Professor Catherine Jones

Professor Catherine Jones
Professor Catherine Jones

Professor Catherine Jones

MA, PhD (Cambridge)

Personal Chair

Accepting PhDs


School of Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture 

University of Aberdeen

King’s College

Aberdeen AB24 3UB

Scotland, UK


Office: Taylor Building, B9.



Catherine Jones specialises in the literature and culture of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. She studied English as an undergraduate at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, where she also completed her PhD. She taught British and American Literature at the National University of Ireland, Galway (1997-99), before moving to the University of Aberdeen to hold the posts of Lecturer (2000-13),  Senior Lecturer (2013-19), and Personal Chair (2019-).

She has held visiting posts at various institutions including the College of William and Mary (Visiting Scholar, 2004), the Scaliger Institute, Leiden University (Visiting Fellow, supported by a Royal Society of Edinburgh / Caledonian Research Fund European Visiting Research Fellowship and a Leverhulme Trust International Academic Fellowship, 2017-18), and the Kunstkamera (Visiting Scholar, 2018). In 2022 she will hold a Derek Brewer Visiting Fellowship at Emmanuel College, Cambridge.

She is a Senior Fellow of the UK's Higher Education Academy (2017-). She is a past president of the Eighteenth-Century Scottish Studies Society (2014-16).



  • PhD English 
    1997 - University of Cambridge 
  • MA English 
    1994 - University of Cambridge  
  • BA Hons English 
    1991 - University of Cambridge 

Memberships and Affiliations

Internal Memberships

Director of Research, School of Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture (September 2019-)

Deputy Director of Research, School of Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture (September 2018-August 2019)

Discipline Research Lead in English (September 2015-)

Academic Line Manager, School of Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture (January 2016-August 2019)

Programme Coordinator, Intercalated BSc. (Hons) Medical Sciences: Medical Humanities (September 2011-August 2020)

External Memberships

Member, Nineteenth-Century Experimental Song Collective (2020-)

External examiner, MLitt in English Studies, University of Dundee (2019-)


Prizes and Awards

Winner of the 2015 Book Prize of the British Association for American Studies for the best published book in American Studies in the previous year for Literature and Music in the Atlantic World, 1767-1867 (Edinburgh University Press, 2014).




Research Overview

She has three main research areas -- though in practice they overlap and influence one another as well as leading in new directions.

(i) Enlightenment and Romantic literature and culture. 

Her first monograph, Literary Memory (Bucknell University Press, 2003), examined the relationship between memory and writing in the Waverley Novels of Walter Scott. She continues to publish on Scott, particularly his treatment of Scottish history, and his influence on nineteenth-century literature, music and painting. 

The literary impact of the French Revolution, the United Irish Rebellion, and the Napoleonic Wars is another on-going research interest, reflected in her chapter on 'Irish Romanticism' for A History of Irish Women's Poetry, edited by Ailbhe Darcy and David Wheatley (Cambridge University Press, 2021). She has also written on connections and exchanges between continental European and British Romanticism, for example, her article 'Madame de Staël and Scotland: Corinne, Ossian and the Science of Nations' (2009).    

As co-editor of the collection, Scotland, Ireland, and the Romantic Aesthetic (Bucknell University Press, 2007), she contributed to the development of a 'Four Nations' approach to British and Irish Romanticism. The characteristic genres and institutions of Scottish literature are a continuing focus of her work. She is currently completing a chapter, for example, on 'King's College and Marischal College in the Age of Scottish Romanticism', for 525 Years in the Pursuit of Truth: A New History of The University of Aberdeen, edited by Bradford Bow and Michael Brown (Aberdeen University Press, 2022). Her podcast, 'James Beattie (1735-1803): Philosopher and Poet', is drawn from her chapter for this volume.

Other work-in-progress includes a chapter on 'Scotland Abroad' for The Cambridge History of Scottish Literature, edited by Ian Duncan (Cambridge University Press, 2022). This chapter considers Scottish writing and literary and cultural exchanges with northern Europe (the Netherlands, the Baltic, Germany, and Russia), from the seventeenth through nineteenth centuries, across trading networks and universities (where Scottish students went to study law and medicine).

(ii) Literature and the other arts. 

Her second monograph, Literature and Music in the Atlantic World, 1767-1867 (Edinburgh University Press, 2014), offered the first interdisciplinary account of the interweaving of literary and musical genres in this period of transatlantic history. The book was awarded the British Association for American Studies annual book prize for the best book in American Studies.

She is currently developing a follow-on project that concentrates on Romantic pianism and Russian culture, with particular reference to the transatlantic career of Sergei Rachmaninoff. She studies piano with Scottish pianist Alan MacLean.

(iii) Medical humanities.

She is currently researching and writing a biography of Robert Areskine of the Alva family (1677-1718), who studied medicine in Edinburgh, Paris and Utrecht, and later became chief physician and councillor to Peter the Great of Russia. Areskine’s life opens a window onto the radically transforming world of Petrine Russia, and provides a way of reappraising the history and historiography of Enlightenment in Northern Europe.

