School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics

Staff Profile

Dr Jennifer Orr

Lecturer in Eighteenth Century Literature


I am Lecturer in Eighteenth-Century Literature in the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics (SELLL) with specialisms in Comparative Romantic Literature (Scottish and Irish), print culture (especially newspapers), literary networks, correspondence and self-fashioning in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries. 

In 2018 I was appointed Secretary of the British Association of Romantic Studies (BARS) and I have been a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) since 2017.


MA - University of Oxford 
PhD - University of Glasgow

I joined SELLL in 2013, prior to which I held the Christopher Tower Lectureship in English Poetry at Christ Church, University of Oxford and an Irish Research Council Fellowship at Trinity College Dublin.


I am a member of the following scholarly associations:

American and British Societies of Eighteenth Century Studies (ASECS/BSECS)

British Association of Irish Studies (BAIS) 

British Association of Romantic Studies (BARS) 

Eighteenth Century Irish Studies Society (ECIS)

Eighteenth Century Literature Research Network Ireland (ECLRNI)

Maryland Historical Society, Baltimore USA  (MdHS)

Network of Irish Historians in the North East (NIHNC)

North East Forum for Eighteenth-Century and Romantic Studies (NEFECRS)



Research Interests

I am a leading expert on Irish poetry of the Romantic period (1780-1830) and have recently published a monograph on radical poetry and print culture in Ireland before and after the French Revolution: Literary Networks and Dissenting Print Culture (Palgrave, 2015), supported by a keynote lecture series in the USA at the invitation of the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs.

I have published several articles on the theme of Comparative Romanticism (particularly Scottish and Irish Romanticism), bringing to bear my specialist interest in poetic networks (including coterie culture) and poetic self-fashioning (particularly labouring-class self-fashioning).  My recently published work includes studies of working class print culture, including the poetic circles of Robert Burns (1759-1796), and the Irish poets Samuel Thomson (1766-1816) and James Orr (1780-1816). 

Current Work

My more recent work on branches out into Transatlantic studies, particularly cosmopolitan identities and intellectual communities in the Revolutionary Transatlantic world (1790-1845). I am currently working on a funded project which examines cosmopolitan and fluid national identities among high-profile intellectual and diplomatic communities in Revolutionary France and America including transnational figures such as Elizabeth Patterson-Bonaparte, Eliza Parke Custis Law and David Bailie Warden whose marginal gender or class status impacted their control of their public image. This project also looks at constructions of self, identity and 'celebrity' and through public and private writings.

An additional ongoing project involves a pan-European partnership on popular print, with a specialist focus on on ballad culture of North East England, particularly song associated with industrial Tyneside. 

 MLitt/Doctoral Supervision

I am currently supervising a PhD on 'Public Women in Print: Media, Celebrity and Ownership of Image 1760-1820'; a Master's thesis on the Afterlives of William Blake and a Creative Writing MPhil on poetry of, and that which was inspired by, Northumberland 'people's poet' Wilfrid Gibson (1878-1962).

I would welcome prospective supervisees  in my areas of Romantic-period research, particularly poetic circles/coteries, labouring-class poetry, Scottish/Irish poetry of the 18th/19th Centuries, and religious dissenting literature. Authors might include: Robert Burns (and Scottish Romantic writers generally), P.B. Shelley, William Blake, Maria Edgeworth, Samuel Thomson, Thomas Dermody, James Orr.

Selective Research Grants

Newcastle Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences Research Grant (2017-)

Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (with partners) (2016-)

Newcastle Institute of Social Renewal Grant (2014)

Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship (2013)

Irish Research Council Fellowship (2012-13)

Faculty of Arts Scholarship, University of Glasgow 


I teach widely across the SELLL degree, contributing to the following courses: 

SEL1004 Introduction to Literary Studies 2 

SEL2203 Revolutionary Britain, 1789-1832 (module convener)

SEL3362 BA Dissertation

SEL3365 Independent Essay 

SEL3379 Enlightened Romantics (module convener)

My Stage 3 elective module (SEL3379) particularly reflects my research expertise and interests.  The aim is that students go away from the course which a much broader understanding of Romanticism and an appreciation of the role that social class and contested national and regional identities play in our understanding of literature.  

MLitt/Doctoral Supervision

I would be happy to discuss taking on students in my area of research, particularly poetic coteries/networks, dissenting poetry (political and/or religious) of the Revolutionary period; labouring-class poetry.