Professor Susan Oliver

Deputy Dean (Research) (Humanities) and Professor (R)
Department of Literature Film and Theatre Studies (LiFTS)
Professor Susan Oliver



Susan joined Essex in 2010, taking the role of Deputy Dean (Research) (Humanities) in July 2019. Her research specialisms are literature of the late 18th century and Romantic period, transatlantic studies, Scottish literature, ecocriticism and environmental writing, and periodical culture. The visual arts and music also inform her work. The British Academy awarded Susan the Rose Mary Crawshay Prize (2007) for her book Scott, Byron and the Poetics of Cultural Encounter (Palgrave). Her latest monograph, Walter Scott and the Greening of Scotland: Emergent Ecologies of a Nation is forthcoming with Cambridge University Press. She has also published journal articles and book chapters on British, European and North American Romantic writing. She is finishing a third book, on Transatlantic Periodical Culture, 1790-1860. Susan was editor of the 2017 Yearbook of English Studies (47), volume title 'Walter Scott: New Interpretations.' Susan serves on the Executive Committee the MLA Forum on Opera and Musical Performance. Other recent professional appointments have included memberships of the Executive Committee of the British Association for Romantic Studies (BARS), the Advisory Board of the North American Society for the Study of Romanticism (NASSR) and the Advisory Committee of the MLA International Bibliography. She is Senior Bibliographer for the MLAIB, and a member of the Editorial Boards of Romanticism on the Net (RoN see:, The Wordsworth Circle ( and the Wenshan Review of Literature and Culture. Susan is Honorary Fellow in Literary Studies in the Department of English, University of Wyoming, a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and a Senior Member of Wolfson College, University of Cambridge. Research Fellowships have included the Armstrong Browning Library, The Historical Society of Pennsylvania, The Library Company of Philadelphia, The Huntington Library, The American Philosophical Society, the Modern Language Association, and the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the Edinburgh University. In 2018 Susan was awarded Essex's PhD Supervisor of the Year (Humanities). Please feel welcome to contact her about doctoral supervision, especially in Romanticism and Romantic period writing, transatlantic studies, ecocriticism / environmental writing, Scottish literature, and 18th- and 19th- century periodical culture. Susan's current and former PhD students have worked on topics including Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Christina Rossetti, and Gerard Manley Hopkins; the novels of William Godwin; literary ecologies and geographies of the North Sea; 19th-century periodicals; literary pre-Darwinism; environmentalism in contemporary fiction, and late-19th-century Romantic fiction.


  • B.A. (Hons) English and European Literature University of Essex,

  • Ph.D. English University of Cambridge,


University of Essex

  • Deputy Dean (Research), Faculty of Humanities, University of Essex (22/7/2019 - present)

  • Director of Research, Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies, University of Essex (10/8/2015 - 17/8/2018)

  • Academic Staffing Committee, Literature, Film, and Thatre Studies, University of Essex (1/8/2014 - 31/7/2020)

  • Collaborative Board, Centre for Environment and Society, University of Essex (31/1/2016 - present)

  • Athena SWAN Institutional Self Assessment Team, University of Essex (3/12/2013 - present)

Other academic

  • External Examiner, School of English, Communication and Philosophy, Cardiff University (1/9/2018 - 31/8/2022)

  • Honorary Fellow in Literary Studies, English, University of Wyoming (1/1/2013 - present)

  • Advisory Committee, MLA International Bibliography, Modern Language Association (1/7/2015 - 30/6/2018)

  • Senior Bibliographer, MLA International Bibliography, Modern Language Association (1/7/2015 - present)

  • Bibliographer, MLA International Bibliography, Modern Language Association (1/7/2009 - 30/6/2015)

  • Bibliography Fellow, MLA International Bibliography, Modern Language Association (1/7/2005 - 30/6/2009)

Research and professional activities

Research interests

Romantic period

Open to supervise

Walter Scott

Open to supervise

Charles Lamb

Open to supervise

Scottish literature

Open to supervise

Ballads and folk literature

Open to supervise

Late 18th Century British and American literature

Open to supervise

19th century British and American literature

Open to supervise

Charles Brockden Brown

Open to supervise

Periodicals and magazines

Open to supervise

Transatlantic studies 18th and 19th century literature

Open to supervise

Nature writing and ecocriticism

Open to supervise

Borders and cultural encounters

Open to supervise

Conferences and presentations

Romanticism and Posthumansim - Session presider and co-organiser with Professor Richard Sha (American University, DC)

Invited presentation, Modelr Language Association Annual Convention, Seattle, United States, 11/1/2020

"Managed Extinction? The Scottish Clearances as an Anthropocene Event."

