School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies

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Dr Mark Frost

Biography

My academic career began with an MRes at the Ruskin Programme at the University of Lancaster, and after completing my PhD I began teaching at Portsmouth in 2006. I am co-editor of Eighth Lamp: the Journal of Ruskin Studies (OScholars), a member of the editorial board of OneHand Press, and a member of the Ruskin-in-Wyre Steering Group based in the Wyre Forest near Bewdley. I was an annotations contributor for the Routledge ABES project, and the Leverhulme-funded Electronic Edition of John Ruskin’s Modern Painters I at the Ruskin Programme, Lancaster University. 

 

Teaching Responsibilities

I co-ordinate the Level 4 World Literature unit and teach at that level on Narrative Forms. I am the departmental lead for the Level 5/6 LiFE unit for the 2016/17 sessions. My teaching at Level 6, involving the Ecocritical Perspectives: Literature and Environment 1820-1939 unit, is strongly informed by my research. I also contribute to a number of other units, as well as to our postgraduate provision. I am currently on the supervision team of one PhD student and hope to be involved in two more doctorates next year, as well as supervising an MRes student. I would welcome postgraduate projects relating to all aspects of nineteenth-century environment and culture, pastoral, science, and ecology. I currently act as the department’s Extenuating Circumstances Officer.

Research

My current research projects include articles on waterways, bodies, and environmental abjection in Dickens, Ruskin, Gaskell, Morris, and Jefferies (for a special issue of 19 on Victorian ecology) and on cultural and environmental anxieties in late Victorian disaster science fiction (for a Routledge collection); but my principal research focus is on pastoral in early Victorian fiction. I plan a monograph that will seek to return to and reformulate pastoral theory via ecocriticism, Animal Studies, Material Culture Studies, Kristeva, Foucault, and Agamben, and to apply this theoretical framework to a range of canonical and marginal fiction from the period 1837-1859. A recent article on Dickens and pastoral was an early manifestation of this project.

My research interests began with the works of John Ruskin, with particular emphasis on nineteenth-century environmental and scientific contexts, and on intersections in Ruskin’s work of environment, politics, science, and culture. This work yielded articles in Nineteenth Century ProseJournal of Victorian CultureGreen Letters: Studies in Ecocriticism, and Eighth Lamp; and chapters in Vital beauty: reclaiming aesthetics in the tangle of technology and nature and Victorian Writers and the Environment: Ecocritical Perspectives. I have also published on Ruskin, Turner, and postcolonialism in Journal of Commonwealth Literature.

Intriguing archival discoveries led to my 2014 monograph on Ruskin’s Guild of St. George, the first standard work on this subject for thirty years. Extensive research in the UK and US was supported by a British Academy Small Research Grant, and the monograph has been generously endorsed by leading scholars. The monograph has led to public impact activities, including an exhibition on the early Guild at Bewdley Museum in 2014, involvement in the HLF-funded Ruskin-in- Sheffield project, and memorialisation, awareness, and outreach projects in Sheffield. I contributed to the Guild’s Ruskin-in- Wyre £51,000 HLF bid which was approved in January 2017 and which will lead to further memorialisation and outreach work in the area. 

In May 2017, my new edition of Richard Jefferies’ After London will be published by Edinburgh University Press. I also co-edited (with Paraic Finnerty), and contributed an article to, a special issue of Critical Survey on transatlantic celebrity culture.

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Research profile

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