Feb. 28 STS Colloquium Jon Mee

Feb. 28 STS Colloquium Jon Mee Discussion and Talk

“The Doctor that Blushed: John Ferriar, the Body, and the Industrial Revolution” (Pre-circulated reading)


Jon Mee is Professor of Eighteenth-Century Studies in the English Department at the University of York.

He came to York in 2013 after seven years at the University of Warwick as Professor of English and over a decade in the English Faculty at Oxford where he was Margaret Candfield Fellow in English at University College and Professor of the Literature of the Romantic Period. Before moving to Oxford, he was a Senior Lecturer at the Australian National University. Jon did his undergraduate degree at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne followed by a PhD at Cambridge. He was a Junior Research Fellow at Jesus College, Oxford, before moving to Australia in 1991.

His most recent book is Print, Publicity, and Popular Radicalism: The Laurel of Liberty (Cambridge University Press, 2016). The research for the book was funded by an AHRC fellowship. His previous monograph, Conversable Worlds: Literature, Contention, and Community 1762-1830 (Oxford University Press), based on research funded by a Phillip J. Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship, came out in paperback in 2013. During the course of working on the book, he held fellowships at the University of Chicago (2008), the Yale Centre for British Art (2009), and the Australian National University (2009). He has also held a visiting fellowship at the University of New Delhi.

Jon was PI on the Leverhulme Major Project Grant ‘Networks of Improvement’ from 2011 to 2015. The project was concerned with the circulation of ideas of all kinds through various networks (regional, national, colonial) in the period and also the construction of ideas of the ‘literary’ in relation to such networks. He is presently CI on the AHRC network project ‘Institutions of Literature, 1700-1900,’ run conjointly with Dr. Matthew Sangster at the University of Glasgow. Jon is currently on leave as R. Stanton Avery Distinguished Fellow in the Humanities at the Huntington Library, California and Visiting Associate at the California Institute of Technology (2016-17) where he is writing a book based on the research undertaken for the Networks of Improvement project, primarily focussed on the literary cultures of the manufacturing towns of the north during the Industrial Revolution.

Research Overview

Jon continues to be interested in various individual authors on whom he has written, Barbauld, Blake, Coleridge, Hazlitt, Keats, Wollstonecraft, and Wordsworth among them, but he is generally interested in supervising dissertations on authors across the 1760-1840 period.

Beyond individual writers, he is interested in constructions of sociability in the period, and the work of literature and the visual arts not only in representing such sociability, but also as something that flowed through and constructed these networks. More generally he is interested in the role of networks in the circulation of knowledge in the period, for instance, via the literary and philosophical societies that still exist in places like Manchester and Newcastle-upon-Tyne and the mapping of literary culture more generally in the Romantic period.

The 1790s remains a particular decade of interest, and he retains a special research focus on the culture of radicalism as it manifested itself in ideas, various forms of social performance (from toasts to monster meetings), and print culture.

Selected publications

Single-authored Books
  • Print, Publicity, and Popular Radicalism: The Laurel of Liberty (Cambridge University Press, 2016).
  • Conversable Worlds Literature, Contention, and Community 1762-1830 (Oxford University Press, 2011). Nominated for the Louis Gottschalk Prize (2012) of the American Society of the Eighteenth-Century Studies and the James Russell Lowell Prize (2012) of the MLA. Scheduled for paperback release in October 2013.
  • The Cambridge Introduction to Charles Dickens (Cambridge University Press, 2010).
  • Romanticism, Enthusiasm, and Regulation: Poetics and the Policing of Culture in the Romantic Period (Oxford University Press, 2003). Paperback, 2005. 

Included in the Oxford Scholarship Online series.
  • Dangerous Enthusiasm: William Blake and the Culture of Radicalism in the 1790s (Oxford University Press, 1992) 251pp. Paperback, 1994. An extract was reproduced in the Longman Critical Reader William Blake (1998), pp. 43-50, edited and introduced by John Lucas, and also in Blake’s Poetry and Designs, 2nd ed., Mary Lynn Johnson and John E. Grant (eds) (Norton 2007).

 Included in the Oxford Scholarship Online series.