School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics

Staff Profile

Dr Laura Kirkley

Lecturer in Eighteenth Century Literature



I was an undergraduate at Exeter College Oxford and a postgraduate at Trinity Hall Cambridge. On completing my interdisciplinary PhD thesis, which focused on Mary Wollstonecraft, I took up a College Lecturership at The Queen's College Oxford in 2009. In 2011, I returned to Trinity Hall Cambridge as a Research Fellow in Modern Languages (English and French). In September 2013, I became a Lecturer in Eighteenth-Century Literature at Newcastle University.


MA (Oxon); MPhil (Cantab); PhD (Cantab).


I research cross-cultural exchange and women’s writing in the eighteenth century and Romantic period. I also have a secondary research interest in women’s contemporary poetry and translation in the context of postcolonial Ireland. My work is interdisciplinary, focusing on both English and French literature, and my methodology combines gender and feminist theory with theories of literary and cultural translation. I have particular expertise in the works of Mary Wollstonecraft and other women writers and radicals of the Revolutionary era.

Current Projects

My scholarly edition of Caroline of Lichtfield, Thomas Holcroft’s translation of Isabelle de Montolieu’s best-selling novel, will be published by Pickering & Chatto in 2013. My next major publication will be a monograph, The Revolutionary Cosmopolitanism of Mary Wollstonecraft, which is close to completion.

I am currently working with colleagues Jenny Mander (University of Cambridge) and Marine Ganofsky (University of Kent) on an interdisciplinary project that investigates the literary and aesthetic modes deployed to express maternal sentiments in the long eighteenth century.


My undergraduate teaching in the academic year 2013/14 includes:

Semester One

SEL1030: Approaches to Reading

SEL2202: Writing New Worlds

Semester Two

SEL1004: Introduction to Literary Studies II

SEL3366: The Ways of the World: Women of Virtue, Women of Pleasure

SEL1023: Transformations

My postgraduate teaching in the academic year 2013/14 includes:

Semester Two

SEL8188: Reading the Past II

SEL8340: Republicanism and Memory

I also supervise undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations.