School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics

Staff Profile

Dr Eliza O'Brien

Teaching Fellow


Job Title:

Teaching Fellow in Eighteenth-Century Literature


BA Joint Honours; MA (University College Cork)

PhD (Glasgow)

Fellow of Higher Education Academy

Current Roles:

English Literature Subject Advisor for Combined Honours, 2017-18

English Literature Subject Advisor for for Classics, 2017-18

English Literature Subject Advisor for Study Abroad students, 2017-18


Feedback and Consultation Hours for Semester 2, 2017-18:

Wednesdays: 10-12

Thursdays: 11.30-12.30

Office: Percy 1.11



Research expertise: 1790s literature and politics; eighteenth-century penal and legal reform; the work of William Godwin (1756-1836).

Other research interests: Scottish Enlightenment philosophy; the development of the novel in English and across Europe from 1680s to the present.

Current projects:

Monograph: Forms of Confinement: The Novel and Imprisonment in the 1790s.

Article on Mary Wollstonecraft; essay for forthcoming Wollstonecraft volume in Cambridge Literature in Context series; sequence of short essays on 1790s fiction for forthcoming volume Cambridge Guide to the Eighteenth-Century Novel, ed. April London.


‘“The greatest appearance of truth”: Telling Tales with Thomas Holcroft.’  Eighteenth-Century Fiction 28.3 (2016) pp.501-526.
‘“The most inconsistent of men”: William Godwin and The Apology of Sir Thomas More.’   Nineteenth-Century Prose 41.1/2 (2014) pp.79-110. 
‘Eighteenth-Century Legal Reform and the Romantic Body: Visibility, Betrayal and Evidence in Caleb Williams.’ La Questione Romantica 3.1 (April 2011) pp.41-54 (backdated edition: submitted December 2012, published June 2013).

‘Victorian Sentimentality’, co-author with Kirstie Blair, in Oxford Bibliographies Online: Victorian Literature.  Article launched March 2011.
‘Sentimentalism and 1790s Radical Novels.’  Literature Compass 7.11 (2010) pp.990-998.


Since joining the School of English in 2012 I have taught widely across undergraduate and postgraduate modules.  I have previously taught at Northumbria University, Teesside University, and University of Glasgow.


SEL 3362 Dissertation in English Literature (supervisor: mainly eighteenth- and nineteenth-century prose)

Semester 1

SEL1030 Close Reading (seminar tutor)

SEL 2202 Writing New Worlds (lectures and seminars)

Semester 2

SEL1004 Introduction to Literary Study (lectures)

SEL 2203 Revolutionary Britain (module leader; lectures and seminars)

SEL 3395 The Victorians (module leader; lectures and seminars)


SEL1030 Approaches to Reading

SEL1023 Transformations

SEL1004 Introduction to Literary Studies 2

SEL 1031 Drama, Theatre and Performance

SEL 2202 Writing New Worlds

SEL 2203 Revolutionary Britain

SEL 2210 Independent Research Project

SEL 3366 The Ways of the World

SEL 3362 Dissertation in English Literature


SEL 8187 Reading the Past 1

SEL 8188 Reading the Past 2