School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics

Staff Profile

Dr Jennifer Orr

Lecturer in Eighteenth Century Literature



I was an undergraduate at the University of Oxford and a postgraduate at the University of Glasgow. On completing my PhD thesis on Romantic-period poetic networks in the north of Ireland, I took up Professional Services roles in the Development Office and Graduate student recruitment at the University of Oxford, followed by the Tower Poetry Lectureship at Christ Church in 2012 during which time I published an edition of Irish Romantic correspondence The Correspondence of Samuel Thomson: Fostering an Irish Writers' Circle (Dublin, 2012). In the same year I went on to an Irish Government Postdoctoral Fellowship at Trinity College Dublin where I completed the manuscript for my first monograph Literary Networks and Dissenting Print Culture in Romantic Period Ireland (Palgrave 2015).  Prior to my early academic career, I held administrative and research roles in the UK Charity sector and House of Commons. 

Roles and Responsibilities

Director of Learning and Teaching (DELT) for the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics (2018-)

Secretary of the British Association of Romantic Studies (BARS) @BARS_official (2017-)


BA; MA (Oxon); PhD (Glasgow)

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) (2017-)

Academic Society and Advisory Board memberships

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

British Association of Irish Studies (BAIS) 

Eighteenth Century Irish Studies Society (ECIS)

Eighteenth Century Literature Research Network Ireland (ECLRNI)

Labouring Class Poets Online, Academic Advisory Board 

Maryland Historical Society, Baltimore USA  (MdHS)

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




Current Work

I research intellectual networks and exchange, particularly correspondence networks, in the Revolutionary transatlantic world (1790-1845).

As part of Animating Text Newcastle University (ATNU) I am currently working on a funded interdisciplinary project which will combine scientific network analysis with traditional humanities methods to examine and visualise relationships 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.

Research Background

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). 

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 the following postgraduate research theses:

  • Grainne O'Hare, Public women in print: media, celebrity and ownership of image 1760-1820';
  • Alexander Ridley, the afterlives of William Blake 
  • Michael Scott Tickell, a Creative Writing thesis on the work of Northumberland 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) (2016-2019)

Newcastle Institute of Social Renewal Grant (2014)

Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship (2013)

Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship (2012-13)

Faculty of Arts PGR Scholarship, University of Glasgow (2008-2010)


I currently contribute to the following courses: 

SEL2203 Revolutionary Britain, 1789-1832 

SEL3362 BA Dissertation

SEL3365 Independent Essay 

SEL3379 Enlightened Romantics (module convener) - not running in 2019/2020

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.