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Dr James Robinson

Assistant Professor (Teaching)

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Assistant Professor (Teaching) in the Department of English Studies  


I joined the Department of English Studies as Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in 2013 and have been teaching here ever since. My research and teaching interests lie in twentieth-century literature, medieval literature, Romanticism and poetry and poetics more widely.

My first book, Joyce’s Dante: Exile, Memory, and Community (CUP, 2016) incorporated historical and political perspectives to present the encounter between James Joyce and the medieval Italian poet Dante Alighieri as a complex and contextually determined interaction which reflected Dante’s changing reputation, readership and textuality throughout the nineteenth century.

My current project, arising from my Leverhulme Fellowship, explores how the cultural hermeneutics and poetics of the British poet Ted Hughes were shaped by his engagement with a wide range of medieval English, European and Persian poetries. Rooted in an exploration of the importance of Hughes’s regional identity as a Northern-English poet, the project draws upon extensive international archival research and will result in the monograph, Ted Hughes and Medieval Literature: ‘Deliberate Affiliation’.

I teach widely across the undergraduate programme, convene the second-year seminar module 'Modern Poetry' and am currently supervising PhD projects on British, Irish and American poetry and would be delighted to hear from prospective research students intending to work on Joyce, Hughes, Dante, British and Irish poetry, twentieth-century literature more widely, or the afterlife of medieval literatures.

Research interests

  • James Joyce
  • Ted Hughes
  • Dante
  • Twentieth-Century Literature
  • British and Irish Poetry
  • Medieval Literature
  • Italian Literature
  • Modernism

Esteem Indicators


Authored book

Chapter in book

  • Robinson, James (2021). The Haunting of Geoffrey Chaucer: Dante, Boccaccio, and the Ghostly Poetics of the Trecento. In Chaucer and Italian Culture. Fulton, Helen University of Wales Press. 45-90.
  • Robinson, James (2018). Ted Hughes and the Middle Ages. In Ted Hughes in Context. Gifford, Terry Cambridge University Press. 209-218.
  • Robinson, James (2018). "Our Chaucer": Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath, and the Politics of Medieval Reading. In Ted Hughes, Nature and Culture. Roberts, Neil, Wormald, Mark & Gifford, Terry Palgrave Macmillan. 143-159.
  • Robinson, James (2011). "Purgatorio" in the "Portrait": Dante, Heterodoxy, and the Education of James Joyce. In Dante in the Nineteenth Century: Reception, Canonicity, Popularization. Havely, Nick Peter Lang Publishing. 261-280.

Journal Article

  • (2019). "The Sound of Dante's Language": An Alternative Medieval Tradition for Ted Hughes. The Ted Hughes Society Journal 7(2): 35-46.
  • Robinson, James (2012). "Uneasy Orthodoxy": the Jesuits, the Risorgimento, and the Contexts of Joyce's First Reading of Dante. Anglia: Journal of English Philology 130: 34-53.
  • Robinson, James (2012). Nuvoletta and the "Dantellising Peaches": Dante, Femininity, and the Poetic Intertexts of Issy in "Finnegans Wake". Joyce Studies Annual 2012: 208-241.
  • Robinson, James (2012). Ted Hughes and the Green Knight. The English Review 23(2): 35-37.

Supervision students