Caroline Sumpter


  • Room 0G.004 - 1 University Square

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I am open to PhD applications in the fields of - Victorian Literature, Culture and Politics (including the 1890s) - Literature and Science - Literature and Ethics - Periodical Culture - Nineteenth-Century Constructions of Childhood - Nineteenth-Century Fantasy, including Science Fiction and Fairy Tale


Research activity per year

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Personal profile


My research specialisms include Victorian literature and science (particularly evolutionary science, anthropology and mental science), the nineteenth-century press and the history of reading (including children's reading) and nineteenth-century fairy tale and science fiction. My first monograph, The Victorian Press and the Fairy Tale (2008, paperback 2012) won the Mythopoeic Scholarship Award (2011) and was shortlisted for the Esse First Book Award (2011) and the Katherine Briggs Award (2010). I am the author of a wide range of articles on Victorian literature, culture and politics (most recently, on Oscar Wilde, William Morris, Thomas Hardy, Richard Jefferies and Andrew Lang). A second monograph, Moral Fictions: Literature, Evolution and Ethics at the Fin de Siècle, which explores links between fiction and debates over the evolution of morality in the late nineteenth century, is in the final stages of completion. New research focuses on scientific, cultural and literary constructions of genius in the Victorian period, including relationships between childhood and creativity. 


I am the convenor of the level 3 course 'Literature and Science in the Nineteenth-Century: Evolution, Degeneration and the Mind', and convenor of the new stage 2 course 'Utopia/Dystopia: The Future in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Literature'.  At stage 1, I teach and lecture on 'Adventures in the History of Ideas' and lecture on ENG1001 ('English in Transition'). I also supervise undergraduate and MA dissertations. At MA level, I am the convenor of the MA course 'Popular Fiction at the Fin de Siecle', and have previously taught on the MA course 'The Child in Literary History, 1600-1900'. I currently supervise PhD students on literary projects across the Victorian period, and have seen students through to completion in a range of interdisciplinary areas including literature and science, periodical culture, speculative fiction and the history of reading.


Maternity leaves Sept 2011-April 2012 and Sept 2013 -June 2014.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Devlopment Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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