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Jonathan Memel

Research Fellow, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences



Dr Jonathan Memel is Research Fellow on the AHRC-funded project 'Florence Nightingale Comes Home for 2020' on which he is working with Professor Paul Crawford (Principal Investigator, Health Sciences), Dr Anna Greenwood (Co-Investigator, History), Dr Richard Bates (Postdoctoral Research Fellow, History) and Hayley Cotterill (Senior Archivist, Special Collections).

Memel holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Edinburgh and in 2016 completed a National Trust/Great Western Research-funded collaborative PhD at the University of Exeter's Centre for Victorian Studies. Before arriving at the University of Nottingham he was AHRC Cultural Engagement Fellow at the University of Exeter and Teaching Fellow on the University of Virginia's Semester at Sea programme.

Memel currently serves on the Executive Board of the British Association for Victorian Studies (BAVS) and the Council of Management of the Thomas Hardy Society.

Expertise Summary

A specialist in Victorian literature, Jonathan's research for this project builds on his expertise in the regional context of nineteenth-century writing. He is particularly interested in how new understandings and experiences of place influenced nineteenth-century literary and non-literary texts. To date he has focused on two major figures of the Victorian period: Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) and Florence Nightingale (1820-1910). His National Trust/Great Western Research-funded doctoral project on Thomas Hardy asked how Victorian education transformed regional, gender and class identities. It established Hardy as a leading commentator on the complex effects of learning and revealed his close involvement in the networks and material developments that brought a national system of education into being.

Memel's articles have been published in Neo-Victorian Studies and Hardy Review, with reviews in Modern Language Review (forthcoming, 2019) and History of Education. ​​​​​​​His latest article, '"Making the University less exclusive": The Legacy of Jude the Obscure', is in Neo-Victorian Studies (10:1, 2017).

Research interests:

  • Cultural responses to social change
  • The adoption of literary themes and figures in other discourses, for example in texts on health and education
  • Literary representations of place and popular conceptions of particular localities
  • Descriptions of material surroundings, especially of institutions and outdoor environments
  • Literary heritage and its social and political implications today

Memel designed and wrote the website and blog with Richard Bates. He previously worked as a Research Assistant on the North American Victorian Studies Association's (NAVSA) COVE project ( and led 'Hardy and Clothing' as an AHRC Cultural Engagement Fellow (

Research Summary

As Postdoctoral Research Fellow on 'Florence Nightingale Comes Home for 2020', Memel is researching a figure less often associated with a particular locality than Hardy. He is conducting textual… read more

Recent Publications

Current Research

As Postdoctoral Research Fellow on 'Florence Nightingale Comes Home for 2020', Memel is researching a figure less often associated with a particular locality than Hardy. He is conducting textual analysis of Florence Nightingale's writing, family correspondence and depiction in the periodical press in order to resituate Nightingale within the vibrant cultures and networks of the Victorian Midlands. In particular, he is interested in understanding how the patterns and culture of daily life informed Nightingale's internationally-read writings on health, institutional reform and gender. Memel will also be helping to co-ordinate a series of nursing discussion events at Royal Derby Hospital and a public exhibition at Nottingham Lakeside Arts. He is committed to collaborative research and has previously worked with the National Trust, Dorset County Museum and Dorset County Council to find new and inclusive ways for young people to engage with their local heritage. As a result of this work Memel was appointed Champion for Public Engagement with Postgraduate Research by the National Coordinating Centre of Public Engagement. He has served as a Co-Chair of the Hardy Country Steering Group, a partnership whose members include Bath Spa University, National Trust, Dorset County Museum and Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and is a member of the Thomas Hardy Society's Council of Management.

School of Health Sciences

B236, Medical School
Queen's Medical Centre
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