Dr Hamish Mathison

School of English


English Hamish Mathison
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Dr Hamish Mathison
School of English
Jessop West
1 Upper Hanover Street
S3 7RA

I joined Sheffield´s team of eighteenth-century literature specialists after an undergraduate degree taken at Keble College, Oxford and a PhD called Communities in Print: Robert Burns and Late Eighteenth-Century Scottish Poetry taken at the University of Aberdeen.

Research interests

I work principally on eighteenth-century Scottish literature. More widely, I have published on topics as diverse as gothic literature, early newspaper history and the representation of submarine warfare in popular novels.

My PhD was a study of how poetry was popularised and marketed in the eighteenth century, and it looked at how the poetry of Robert Burns (1759-1796) was promoted at the time. My work in the field of eighteenth-century studies is heavily invested in the emerging discipline of `book history´, and this has led me back to the origins of Scottish print in the sixteenth century. I maintain a strong theoretical interest in the work of Jürgen Habermas and "Frankfurt School" critical theory more widely.

My most recent work has been on the connections between poetry and gothic writing in the Eighteenth Century, part of my ongoing work into print culture and patriotic sentiment in eighteenth-century Britain. As the UK works through the implications of its troubled national engagement with Europe, with ‘Brexit’, my work is turning increasingly to a consideration of what made the constituent parts of Britain identify as ‘British’ in the first place.


Journal articles


  • Wright AH & Mathison AH (2017) Haunted Britain In Carter M, Lindfield Ott P & Townshend D (Ed.), Writing Britain's Ruins London: British Library Publishing. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Mathison AH (2017) Robert Burns and the Scottish Bawdy Politic In Davison CM & Germanà M (Ed.), Scottish Gothic: An Edinburgh Companion Edinburgh University Press RIS download Bibtex download
  • Mathison AH () 'Out of Tune': Sex, Death, and Gothic Disharmony in Eighteenth-Century Scotland In Zigarovich J (Ed.), Sex and Death in Eighteenth-Century Literature (pp. 224-241). RIS download Bibtex download
  • Mathison AH () On Robert Burns: Enlightenment, Mythology and the Folkloric In Campbell M & Perraudin M (Ed.), The Voice of the People: Writing the European Folk Revival, 1760-1914 (pp. 21-34). RIS download Bibtex download
  • Mathison AH () Scotland, The Oxford History of Popular Print: Cheap Print in Britain and Ireland to 1660 RIS download Bibtex download
Research group

I welcome applications from potential research students who wish to work upon the literatures of the long eighteenth-century. At present I'm supervising PhD students working on matters as diverse as British Georgic poetry, English balladry and antiquarian collecting. PhD supervisees of mine who have since graduated have offered topics such as:

  • Time and Space in Tristram Shandy and Other Eighteenth-Century Novels.
  • ‘Credibility’ in Restoration and Eighteenth-Century texts.
  • Wounds, Words, Worlds: Injury in Middle  English Satire, c.1250-1534.
  • 'The Commerce of Light': Eighteenth-Century Dialogue, Communicative Reason, and the formation of the English Novel'
  • ‘A certain design': The partisan strategy of Joseph Addison's The Free-Holder.
Teaching activities

Principally, I teach, lecture and often convene the department's second-level core course on 'Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Literature'. I similarly contribute to our core teaching in the field of Romantic and Victorian literature.

Most years I offer two optional modules: 'Satire and Print in the Eighteenth Century' which is all about print culture in the first half of the century, and 'Writing in Enlightenment Britain' which is about the connections between moral philosophy, national identity and literary work in the second half of the century.

Alongside my undergraduate teaching activity, I co-teach a module on Romantic and Gothic British literature at MA level as well as contributing to our team-taught core module on the interdisciplinary Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Studies MA programme.

I particularly believe in the capacity of education to drive social mobility, and continue to work in the field of knowledge transfer and outreach beyond the University, previously through the work of Villiers Park Educational Trust and what was NAGTY (National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth). Notable classes have included Masterclasses for the Advanced Extension Award (AEA) in Rotherham; English Literature Courses for AS/A-Level Teachers; English Literature day schools for colleges, as well as Widening Participation classes for Year 13 (Rotherham/Sheffield LEA).