Dr Jonathan Ellis
BA Hons (Oxford); PhD (Hull)
Room 5.11, Jessop West
email : J.S.Ellis@sheffield.ac.uk
My main research interests lie in the fields of twentieth-century American and British poetry, letter writing, and contemporary cinema.
I completed my PhD at the University of Hull, having previously taken a BA in English Language and Literature at the University of Oxford. I joined the School of English at Sheffield in 2005 and became a Senior Lecturer in 2010.
Most of my research has been on the twentieth-century poet, Elizabeth Bishop. My first book, Art and Memory in the Work of Elizabeth Bishop (Ashgate) was published in 2006. Since then, I have published essays on Bishop’s love poems, on her epistolary relationship with the poet Anne Stevenson, and on the reception of her uncollected and unpublished poems. I have recently co-edited The Cambridge Companion to Elizabeth Bishop with Professor Angus Cleghorn (Seneca College). The book, composed of 12 specially commissioned essays by leading Bishop scholars, was published in hardback and paperback in 2014.
In addition to scholarship on Bishop, I have also published articles on Amy Clampitt, Paul Muldoon, Sylvia Plath and Jeanette Winterson, among others. An abiding interest in film is represented by recent publications on Woody Allen's reputation in the 1990s and the depiction of the Spanish Civil War in Guillermo del Toro's film, Pan's Labyrinth.
In 2004, I travelled to Tokyo to interview the Japanese writer, Haruki Murakami. The project was sponsored by three funding bodies and was published by The Georgia Review.
Much of my recent research is on twentieth-century letter writing. In 2008 I was awarded a British Academy Research Development Award of £86,539 to fund this work. The BARDA award also supported the organisation of a series of public lectures on letter writing by epistolary scholars and writers. Speakers included Anne Fadiman, Hermione Lee, Edna Longley, Hugh Haughton, Angela Leighton, Paul Muldoon and Frances Wilson. I have recently edited a collection of essays inspired by this series, Letter Writing Among Poets: From William Wordsworth to Elizabeth Bishop, published by Edinburgh University Press in 2015. It is the first critical book to focus exclusively on poets' letters.
In June 2015 I organized a major international conference on Elizabeth Bishop’s Questions of Travel to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of its publication. Further details about the conference are available here:
I teach in all areas of my research, particularly American fiction, film and poetry. Courses I have taught at Sheffield include modules on Contemporary Literature, Twentieth-Century American Poetry and The Films of Woody Allen. Since 2005 I have taught an MA course on Letter-Writing in the Twentieth-Century. I also convene a team-taught MA course on Contemporary Poetry. You can also follow me on Twitter: @JonathanSEllis.
I welcome applications from potential PhD students in all areas of my research interests, particularly American and British poetry of the modern and contemporary periods and the art of letter writing and its relationship to other literary genres. I am currently supervising five PhD students, on Woody Allen, Elizabeth Bishop, Cold War fiction, Ted Hughes, and twentieth-century letter writing.
Articles in Journals
Chapters in Books