Professor Angelique Richardson



Extension: 4354

Telephone: 01392 724354


Angelique Richardson works on class and race politics from Malthus to the present. In 2019  she will be giving a keynote at the British Society for Literature and Science conference  She is also giving on talk on past and present racism at a workshop at KCL (April 2019) on the histories of nonhuman forms of care, a paper 'Biology and the Far Right' in July at a workshop in Oxford and a talk at the Oxford University Department for Continuing Education Thomas Hardy day school in November.

She is Professor of English at the University of Exeter and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.  She is also a member of the Centre for Victorian Studies, the Centre for Literature and Archives, the Centre for Medical History, on whose Advisory Board she sits, and a Research Associate of Egenis.  She also supervises and/or mentors researchers working on a range of subjects including e.g. political prisoners in Ireland and Palestine, hunger strikes, feminist writers in Kenya, and the limits of white British feminism.

Latest book  After Darwin: Animals, Emotions, and the Mind  (reviewed in Psychology Today, Victorian Studies; The British Journal for the History of Science, Social History of Medicine, George Eliot Review, The British Society for Literature and Science; see George Levine, George Eliot Review)

Latest journal issue: Special Issue of Literature Compass on Global Hardy.  New chapter 'Who Was the New Woman?',  in Laura Marcus, Michèle Mendelssohn, and Kirsten Shepherd-Barr, Late Victorian into Modern, 1880-1920 (Oxford University Press, 2016), shortlisted for the 2017 Modernist Studies Association Book Prize and article 'Thomas Hardy's Radical Politics' in the English Review  (2018).

Interview on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme on Hardy's Wessex and regional identity; recent Times Literary Supplement reviews on Victorian science and poetry, Darwin's prose and Hardy's letters.

See Richardson's piece for World Book Day 2018 on Thomas Hardy in @ConversationUK

Here's a piece in the Times Education Supplement (June 2018) on a digital resource for GCSE students developed with Helen Angear and Exeter Digital Humanities Lab

Richardson is particularly interested in histories of class and race relations.  She has a BA in English Language and Literature from the University of Oxford, and an MA and PhD from Birkbeck, University of London.  She welcomes enquiries and proposals from prospective PhD students from the EU and rest of the world on class and gender politics; the rise of racial thinking, and racism; nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature and science;  nineteenth- and early twentieth-century prose (from William Cobbett, Harriet Martineau and Darwin to the Humanitarian League), poetry and fiction (including Gaskell, George Eliot, Hardy, Wells and Forster), and the New Woman; on animals studies; archives; and digital humanities.

As sole or co-supervisor Richardson has supervised 18 PhD students to successful completion and she currently supervises several projects ranging from the class and race limitations of British feminism, British eugenics, misinformation, fake news and the periodical press, responses to censorship, and Hardy and the culture of letter writing (Collaborative Doctoral Award funded by the AHRC).    She is also supervising five AHRC-funded South, West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership (SWW DTP) PhD researchers in collaboration with the Universities of Cardiff, Reading and Southampton, including two Hardy, Dorset and the wider world Collaborative Doctoral Awards in collaboration with Southampton, Dorset County Museum (DCM) and Dorset History Centre. In 2017 she won the Guild Teaching Award for best lecturer in English.

Richardson has recently given invited talks at the University of Oxford Victorian Research Seminar and at the University of Oxford Department of Continuing Education, as well as a number of public lectures including at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter and at  Dorset County Museum, and,  with her PhD researcher Helen Angear, for the Thomas Hardy Society Study Days in 2017 and 2018.  They are returning in 2019!

Richardson has published widely on nineteenth-century science, literature and culture, and has additional research interests in museums, archives and digital humanities. She is committed to public engagement in both her teaching and research and from 2012-15 she was Public Engagement Officer for University English; over the last five years she has been developing collaborations with local government, museums and the National Trust.  She is co-chair of the Hardy Country Partnership and leader of the partnership's education strategy

Richardson's monograph Love and Eugenics in the Late Nineteenth century made a major intervention both in the history of medicine and literary studies, revealing the extent to which racial thinking and class hostility permeated Victorian and early twentieth-century culture: 'excellently researched and vigorously argued, ranging across literary theory, sociology, social history, and psychology. The strength of Richardson’s work lies not only in its scope but in its attentiveness. It is bold in argument and exact in evidence, advancing a fresh and individual line of thought’ (Gillian Beer).

More recently, After Darwin: Animals, Emotions, and the Mind is recognised as 'bringing together science and ethics and challenging the boundaries of our notion of interdisciplinarity: ‘After Darwin provokes profound ethical concerns for the kinds of humanities disciplines that are involved in the academic field of Victorian studies’ (Victorian Studies); ‘Interdisciplinary studies of Darwin are not a new phenomenon. Richardson’s book, however, retains freshness and specificity through the choice to focus, not upon the Origin or the Descent, but upon Darwin’s less cited but enormously influential book of 1872, The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals'; After Darwin 'ultimately tests the boundaries of our notion of interdisciplinarity, presenting it as being less an area of study than a mode of experience' (The British Society for Literature and Science).

Richardson is the editor or co-editor of nine collections or special journal issues. Her monograph The Politics of Thomas Hardy, which she is writing for Oxford University Press, brings her expertise in Victorian science to her research on Hardy. Richardson is Associate Editor-in-Chief of the peer-reviewed Forum for World Literature Studies, sponsored by Shanghai Normal University, Purdue University and the Wuhan Institute for Humanities; 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century;  the Hardy Review and the Thomas Hardy Journal, and she is literary editor of the Proceedings of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society.