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).

Google Scholar


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 and cosmopolitanism. 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, was published by Pickering & Chatto in 2013 and reissued as a Routledge paperback edition in 2016. My next major publication will be a monograph, The Cosmopolitanism of Mary Wollstonecraft, which is close to completion.

As a participant in the research group 'Animating Text at Newcastle University', I have a strong interest in digital editing and the potential for interdisciplinary collaboration between the Humanities and Computer Science, particularly in the field of translation.

I am also working with my colleague Jenny Mander (University of Cambridge) 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

SEL2202: Writing New Worlds

Semester Two

SEL3373: Women of Virtue and Women of Pleasure: Sensibility in the Age of Reason

SEL1023: Transformations

SEL1004: Introduction to Literary Studies 2

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

Semester Two

SEL8359: Mind, Body, Affect

I also supervise undergraduate and postgraduate research projects.