Invited presentation, Modern Language Association Annual Convention, Seattle, United States, 10/1/2020

“Curtis’s Botanical Magazine and Romantic Plant Poetry: Seeking Spirituality in Real-Life Flowers”

Invited presentation, Ecology and Religion in 19th Century Studies, Waco, United States, 21/9/2019

“Exposed to the Elements: Romantic Time, Weather, and Science Then and Now”

Romantic Elements: North American Society for the Study of Romanticism (NASSR) 27th Annual Conference, Chicago, United States, 11/8/2019

"Sea Stories and Freshwater Tales: Washington Irving, Walter Scott and the Transatlantic Romantic Imagination."

Invited presentation, Symbiosis 12th Biennial Conference., Dundee, United Kingdom, 13/7/2019

"David Douglas’ Canadian Trees: The Romantic Imagination versus the Lumber Industry."

The Transatlantic Studies Association 18th Annual Conference., Lancaster, United Kingdom, 10/7/2019

Transatlantic Romanticisms Reviewed

Invited presentation, Modern Language Association Annual Convention, Chicago, United States, 3/1/2019

“Towards an Aesthetics of the Unseen: or, Romanticism Below and Beyond the Horizon."

Open: North American Society for the Study of Romanticism (NASSR) 26th Annual Conference, Providence, United States, 23/6/2018

"The MLA International Bibliography as an Active Archive: Knowledge Creation for the Twenty-First Century."

Invited presentation, Modern Language Association Annual Convention, New York, United States, 5/1/2018

"Rocks and Hard Places: Romanticism and the Agency of Stone."

Invited presentation, Romantic Improvement: British Association for Romantic Studies (BARS) 15th International Conference, York, United Kingdom, 28/7/2017

“Ecologies of Destruction: The Politics and Poetics of the Planetary: Oil, Coal and Air in 1820s Scotland.”

Invited presentation, Dialogues and Diasporas: 2nd World Congress of Scottish Literatures., Vancouver, Canada, 22/6/2017

“The Road to Publication Begins with Research.”

Invited presentation, Modern Language Association Annual Convention., Philadephia, United States, 6/1/2017

“Transatlantic Discontent: Homecoming from the American Tropics in Walter Scott’s Rokeby.”

Romanticism and Its Discontents: North American Society for the Study of Romanticism 24th Annual Conference., Berkeley, United States, 13/8/2016

“Reading the Land: Interpreting Forms of Violence.”

Invited presentation, Keynote presentation, Environments: British Comparative Literature Association PG Conference, Colchester, United Kingdom, 8/6/2016

“Cloaking and Hiding: Dressing Up in Robert Louis Stevenson's The Master of Ballantrae.”

Modern Language Association Annual Convention, Austin, United States, 9/1/2016

“Romantic Ecocriticism: Thinking Forward.”

Invited presentation, Modern Language Association Annual Convention, Austin, United States, 8/1/2016

Conference co-organiser

Invited presentation, Trauma, Conflict, and Reconciliation: 10th Symbiosis Transatlantic Studies Biennial International Conference., Colchester, United Kingdom, 9/9/2015

“Environmental Justice and the Romantic Ballad: Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border versus Lyrical Ballads.”

Romanticism and Rights: North American Society for the Study of Romanticism (NASSR) 23rd Annual Conference, Winnipeg, Canada, 15/8/2015

"Teaching Transatlantic Romanticisms."

Romantic Imprints: British Association for Romantic Studies (BARS) 14th International Conference., Cardiff, United Kingdom, 18/7/2015

“Publishing in Academic Journals and Edited Essay Collections.”

Romantic Imprints: 14th British Association for Romantic Studies (BARS) International Conference, Cardiff, United Kingdom, 18/7/2015

"The Land Writes Back: Walter Scott, Ballads and Grounding the Imagination."

Invited presentation, Notes from Underground: Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE) 11th Biennial Conference., Moscow, United States, 27/6/2015

“Scottish Literature: Into the Great Unknowns.”

Modern Language Association Annual Convention, Vancouver, Canada, 9/1/2015

“Woodland as Cultural Archive in The Lay of the Last Minstrel.”

Invited presentation, Activating the Archive: 10th International Walter Scott Conference., Aberdeen, United Kingdom, 12/7/2014

"“Walter Scott and the Presence of Place: An Ecocritical Phenomenology for the Twenty-First Century.”"

World Congress of Scottish Literatures, Glasgow, United Kingdom, 3/7/2014

“Green Scotland: Seeds of Independence.”

Modern Language Association Annual Convention, Chicago, United States, 11/1/2014

“Narratives of western travel in the Edinburgh Review 1802-1815.”

Invited presentation, The Journey and Its Portrayals: Explorers, Sailors, (Im)migrants.", Kaohsiung City, Taiwan, Province of China, 25/11/2012

“The Slipperiness of Genre: Thomas De Quincey’s 'On Murder' Essays and Catastrophic Spaces in the Romantic Press.”

