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English and Creative Writing

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Dr Joseph Crawford

Senior Lecturer


01392 725491


My work to date has focussed primarily on the literature of the eighteenth century and Romantic periods, and on the history of Gothic fiction from its earliest origins to the present day. More recently I have also carried out research into the history of popular fiction, literature and medicine, and the literary history of the south-west of England. My first book, Raising Milton's Ghost, was published in 2011; my second, Gothic Fiction and the Invention of Terrorism, came out in 2013. My third book, The Twilight of the Gothic, was published in 2014 by University of Wales Press as part of their Gothic Literary Studies series. My fourth book, Inspiration and Insanity in British Poetry 1825-55, was published by Palgrave in 2019. I am presently researching the literary and medical cultures of the post-Romantic period. 

My teaching at Exeter is primarily on poetry, and the literature of the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. I also teach an optional third-year module on the history of romance fiction. 

My office is Queens 239. Office hours can be booked by email, or via the sign-up sheet on my office door.

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British Romanticism, especially William Blake.

Gothic fiction, from the eighteenth century to the present day.

The history of popular fiction, especially romance fiction.

Literature and politics in the long eighteenth century.

Occultism and conspiracy theory.

The supernatural in literature, from the Renaissance to the present day.

The cultural history of altered states of consciousness in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

Literature and madness in the early nineteenth century.

Nineteenth-century opium literature.

The literature of the 1830s.

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I am happy to supervise students who wish to work on literary-historical topics relating to British Romanticism, Gothic fiction, and/or the literature of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. I also have an interest in contemporary popular fiction, especially in relation to the genres of Gothic fiction and romance. I have particular interests in topics relating to religion, nationalism, radical politics, the French Revolution, the occult, the supernatural, madness, altered states of consciousness, the history of popular fiction, and the aesthetics of the sublime.

Research students

I have supervised the following PhD students at Exeter:  
  • Suzanne Steele, The Artist's Dilemma: Truth, Process, and Form in the Great War Narratives of Robert Graves, Mary Borden, and David Jones (2011-2016- completed).
  • Lori Lee Oates, Secrecy Redefined: Print Culture and the Globalization of Occult Philosophies in the Long Nineteenth Century (2012-2016 - completed).
  • Muhamet Alijaj, Testimony and Narrative on the Supernatural in the Work of Catherine Crowe, the London Dialectical Society and Edward William Cox (2015-2020 - completed).
  • Danl Tetley, Waiting For Summer (2019-2020 - ongoing).
  • Peter Church, thesis on evil in British Gothic literature 1832-1867 (2020 - ongoing).

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Copyright Notice: Any articles made available for download are for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the copyright holder.

| 2023 | 2022 | 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2015 | 2013 | 2011 | 2010 | 2008 |


  • Crawford J. (2023) • ‘‘A Tale of the Plague’: anti-medical sentiment and epidemic disease in early Victorian popular Gothic fiction’, Penny Dreadfuls and the Gothic Investigations of Pernicious Tales of Terror, University of Wales Press, 114-136.



  • Crawford J. (2021) Old-World Heroes and New-World Heroines in Post-Millennial Anglophone Romance Media, Romantic Escapes: Post-Millennial Trends in Contemporary Popular Romance Fiction, Peter Lang.


  • Crawford J. (2020) 'When poor mama long restless lies, / She drinks the poppy's juice': Opium and Gender in British Romantic Literature, Psychopharmacology and British Literature, Palgrave.
  • Crawford JMU. (2020) '‘No More Than a Brute or a Wild Beast’: Wagner the Werewolf, Sweeney Todd and the Limits of Human Responsibility’, The Company of Wolves, Manchester University Press.
  • Crawford JMU. (2020) The Romantic Gothic Imagination, The Oxford Handbook of Victorian Medievalism, Oxford University Press.




  • Crawford JMU. (2015) Gothic Fiction and the Evolution of Media Technology, Technologies of the Gothic in Literature and Culture, Routledge.


  • Crawford JMU. (2013) ‘‘Fetter’d, in Spite of Pained Loveliness’: Formal Restraints in Gothic Fiction and Related Modes’, The Rules of Form: Sonnets and Slide Rules, Whipple Museum of the History of Science.


  • Crawford J. (2011) The Haunting of Thomas De Quincey, The Cambridge Quarterly, volume 40, no. 3.
  • Crawford J. (2011) Raising Milton's Ghost, Bloomsbury Academic.


  • Crawford J. (2010) 'Every Night, The Same Routine': Recurring Nightmares and the Repetition Compulsion in Gothic Fiction, Movable Type, no. 6.
  • Crawford J. (2010) Milton's Heirs: Epic Poetry in the 1790s, Studies in Romanticism, volume 49, no. 3, pages 427-443, article no. 4.


  • Crawford J. (2008) 'At This Period Peculiarly Necessary': The Republication of Milton’s Political Tracts in the 1790s, The Journal of Eighteenth Century Studies, volume 31, no. 3.

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I took my BA in English Literature at Cambridge, and my Masters and DPhil at Oxford. Before coming to Exeter, I held a research fellowship at Cambridge University. My first book, Raising Milton's Ghost, was published by Bloomsbury Academic in 2011; my second, Gothic Fiction and the Invention of Terrorism, was published in 2013. My third book, The Twilight of the Gothic, was published by the University of Wales Press in 2014 as part of their Gothic Studies series. My fourth book, Inspiration and Insanity in British Poetry, was published by Palgrave in 2019. I am presently researching the representation of health, sickness, and insanity in the popular fiction of the post-Romantic period. 

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