Dr Dale Townshend
Person photo Senior Lecturer
English Studies

Contact Information
University of Stirling
United Kingdom

Email: dale.townshend@stir.ac.uk
Phone: 01786-467512

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Publications (32)
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I arrived at Stirling in 2003 on a two-year Thesia Stiftung Postdoctoral Fellowship (2003-2005), having completed my PhD work at the University ofKeele, Staffordshire. After a brief period of working as a teaching fellow in the Department of English Studies, I was appointed as a Lecturer in the Department in January 2006. In May 2012, I was promoted to Senior Lecturer. While I have taught broadly across different historical periods and literary forms, my teaching expertise and interests lie in the fiction, poetry, prose and drama of the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, especially Romanticism and the Gothic.  I am the Director of the MLitt in The Gothic Imagination, an internationally renowned taught Masters prorgamme on all aspects of the Gothic aesthetic, from the eighteenth century through to the present day. 

Research Interests:
My primary field of research is Romantic and Gothic writing of the late eighteenth- and early nineteenth centuries (1760-1830). Within this historical period, I am particularly interested in the Gothic aesthetic (romances; drama; poetry; chapbooks; painting); Romantic poetry; the manifold interactions between literature and architectural form; the relationship between the Gothic and the Romantic; constructions of childhood and children’s literature of the period; and appropriations of Shakespeare in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. I have subsidiary research interests in critical theory, especially in the various manifestations of poststructuralist thought articulated by such modern and contemporary European thinkers as Michel Foucault; Jacques Lacan; Slavoj Žižek; Julia Kristeva; Jacques Derrida; and Giorgio Agamben. Indeed, as located within Romantic-era writing as it is, my research has invariably sought to forge connections between theoretical and historicist modes of enquiry, be that through the fostering of complex textual and literary-critical dialogues, or through bringing theoretical modes of reasoning to bear upon a range of literary-historical concerns. Methodologically wedded to the skills of close textual analysis, my critical mode seeks to breach the perceived divide between theoretical and historicist methodologies. I am currently at work on four collections of essays, and contributing to each one a single-authored chapter: Macbeth, a collection of critical essays co-edited with John Drakakis (under contract to Continuum, forthcoming April 2013); Ann Radcliffe: Gothic and Romantic Engagements, 1789-1826, co-edited with Angela Wright (under contract to Cambridge University Press, forthcoming early 2014); a special issue of the peer-reviewed journal Horror Studies, forthcoming December 2012 (under contract to Intellect Books); and The Gothic World, a major collection of scholarly essays I was invited to co-edit, with Glennis Byron, for Routledge in late 2011 (under contract to Routledge). My current monograph project, Gothic Antiquity: History, Romance and the Architectural Imagination, 1740–1840, seeks to provide a sustained critical account of the complex but hitherto relatively unexplored relationship between ‘words’ and ‘stones’, texts and architectural structures in British Romantic-era writing. With a particular interest in the varying constructions of the British nation’s Gothic past at the turn of the nineteenth century, this study seeks to read a number of key Romantic authors, both canonical and otherwise, in relation to such contemporary discourses as the political ‘myth’ of Gothic origins; formal historiography and its vexed relations to romance; stylistic tracts on Gothic architecture; and Antiquarian attitudes to the tangible physical remains of British history as manifested in so many ruined Gothic architectural structures. To date, two sections of this project have been accepted for publication—the first, on the political implications to acts of Gothic architectural ‘improvement’ and ‘repair’ in the work of T. J. Horsley Curties; Jane Austen; Ann Radcliffe; Charlotte Smith; Hannah More; James Wyatt; John Carter; Edmund Burke; Mary Wollstonecraft; John Thelwall; Jeremy Bentham; and William Blackstone; and the second, an article on the interplay between romance, history, Royalist politics and Gothic-fictional convention in the early work of T. J. Horsley Curties. It is anticipated that this project will include sections on, inter alia, Byron, Gothic Architecture and Newstead Abbey; Wordsworth, Coleridge and the architectural Romantic imagination; Jane Austen’s architectural forms; and the Protestant biases to the aesthetic of the architectural Picturesque in the work of William Gilpin and Richard Warner.
Employment History:
Senior Lecturer
English Studies

Activities :