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Mr Jonathan Perris

Jonathan studied Philosophy as an undergraduate before working for a number of years as an Editor at Oxford University Press. He then undertook an interdisciplinary Masters in English Literature and History at Kellogg College before beginning his DPhil at Lady Margaret Hall and then moving to Oriel.

He is currently writing his doctoral thesis on cultural contamination and the Gothic sublime in the Romantic period. At Oriel, he teaches on English Papers 4 (1660-1760), 5 (1760-1830), and Prelims 3 (1830-1910).

Research Interests

Jonathan’s research broadly sits across the literature and cultural history of the long eighteenth century and early Victorian period. He is particularly focused on British nationalism and imperialism, aesthetics, political discourse and satire, travel writing, radical culture, and the British Empire and slave trade. He also has an abiding interest in the relationship between literary and cultural theory. 

His doctoral thesis, entitled Sensational contamination: Metropolitan culture and British Romantic nationalism, examines representations of national contamination in the Romantic period. Providing a literary, cultural and intellectual history of these representations, the thesis explores how a number of nationalist attitudes and cultural motifs emerged from eighteenth-century aesthetic conceptions and the sensational metropolitan culture of London. The thesis suggests that these came to be pivotal in the emergence of British identity and Romantic nationalism. 

Undergraduate teaching

At Oriel, Jonathan teaches literature in English from 1700 to 1850, offering classes and tutorials for Paper 4 (1660–1760), Paper 5 (1760–1830), and Prelims 3 (1830–1910).

Select publications

Jonathan Perris (2024), ‘“THUGGEE IN LONDON!”: Metropolitan Culture and the Invention of the Thug,’ (forthcoming). 

Jonathan Perris (2023), ‘God Lives in the Sun: The Critique of Evangelical Abolitionism in William Blake’s “The Little Black Boy”,’ European Romantic Review, 34:6, 629-645, DOI: 10.1080/10509585.2023.2272890 

Jonathan Perris (2019), ‘Whirlwinds of Empire: Subversion and the Gothic in William Blake’s The Spiritual Form of Pitt Guiding Behemoth,’ Vides, 225-238.