Romantic Catastrophes: International Conference on Romanticism (ICR) Annual Conference, Tempe, United States, 9/11/2012

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

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

  • The World Transformed: The Enlightenment and Its Critics (CS111)

  • Gothic Literature (LT268)

  • Research Methods in Literary and Cultural Analysis (LT901)

Previous supervision

Edwin Powell
Edwin Powell
Thesis title: Complex Twists of Becoming: Debates About Elementary Education in English Periodicals, 1837-1880.
Degree subject: Literature
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 2/3/2020
Elaine Margaret Ewart
Elaine Margaret Ewart
Thesis title: Archipelago: A Literary Ecology of Heligoland and the Frisian Coast
Degree subject: Creative Writing
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 17/9/2019
Hsiao-Hsien Hsu
Hsiao-Hsien Hsu
Thesis title: In Between Materiality and Meaning: World, Dust and Daemon in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials Trilogy
Degree subject: Literature
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 22/5/2017
Tabitha Grace Kan
Tabitha Grace Kan
Thesis title: Renderings of the Abyss: Some Changing Nineteenth-Century Literary Perceptions of the Animal / Human Divide
Degree subject: Literature
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 20/4/2017
Wafaa Alfares
Wafaa Alfares
Thesis title: Serialisation, Settings, Characters: A Comparative Case Study of Gender Roles in Society, as Addressed in Selected Novels By Thomas Hardy, Henry James, and Edith Wharton
Degree subject: Literature
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 11/11/2016
Sawsan Saber D Qashgari
Sawsan Saber D Qashgari
Thesis title: The Image and Role of Women in Selected Works By William Faulkner
Degree subject: Literature
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 30/6/2015


Journal articles (17)

Oliver, S., (2017). "Trees, Rivers, and Stories: Walter Scott Writing the Land". Yearbook of English Studies. 47, 279-299

Oliver, S., (2017). "Introduction to 'Walter Scott: New Interpretations'". Yearbook of English Studies. 47, 1-15

Oliver, S., (2016). "Cloaking and Hiding: Dressing up in Robert Louis Stevenson's The Master of Ballantrae.". The Bottle Imp. (Supplement 3) (Supplement Issue 3), (no-pagination)

Oliver, S., (2015). Introduction: Scottish Literature at the MLA 2015.. The Bottle Imp. 2 (Supp)

Oliver, S., (2014). Walter Scott and the Matter of Landscape: Ecologies of Violence for our Time.. The Bottle Imp. 16 (16), (no-pagination)

Oliver, S., (2014). Green Scotland: Literature and the Seeds of Independence. The Bottle Imp. (Supplement 1) (Supp 1), (no-pagination)

Oliver, S., (2014). "The Matter of Landscape: Ecologies of Violence for Our Time.". The Bottle Imp. 16, 1-5

Oliver, S., (2013). Sir Walter Scott's Transatlantic Ecology. The Wordsworth Circle. 44 (2-3), 115-120

Oliver, S., (2013). DeQuincey's “On Murder“: The Generic Conflict. The Wordsworth Circle. 44 (1), 44-51

Oliver, S., (2012). Review Essay: Robert Burns in Global Culture (Bucknell UP, 2011) ed. Murray Pittock; James Hogg and the Literary Marketplace (Ashgate, 2009) ed. Sharon Alker and Holly Faith Nelson.. The Wordsworth Circle. 43 (4), 209-212

Oliver, S., (2011). Walking and Imagining the City: The Transatlanticity of Charles Lamb's Essays for the London Magazine. Charles Lamb Bulletin. 154, 115-130

Oliver, S., (2009). Planting the Nation's ‘Waste Lands’: Walter Scott, Forestry and the Cultivation of Scotland's Wilderness. Literature Compass. 6 (3), 585-598

Oliver, S., (2009). Silencing Joseph Johnson and the "Analytical Review". The Wordsworth Circle. 40 (2-3), 96-102

Oliver, S., (2009). Romantic 'Dantism,' Travel, Visions and Exile: Byron, Ugo Foscolo and Henry Francis Cary. Journal of Anglo-Italian Studies. 10, 1-16

Oliver, S., (2008). Crossing "Dark Barriers": Intertextuality and dialogue between Lord Byron and Sir Walter Scott. Studies in Romanticism. 47 (1), 15-34

Oliver, S., (2005). Transatlantic Influences in Periodical Editing: From Francis Jeffrey's Edinburgh Review to Horace Greeley's New-York Tribune. Symbiosis: A Journal of Anglo-American Literary Relations. 9 (1), 45-62

