Professor Joe Bray
Room 2.21, Jessop West
Internal extension: 28489
email : J.Bray@sheffield.ac.uk
My main research interests are in literary stylistics, specifically the narrative style of the eighteenth and early nineteenth-century novel. I am also interested in book history, textual culture and experimental literature.
I was awarded my PhD by the University of Cambridge in 1997, having previously taken a BA in English and an MPhil in General Linguistics there. The topic of my thesis was the emergence of free indirect discourse in the late eighteenth century, in the period between Samuel Richardson and Jane Austen.
I then taught for two years (1997-9) at the University of Strathclyde and for five (2000-5) at the University of Stirling. In both departments I taught on literature and linguistic courses, as well as in the area of literary stylistics. At Strathclyde I taught on the MPhil in Literary Linguistics, and at Stirling I convened the core undergraduate course Language and Literature.
In September 2005 I joined the University of Sheffield, where I teach on the Language and Literature undergraduate degree, the MA in English Language and Literature and various Literature modules.
My first monograph, The Epistolary Novel: Representations of Consciousness (Routledge, 2003), explores the tensions of first-person epistolary style and their influence on the development of third-person free indirect discourse in the novels of Austen and others. My second monograph, The Female Reader in the English Novel (Routledge, 2009) focuses on the representation of female reading practices in the novels of, among others, Fanny Burney, Charlotte Smith, Mary Hays, Elizabeth Hamilton, Jane Austen and Maria Edgeworth.
My interest in book history/ textual culture is reflected in Ma(r)king The Text: The Presentation of Meaning on the Literary Page (Ashgate, 2000, co-edited with Miriam Handley and Anne C. Henry), and by a special issue of the journal Textual Cultures (2007, co-edited with Ruth Evans).
I have also co-edited with Alison Gibbons the first collection of essays on the innovative contemporary novelist Mark Z. Danielewski (Manchester University Press, 2011) and am currently editing, with Alison Gibbons and Brian McHale, the Routledge Companion to Experimental Literature (forthcoming 2012), the first major research-led collection on experimental literature, containing cutting-edge essays from over 35 leading experts in the field.
My third monograph will focus on the representation of the portrait and the language of portraiture in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth-century novel, focusing on authors such as Austen, Opie, Edgeworth and Scott.
In addition, with Dr Hamish Mathison and colleagues at the Humanities Research Institute, I am working on a Knowledge Transfer project to make more publicly accessible a section of the eighteenth-century library at the National Trust property Nostell Priory.
I teach on both the BA in English Language and Literature and the MA in Language and Literature: Interdisciplinary Approaches. The modules on these courses that I have taught include Narrative Style in the Contemporary Novel (BA level), Narrative, Self and Identity (MA) and Narrative and Cognition (MA, with Dr Joanna Gavins).
I also teach widely on the English Literature programme (for which I have been Admissions Tutor since 2010). In particular I have convened the following modules: Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Literature, Romantic Literature and The Dissertation.
I welcome research students working in any area of literary stylistics (especially narrative style and point of view), as well as those working on any aspect of eighteenth and early nineteenth-century literature and culture (especially the novel from 1740 to 1818).
At Sheffield I have supervised PhDs on the following topics: Jane Austen´s use of narrated perception, the autobiographical fiction of the Brontes, the narrative style of Cormac McCarthy and 19th Century Adaptations of Shakespeare.