

County College



Tel: +44 1524 592451

PhD supervision

I am interested in interdisciplinary approaches, especially in literature, religion and the visual arts, especially in relation to Wordsworth, Ruskin, Newman and nineteenth-century Catholic literature. My most recent publications have focused on Cultural Tourism in Europe and cultural nationalism in Japan. I am currently working on a book about the construction of sacred spaces in nineteenth-century literature.


Keith Hanley studied English at Lincoln College, Oxford (MA, B.Litt). At Lancaster (Ph.D) he founded the Wordsworth Centre, which he directed from 1988-2000, and initiated the transfer of the John Howard Whitehouse Ruskin Collections from Bembridge school, directing the Ruskin Centre at Lancaster from 2000-2008. From 1994 he has co-edited the quarterly Nineteenth Century Contexts: An Interdisciplinary Journal (published by Routledge since 2002), currently with Alex Wettlaufer, University of Texas at Austin. He has held posts at a number of European universities and at Notre Dame, Indiana.

Since 1991 he has been a permanent member of the executive board of the American organisation, Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies (INCS), which holds annual conferences throughout the United States and occasionally in Europe. He serves on the advisory board of Anglica: An International Journal of English Studies, Warsaw. His interest in nineteenth-century interdisciplinary studies is reflected in many edited collections of essays, for example, (with Ray Selden) Revolution and English Romanticism: Politics and Rhetoric, Prentice Hall/Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1990, (with Tony Pinkney and Fred Botting) Romanticism Theory Gender, Ryburn Publishing/Keele University Press, 1995, (with Alison Milbank) From Lancaster to the Lakes: The Region in LIterature, NWRS, 1992, and three collections on Ruskin, Art and Society. With Greg Kucich he co-edited the collection Nineteenth Century Worlds: Global Formations Past and Present (Routledge, 2008).


Professor Hanley is a Fellow of the English Association and of The Royal Society of Arts. He is appointed as a trustee and director of the Shakespeare North Trust.

Current Teaching

Professor Hanley lectures and teaches on undergraduate courses on Victorian Literature and British Romanticism, and contributes the module on Literature and Place to the nineteenth-century M.A.

Additional Information


He has written widely on Wordsworth from a historicist and psycholinguistic point of view, including a monograph, Wordsworth: A Poet's History (Palgrave, 2001), and articles and chapters, of which the following are a selection:

  • 'Crossings Out: the Problem of Textual Passage in The Prelude', Romantic Revisions, ed. Robert Brinkley and Keith Hanley (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), pp.103-35.
  • 'Wordsworth and Revolutionary Discourse', in Wordsworth in Context, ed. Pauline Fletcher and John Murphy (Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press, 1992), pp. 35-66.
  • 'Wordsworth and the Restoration of the Future', The Armitt Journal (1993), pp. 6-12.
  • 'Wordsworth and the Marginal Construction of a Nationalist Discourse', New Comparison: A Journal of Comparative and General Literary Studies, 16 Autumn 1993, pp. 43-65.
  • 'Keeping Mum: Wordsworth's Woman in White', News From Nowhere: An Annual Journal, ed. Tony Pinkney, Keith Hanley, and Fred Botting (Keele University Press, 1995), pp. 80-104.
  • 'The Shock of the Old: Wordsworth's Private Path to Rome', Nineteenth-Century Autobiography: Mortal Pages, Literary Lives, ed. Philip Shaw and Vincent Newey (Leicester: Scolar Press 1995), pp.31-61.
  • 'Wordsworth's Revolution in Poetic Language', RoN 9 (1998): http://www-sul.stanford.edu/mirrors/romnet/RevolutionLB.html.
  • 'Wordsworth's Grand Tour', in Romantic Geographies: Discourses of Travel 1775-1884, edited Amanda Gilroy (Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 2000).
  • '"Things of which I need not speak": Between the Domestic and Public in Wordsworth's Poetry', in The Wordsworth Circle, Vol. XXXIV, No.1, Winter 2003, pp.39-44.

His Ruskin researches produced related articles and chapters, including:

  • 'The Stains of Time: Ruskin and Romantic Discourses of Tradition', in The Lamp of Memory: Ruskin, Tradition and Architecture, ed. Michael Wheeler and Nigel Whiteley (Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 1992), pp. 98-122.
  • 'Ruskin's Views: Gloom and Glory at Kirkby Lonsdale', From Lancaster to the Lakes: a Region in Literature (Lancaster: North West Regional Publications, 1992), pp. 80-112 .
  • 'In Wordsworth's Shadow: Ruskin and Neo-Romantic Ecologies', in Romantic/Victorian: Influence and Resistance in Nineteenth-Century Poetry, ed. Kim Blank and Margot Louis (London: Macmillan, 1993), pp. 203-33.
  • 'Ruskin and the Discourse of Natural Beauty', in Ruskin and Environment: The Storm-Cloud of the Nineteenth Century, ed. M.D.Wheeler (Manchester: MUP, 1995), pp. 10-38.
  • 'Ruskin's Holy Land', in Ruskin's Struggle for Coherence, edited with Rachel Dickinson and Keith Hanley (Cambridge Scholars' Press, 2006/2008), pp. 52-76.
  • 'Becoming Ruskin: Travel Writing and Identity in Praeterita', in Literature and Authenticity, 1790-1900, ed. Philip Shaw, Ashley Chantler and Michael Davies (Ashgate, 2011).

He became the Principal Investigator for the AHRC project, 'John Ruskin, Cultural Travel and Popular Access', 2005-8, supported by a Research Associate in co-operation with research colleagues at Salford and Leeds Metropolitan Universities. He has also co-edited with Rachel Dickinson the essay collection Ruskin's Struggle for Coherence (Cambridge Scholars' Press, 2006; republished in paperback, 2008); written a monograph, John Ruskin's Northern Tours 1837-1838: Travelling North (Mellen Press, 2007);co-edited with Rachel Dickinson a special issue of Prose Studies, 'Nineteenth-Century Cultural Travel', November 2009; and co-authored, with John Walton, the book Constructing Cultural Travel: John Ruskin and the Direction of the Tourist Gaze (Channel View, 2011).

His long-standing interest in scholarly editing, textual criticism and bibliography has informed the following works:

A collection on theory and practice, Romantic Revisions, with Robert Brinkley (Cambridge University Press, 1992); critical editions of George Meredith and W.S.Landor (Carcanet, 1984/88 and 1981/88), and Joanna Baillie: A Selection of Plays and Poems, edited with Amanda Gilroy (Pickering and Chatto, 2002); An Annotated Critical Bibliography of William Wordsworth (Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1995); 'Textual Issues and a Guide to Further Reading' in The Cambridge Companion to Wordsworth, edited Stephen Gill (Cambridge University Press, 2003); and the entries on 'Wordsworth' and 'Landor' in The Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature, 3rd. edn., edited byJoanne Shattock (Cambridge University Press, 2000). He was Lead Investigator and Consultant Textual Editor for The Electronic Edition of John Ruskin's Modern Painters I, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, 2000 - 2002. http://www.lancs.ac.uk/users/ruskin/empi/index.html

Some organised conferences

  • 'Romanticism and Revolution', Lancaster University, July 12-14, 1989.

  • 'John Ruskin: The Brantwood Years', University of Lancaster, 18th - 20th July, 2000.

  • 'Victorian Life Writing: Sources and Resources', Lancaster University, 21st-23rd July, 2005.

AHRC colloquia (with Richel Dickinson, Brian Maidment and John Walton):

  • 'Ruskin and the Idea of Influence', University of Salford, 13th May, 2006.
  • 'Disseminating Ruskin', Lancaster University, 6th-7th July, 2007.
  • 'Persistent Ruskin: Aesthetics, Education, Social Theory, 1870-1914', 18th-19th July 2008.

AHRC conference, with Rachel Dickinson:

  • 'Ruskin, Venice, and 19th Century Cultural Travel', in collaboration with INCS, The Department of European and Postcolonial Studies of University of Ca' Foscari, Venice, Arciconfraternita della Scuola Grande di San Rocco, and Venice International University, 25th-27th September, 2008.

Curated exhibitions

  • 'Romantic Caricature', Lancaster University Library, July 1989.
  • 'Ruskin's Northern Tours', co-curated with Stephen Wildman, supported by the British Academy, the Ruskin Library, Lancaster University, March 2003..
  • 'Journeys of a Lifetime - Ruskin's Continental Tours', co-curated with Rachel Dickinson, the Ruskin Library, Lancaster University, 19 April - 28 September, 2008. The illustrated catalogue was funded by the Yves Hervouet Research Fund for Anglo-French Relations.

Other publications

  • 'Newman's Path to Rome: The Cultural Geography of Liberal Assent', in Newman and Truth, Louvain Theological and Pastoral Monographs 39, ed. Terrence Merrigan and Ian Kerr, Peeters, Louvain, 2008, pp. 111-46.
  • 'Ruskin's Ecological Gaze: Nature, Art, and the Ethics of Realism', translated into Japanese by Yasuo Kawabata and Reiko Horikawa, Bulletin of the Ruskin Bunko, January 2009.
  • 'Ruskin and Holism', translated into Japanese  by Yasuo Kawabata and Reiko Horikawa, Bulletin of the Ruskin Bunko, September 2009.
  • An essay collection, Ruskin, Venice and Nineteenth-Century Cultural Travel, co-edited with Emma Sdegno (Le Bricole, Venice, 2010).
  • An essay collection, Persistent Ruskin--Studies in Influence, Assimilation and Effect,  co-edited with Brian Maidment and containing his introductory essay, 'Ruskin's Common Treasuries', and another essay,'The Ruskin Diaspora' (Ashgate, 2012).
  • 'The Imaginative Visitor: Wordsworth and the Romantic Construction of Literary Tourism in the Lake District', in The Making of a Cultural Landscape: The English Lake District as Tourist Destination, edited by John Walton and Jason Wood (Ashgate, 2013).
  • 'Places: Edinburgh--London--Oxford--Coniston', The Cambridge Compainion to John Ruskin, ed. Francis O'Gorman (Cambridge University Press, 2015).
  • An edition, John Ruskin's Continental Tour, 1835: The Written Records and Drawings, assisted by an MHRA Research Associate, Dr Caroline S. Hull (Legenda/Routledge for the MHRA, 2016).
  • 'Ruskin's Many-Sided Soulfulness', in Ruskin as Educator, ed. Valerie Purton (Anthem Press, 2018)

He is currently working on a book project, Travelling in Cicircles: Wordsworth and the Creation of Sacred Space in Victorian Literature, editing Ryuzo Mikimoto's English works and researching Laurence Binyon's, Edmund Blunden's and William Empson's roles in the mutual influences of Japanese and English literary aesthetics.

Following a recent JSPS invited fellowship at Japan Women's Women's University, and visiting professorships at Gakushuin and Waseda universities, Tokyo, he is finishing a book on English Writers in Japan and contributing to various research projects on Japanese Cultural Nationalism and Western Art Critics.

See WIAS Discussion Paper No.2019-003, Kokka, OkakuraKakuzō,and theAestheticConstruction of late Meiji Cultural Nationalism, November 2019, co-authored with Aiko Watanabe. 



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