School of English
   
   
  

Current students 

Applicants

 

 

Image of John West

John West

Assistant Professor in Early Modern Literature and Drama, Faculty of Arts

Contact

Biography

BA (Warwick), M St (Oxford), PhD (Warwick)

I joined the School of English in January 2016. From 2012 to 2015 I was a Research Fellow at the University of Exeter where I worked on the AHRC-funded Stuart Successions Project.

Expertise Summary

My main research interests are: 17th-century literature and history; literature, politics, and religion during the the Civil Wars and the Restoration; John Dryden; literature and succession in the Early Modern period; Early Modern women's writing.

Teaching Summary

In the past I have taught late medieval, Renaissance, 17th- and early 18th-century literature, and lectured on topics relating to Civil War and Restoration literature, including: images of Charles I… read more

Research Summary

I'm currently finishing a book for OUP about ideas of "enthusiasm" in the works of the poet, dramatist and literary critic John Dryden. I'm also finishing several pieces of work about literature and… read more

In the past I have taught late medieval, Renaissance, 17th- and early 18th-century literature, and lectured on topics relating to Civil War and Restoration literature, including: images of Charles I and Oliver Cromwell; Restoration political poetry; Aphra Behn; and Shakespearean adaptation.

At Nottingham I teach on the following modules: Studying Literature; Drama, Theatre, and Performance; and Shakespeare and Contemporaries on the Stage.

Current Research

I'm currently finishing a book for OUP about ideas of "enthusiasm" in the works of the poet, dramatist and literary critic John Dryden. I'm also finishing several pieces of work about literature and succession, including an anthology of succession literature from 1603 to 1702 for MUP (co-edited with Andrew McRae) and an essay on the poetry and pamphlets printed in response to the Revolution of 1688-9.

Future Research

I'm developing a new book project about the literature of the succession of Charles II. On being restored to the throne in 1660, Charles immediately backdated the start of his reign to the day of his father's execution in January 1649. In my project I aim to find out how this counterfactual narrative of uninterrupted royal history was created in the literature of the 1650s when non-monarchical forms of government obtained, and how the celebrations that accompanied the Restoration in 1660 dealt with uncertainties about the authority of a monarch whose assumption of the throne had been delayed.

This project stems from a broader interest in lost successions - moments when power was expected to change hands but, for reasons of death, rebellion, or revolution, didn't - that I would like to do more work on. I'm interested in how events that never happened could be imagined in different kinds of writing and performance, and how the counterfactual narratives of the past developed in such works created and sustained Early Modern political identities and allegiances.

I continue to be interested, from my work on "enthusiasm", in the relationship between religion, literature, and emotion. In March 2016 I'll present a paper at the RSA Annual Conference in Boston on the image of the people's hearts in Early Modern writing. I'd also, at some stage, like to do some work on literature and amazement.

School of English

Trent Building
The University of Nottingham
University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5900
fax: +44 (0) 115 951 5924
email: english-enquiries@nottingham.ac.uk