School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics

Staff Profile

Dr Jennifer Orr

Senior Lecturer in Eighteenth Century Literature



I was an undergraduate at the University of Oxford and a postgraduate at the University of Glasgow where I completed my PhD thesis on Romantic-period poetic networks in the north of Ireland. I held 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) before joining Newcastle's School of English.

Prior to my academic career, I held administrative and research roles in the UK Charity sector, the House of Commons and Professional Services marketing and fundraising roles at the University of Oxford.

Roles and Responsibilities

Secretary of the British Association of Romantic Studies (BARS) @BARS_official (2018-)

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


BA; MA (Oxford)

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 a member of Animating Text Newcastle University (ATNU) I am currently working on a funded interdisciplinary project which combines scientific network analysis with traditional humanities methods to examine and visualise relationships among high-profile intellectual and diplomatic communities in Revolutionary France and America. Our successful pilot project can be viewed here:

The wider project will expand the limited dataset of the pilot to incorporate multiple transatlantic archives, comprising a 'who's who' of the transatlantic intellectual and social scene. Many of these letters have never been examined in Anglophone scholarship and include correspondents and mentions from Alexander von Humboldt, Thomas Jefferson, Henri Gregoire, Washington Irving, James Fenimore Cooper,  Elizabeth Patterson-Bonaparte, Eliza Parke Custis Law, Lady Sydney Morgan and most of the period's most prominent scientists, engineers and learned societies like the Institute National de France, the American Philosophical Society.

I am particularly interested in the connective figures of the circle, particularly its primary hub David Bailie Warden (1772-1845), a political exile-turned-savant whose marginal gender or class status enabled him to transcend an unlikely background to become a central figure of 'betweenness' in the Republic of Letters. This project also looks at constructions of self, identity and 'celebrity' and through public and private writings.

Research Background

Epistolary and intellectual networks have formed a continuous theme of my academic research. As a leading expert on Irish poetry of the Romantic period (1780-1830), I published a monograph on networks, 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';
  • 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 am on leave until November 2021 but normally contribute to the following courses: 

SEL2203 Revolutionary Britain, 1789-1832 

SEL3362 BA Dissertation

SEL3365 Independent Essay 

SEL3379 Enlightened Romantics: writing at the margins* (module convener) - not running in 20/21 or 21/22

*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.