She is also preparing two articles related to her biography of Areskine: 'The Diaries of Robert Areskine (1677-1718), Physician and Counsellor to Peter I of Russia'; and 'Disaspora and Exile in Russia in the Age of Peter the Great: The Papers of Nicholas Bidloo (1660-1735) and Robert Areskine (1677-1718)'.

She has published widely on the physician or surgeon as writer. She contributed a chapter on 'Benjamin Rush, Edinburgh Medicine and the Rise of Physician Autobiography' to a volume on Scottish Medicine and Literary Culture, 1726-1832, edited by Megan Coyer and David E. Shuttleton (Rodopi, 2014), and a chapter on 'Tobias Smollett, Travel Writing and Medical Botany' to a volume on The Scottish Enlightenment and Literary Culture, edited by Ralph McLean, Ronnie Young and Kenneth Simpson (Rowman and Littlefield, 2016). A chapter on 'Writer-Physicians' appeared in The Oxford Handbook of British Romanticism, edited by David Duff (Oxford University Press, 2018). An article on 'Collectors of Natural Knowledge: The Edinburgh Medical Society and the Associational Culture of Scotland and the North Atlantic World in the Eighteenth Century' was published in the Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (2018).

Research Areas

Accepting PhDs

I am currently accepting PhDs in English, History, Music.

Please get in touch if you would like to discuss your research ideas further.

Email Me


Accepting PhDs


Accepting PhDs


Accepting PhDs

Research Specialisms

  • Russian and East European Studies
  • Musicology
  • English Literature 1700 -1900
  • Scottish Literature
  • North American Literature Studies

Our research specialisms are based on the Higher Education Classification of Subjects (HECoS) which is HESA open data, published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence.


She is a member of the Nineteenth-Century Experimental Song Collective, led by Professor Ian Newman, University of Notre Dame (2020-).

She is a member of the Network of Nineteenth-Century Americanists in Scotland and the North of England, led by Dr Andrew Taylor, Edinburgh University, and Dr Kirsten Treen, University of St Andrews (2020-).

She is a member of the Northern Network for Medical Humanities Research, led by Professor Jane Macnaughton, Durham University, and supported by the Wellcome Trust (2013-). 

She was a member of the Romantic National Song Network, led by Professor Kirsteen McCue, University of Glasgow, and funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh (2017-19).

She was a collaborator in the Medical Humanities Research Network Scotland, led by Dr David Shuttleton, University of Glasgow, and Dr Gavin Millar, University of Glasgow, and supported by the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Scottish Government (2011-13).

She was a participant in the STAR (Scotland’s Transatlantic Relations) Project, led by the late Professor Susan Manning, University of Edinburgh, and supported by the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland (2003-13). 


My current supervision areas are: English, History, Music.

At the postgraduate level she invites applications for research projects on aspects of British, continental European and North American literature of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, on literature and the arts (especially music), and on literature, medicine and science. She is happy to accept students wishing to take a distance PhD.

She is currently supervising: 

Ms Isabella Engberg, 'Travelling Ecology: Nature and Self in Naturalist Voyage Narratives' (University of Aberdeen PhD Thesis, in progress)

Mr Matthew Lee, 'Private Reflections and Public Pronouncements: Caribbean Slavery in the Scottish Consciousness, 1750-1834' (University of Aberdeen PhD Thesis, in progress)

Ms May Toudic, 'Adaptation, Retelling and Modernisation: The Victorian Novel in a Contemporary Context' (University of Aberdeen PhD Thesis, in progress)

Her past doctoral students include: 

Dr Natalie Harries, 'Romantic Esotericism, Neoplatonism and Hinduism in the Poetry of Coleridge and Shelley' (University of Aberdeen PhD Thesis, awarded 2018)

Dr Candice Smith, 'Architecture, Politics and Gender in the Gothic Novel of the 1790s' (University of Aberdeen PhD Thesis, awarded 2014).

Dr Stephanie Saint, 'The Conflict between Creativity and Economic Circumstance in the Selected Prose Work of Herman Melville' (University of Aberdeen PhD Thesis, awarded 2013).

Dr Steffi Metze: 'An Imperial Enlightenment? Notions of India and the Literati of Edinburgh' (University of Aberdeen PhD Thesis, awarded 2011).

Funding and Grants

2018: She held a Leverhulme Trust International Academic Fellowship at the Scaliger Institute, Leiden University.

2017: Her research on the Edinburgh-Leiden medical nexus was supported by a grant from the Caledonian Research Foundation / the Royal Society of Edinburgh, held at the Scaliger Institute, Leiden University.

2013: She was awarded a grant from the Wellcome Trust (Humanities and Social Sciences funding area) in support of the 2013 annual conference of the Association for Medical Humanities, which was held in Aberdeen on the theme of 'Global Medical Humanities'.

2003-13: Her research on literature and music in the Atlantic world was supported by grants from the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland (2003, 2009, 2012, and 2013) and the British Academy (2004-6).


Teaching Responsibilities


EL50C8: Placing the Romantic (convenor; seminars)

EL30XR: Romanticism (lectures)

EL55D3: Places and Environments: Critical Dialogues (seminars)

EL45HC: Literature and Music (convenor; seminars)

EL4502: English Dissertation (supervisions)

EL2517: Power, Equality and Empire (lectures and tutorials)