Oliver, S., (2002). Resisting Radical Energies: Walter Scott's Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border and the Re-Fashioning of the Border Ballads. Cycnos. 19 (1), 49-63

Books (2)

Oliver, S., (2017). The Yearbook of English Studies Vol 47 (2017). Modern Humanities Research Association. 9781781882931

Oliver, S., (2005). Scott, Byron and the Poetics of Cultural Encounter. Palgrave Macmillan. 9780230555006

Book chapters (9)

Oliver, S., (2019). Walter Scott and Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso.. In: Ariosto, the Orlando Furioso and English Culture.. Editors: Everson, JE., Hiscock, A. and Jossa, S., . Oxford University Press. 9780197266502

Oliver, S., (2016). "Transatlantic Magazines and the Rise of Environmental Journalism". In: The Edinburgh Companion to Atlantic Literary Studies. Editors: Eckel, L. and Elliott, C., . Edinburgh Companions to Literature. 340- 353. 1474402941. 9781474402941

Oliver, S., (2013). Stevenson as Transatlantic Romanticism. In: Approaches to Teaching the Works of Robert Louis Stevenson. Modern Language Association of America. 130- 134. 9781603291217

Oliver, S., (2013). Horror and Melancholia in Romantic Greece: British Reviews of John Keats’s Lamia and John Polidori’s The Vampyre.. In: Southern Horrors: Northern Visions of the Mediterranean World. Editors: Bonifas, G. and Monacelli, M., . Cambridge Scholars Publishing. 201- 211. 1443850306. 9781443850308

Oliver, S., (2013). Reading Morocco in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Press before National Geographic.. In: Beyond Colonial/postcolonial Interventions Revisiting the Debate of Morocco in English Writings and Moroccan Writings in English.. Editors: Essrhir, A., Amine, K., Ennassiri, MK., El Assad, YR., Younes, R., Mars, A. and El Ayadi, R., . Abdelmalek Assadi University Press and The British Council. 191- 212. 9981610542. 9789981610545

Oliver, S., (2013). A Royal and Romantic Nation. In: La Donna del Lago. Royal Opera. 31- 37

Oliver, S., (2012). "Contagion and the City: Writing Boston as a Transatlantic City in the Early Nineteenth Century.". In: The City and the Ocean: Journeys, Memory, Imagination. Editors: White, JC. and Wang, I., . Cambridge Scholars Publishing. 60- 74. 9781443837194

Oliver, S., (2010). Ecologies of Disaffection: Interpreting Wastelands in Charles Brockden Brown's Edgar Huntly and Walter Scott's The Bride of Lammermoor. In: An Interpretive Turn: Essays on Cultural Expressions of Art and Literature. Bookman. 23- 40. 9789574453429

(2007). Romanticism's Debatable Lands. In: Romanticism's Debatable Lands. Palgrave Macmillan UK. 39- 51. 9781349353743

Media (4)

Jones, K., Marsh, H., Ward, P. and Oliver, S., ‘The myth of hyperabundance’: the environmental history of the Americas.' Available online: Audio

Oliver, S., Jones, K., Marsh, H. and Ward, P., ‘There is no revolution without songs’: environment & art in the Americas.' Available online: Audio

Oliver, S., 'Endemic, Epidemic, Pandemic! Contagion, the Doctors, and the Press in Early-19th-Century Boston.' Essex Explores (public lecture series). Available online Video

Oliver, S., 'Getting to the Roots of the Matter: Trees in 19th Century Literature,' Interdisciplinary Explorations: The Idea of Nature (public lecture series). Available online: Video

Other (10)

Oliver, S., (2016).Ice Thoughts: 2,

Oliver, S., (2016).Plants and Antibiotics: some thoughts on reading the NY Times article ?Could Ancient Remedies Hold the Answer to the Looming Antibiotics Crisis??,

Oliver, S., (2016).Seeing beyond the Sandhill Cranes: a trip from Eastern Wyoming into Nebraska.,blogpost.

Oliver, S., (2016).Ice thoughts.,blogpost.

Oliver, S., (2015).Wildflower thoughts . . .,

Oliver, S., (2015).Sculptured Coast.,blogpost.

Oliver, S., (2014).City of Trees: Boise, Idaho and an Urban Natural Experience.,Blogpost.

Oliver, S., (2014).Hot Springs, Atomic Cities, and Craters of the Moon . . . on the Road in Idaho.,Blogpost.

Oliver, S., (2014).Sage Grouse Lekking and Canyon Fiction.,Blogpost.

Oliver, S., (2014).Of Rocks and Hard Places . . .,Blogpost -

Grants and funding


Green Scott: Walter Scott's Environmentalism and Writing the Ecologies of a Nation

The British Academy

+44 (0) 1206 872616


1.601A, Colchester Campus