Dr Christopher Bundock

Senior Lecturer
Department of Literature Film and Theatre Studies (LiFTS)
Dr Christopher Bundock



My research focuses on 18th and 19th-century English literature and thought. I work on a wide range of genres--poetry, engraving, painting, drama, the novel--and put these cultural productions into conversation with prevailing forms of knowledge in the period. This means reading literature and art alongside philosophical writing (in both Britain and on the Continent) and emerging forms of knowledge, from historiography, to medical science, to political economy. I also work on Gothic literature, from the 18th to the 21st century. Postgraduate supervision areas: - Romantic literature and culture - Gothic literature - Medical humanities - History of emotion - Historical forms and historiography


  • PhD English University of Western Ontario,

  • MA English University of Western Ontario,

  • MA Theory and Criticism University of Western Ontario,

  • BA Hon English University of Victoria,


University of Essex

  • Senior Lecturer, Literature, Film, and Theatre, University of Essex (1/8/2019 - present)

Other academic

  • Associate Professor, English, University of Regina (1/8/2015 - 31/7/2019)

  • Assistant Professor, English, Huron University College (1/8/2013 - 31/7/2015)

Research and professional activities

Research interests

Romanticism and Eighteenth-Century Literature

My research centres on the literature, culture, and thought of the eighteenth century and Romanticism. More specifically, I am interested in topics within this historical range such as historiography, medicine, and visual media. I continue to be interested in Gothic forms of art and the legacy of Gothic into the later 19th century. I would be interested in supervising MA and PhD projects on a range of topics across the 18th and 19th centuries.

Key words: Enlightenment
Open to supervise

Current research

Sense and Morbid Sensibility

An analysis of nervous illness in 18th-century and Romantic literature.

Sense and Morbid Sensibility: Pathologies of Sympathy in Romanticism and the Long Eighteenth Century

At first glance, the exaltation of sympathy in the eighteenth century, especially in political economics and sentimental and Romantic literature, seems to promote social cohesion. Yet, literary and medical texts of the period paint a more complicated picture. When intensified, sympathy becomes pathological: we overdose on emotion. This project rehistoricises key concepts such as sympathy, passion, and sensibility—all terms that navigate the somatisation of feeling—to argue that we discover this toxicity in the emergence, through the period, of a range of nervous disorders, including hypochondriasis, phantom limp pain, furor uterinus (later nymphomania), the vapours, and morbid sensibility. As well as informing the completion of a monograph, this work inspires the development and production of public performances drawn from overlooked theatrical works—the subject of two chapters—that will stage nervous illness for contemporary audiences in our own anxious time.

Conferences and presentations

“Dysphoria, Horror, Nymphomania: The Prehistory of Hysteria in 18th-Century Medicine and Romantic Literature”

Articulation / Experience / Embodiment Research Network, Eastern Arc Consortium, 20/6/2023

“terrible, and strange to tell”: Passions, Incarceration, and the Physiology of Fear

Invited presentation, Romanticism and Justice, Romanticism and Justice, Huntsville, United States, 31/3/2023

Entomology in Keats's Lamia and Marsh's The Beetle

Romantic Elements, University of Chicago, Chicago, United States, 10/8/2019

'Taking a different shape before my eyes': Mutability in Edgeworth's Harrington and Marsh's The Beetle

British Association of Romantic Studies, Romantic Facts and Fantasies: British Association of Romantic Studies, Nottingham, United Kingdom, 26/7/2019

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Modern Revolutions in Science, Politics, and Culture (CS101)

  • Interdisciplinary Research and Problem-Solving: An Introduction (CS111)

  • Ways of Knowing (CS112)

  • The World in Question: The Social, Cultural, Political & Environmental Legacies of the Enlightenment (CS201)

  • Origins and Transformations in Literature and Drama (LT111)

  • Criticism: Practice and Theory (LT204)

  • Desire in the Age of Enlightenment: Eighteenth Century Literature (LT267)

  • Gothic Literature (LT268)

  • Independent Literature Project (LT831)

  • Dissertation (LT880)

  • Literature and the Environmental Imagination: 19th to 21st Century Poetry and Prose (LT978)


Journal articles (7)

Bundock, C., (2024). Redistancing Romanticism: Kent Monkman, Indigenous Perspectives, and the Art of History. Studies in Romanticism. 62 (4), 497-530

Bundock, C., (2023). New Romantic Painting and the Image of History. European Romantic Review. 34 (3), 341-348

Bundock, C., (2021). Performance, Embodiment, and Nervous Sympathy in Maria Edgeworth’s Harrington. ELH: English Literary History. 88 (2), 497-524

Bundock, C., (2013). “And Thence from Jerusalems Ruins”: Romantic Prophecy and the End(s) of History. Literature Compass. 10 (11), 836-845

Bundock, C., (2013). Romantic Women Writers, Revolution, and Prophecy: Rebellious Daughters, 1786-1826. STUDIES IN ROMANTICISM. 52 (4), 619-622

Bundock, C., (2010). “A feeling that I was not for that hour / Nor for that place”: Wordsworth’s Modernity. European Romantic Review. 21 (3), 383-389

Bundock, C., (2009). The (inoperative) epistolary community in Eliza Fenwick’sSecresy. European Romantic Review. 20 (5), 709-720

Books (2)

Bundock, C. and Effinger, E., (2018). William Blake's Gothic Imagination: Bodies of Horror. Manchester University Press. 9781526121943

Bundock, C., (2016). Romantic Prophecy and the Resistance to Historicism. University of Toronto Press. 9781442630703

Book chapters (3)

Bundock, C., (2020). Blake’s Nervous System: Hypochondria, Judaism, and Jerusalem. In: William Blake Modernity and Disaster. Editors: Rajan, T. and Faflak, J., . University of Toronto Press. 150- 171. 978-1487506568

Bundock, C., (2015). Between Saints and Monsters: Elegy, Materialization, and Gothic Historiography in Percy Shelley's Adonais and The Wandering Jew. In: Percy Shelley and the Delimitation of the Gothic. Editors: Brookshire, D., . University of Maryland Press. 28- paragraphs

Bundock, C., (2014). Historicism, Temporalization, and Romantic Prophecy in Percy Shelley’s Hellas. In: Rethinking British Romantic History, 1770–1845. Editors: Fermanis, P. and Regan, J., . Oxford University Press. 144- 164. 9780199687084

Conferences (5)

Bundock, C., “Gothic Life: Vitality and Form in Hans Driesch and William Worringer,”

Bundock, C., “Kent Monkman’s Romantic Revisions”

Bundock, C., New Romantic Painting and the Image of History

Bundock, C., “terrible, and strange to tell”: Passions, Incarceration, and the Physiology of Fear

Bundock, C., (2023). 'New Romantic Painting and the Image of History'

Grants and funding


Sense and Morbid Sensibility: Pathologies of Sympathy in Romanticism and the Long Eighteenth Century

British Academy

+44 (0) 1206 876126


5NW.6.9, Colchester Campus

Academic support hours:

By appointment

More about me
North American Society for the Study of Romanticism:
Romanticism on the Net: