Professor Angelique Richardson



Extension: 4354

Telephone: 01392 724354

*New* In collaboration with the Royal Society and Professor David Stack at Reading Richardson will be co-supervising an AHRC DTP Collaborative Doctoral Award from September 2020 by a PhD student working on Eugenics at the Royal Society 1860-1950.  Applications are now being accepted (to be submitted by 27th Jan 2020). Please find more information at this webpage and please find application guidance here.

Professor Angelique Richardson works on the history of science and literatue at the University of Exeter.  She is a member of staff in the department of English and the Centres for the Medical History and Victorian Studies, University of Exeter, a research associate of Egenis, the Centre for the Study of Life Sciences, and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.  Her PhD was in the history of science, medicine and literature and she works on the uses and misuses of science and on reformers and class revolutionaries from Malthus, Marx and Mona Caird to the Russian anarchist Kropotkin, and on European and Russian literature from the Brontës, Gaskell and Eliot to Gide, Thomas Mann, Zola and Tolstoy.  She supervises and mentors PhD researchers working on a range of subjects including e.g. political prisoners in Ireland and Palestine, eugenics in Britian and China, hunger strikes, feminist writers in Kenya, censorship, Victorian fake news, decolonising and the limits of white British feminism. She recently won the English Guild Teaching Award.

Richardson leads the Hardy's Correspondents project at Exeter, in collaboration with Dorset Museum and Exeter's Digitial Humanities Lab. Phase one of the project was launched in Exeter in November 2019 - see here for an article on the project in The Times and, for BBC radio interviews, see here, here and here

In 2019 Richardson contributed to the BBC documentary Decadence and Degeneration and was consulted for the BBC documentary Eugenics: Science's Greatest Scandal.  As visting professor at Zhejiang University she gave keynotes on British racial thought from the Brontës to Brexit and on science and the novel at Zhejiang and Hangzhou Normal Universities resepctively.  She also gave a keynote at the British Society for Literature and Science conference and talks on past and present racism at a workshop at KCL, on 'Nation, Biology and the Far Right' and on Brexit, class oppression and regionalism in November. In 2020 she is giving keynotes in Belgium and Canada, and research papers at Oxford as well as to sixformers and to  The University of the Third Age (U3A). 


She recently published on discourses of resilience, including in schools, and how they feed a neo-liberal agenda.

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 (paperback, Oxford University Press, 2019), shortlisted for the 2017 Modernist Studies Association Book Prize, and articles 'Archives, Regions and Audiences in a Time of Austerity' in the Hardy Society Journal (2019) and 'Thomas Hardy's Radical Politics' in the English Review  (2018).

Richardson has also contributed to the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, Woman's Hour and BBC 1 News; 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 and a recent piece in the Times Education Supplement on working with schools

Richardson 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 has a BA in English Language and Literature from the University of Oxford, and an MA and PhD in the history of literature and science 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 six  AHRC-funded South, West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership (SWW DTP) PhD researchers in collaboration with the Universities of Bristol, Cardiff, Reading and Southampton, including two Hardy, Dorset and the wider world Collaborative Doctoral Awards in collaboration with Southampton, Dorset Museum and Dorset History Centre

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 Museum, and, with Helen Angear, for the Thomas Hardy Society Study Days in 2017, 2018 and 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.