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 2021 she will hold a Derek Brewer Visiting Fellowship at Emmanuel College, Cambridge.
PhD, English University of Cambridge 1997 MA, English University of Cambridge 1994 BA Hons, English University of Cambridge 1991
Memberships and Affiliations
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 examiner, MLitt in English Studies, University of Dundee (2019-)
Guest editor, special issue of Humanities, on the topic of ‘The Enlightenment in Literature and Other Art Forms’ (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: Edinburgh University Press, 2014).
Please get in touch if you would like to discuss your research ideas further.
- English Literature 1700 - 1900
- North American Literature Studies
- Russian and East European Studies
- Scottish Literature
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 examined Walter Scott's engagement with the medico-philosophical discourses of the Scottish Enlightenment: Literary Memory: Scott's Waverley Novels and the Psychology of Narrative (Bucknell University Press, 2003). She continues to publish on Scott, particularly his treatment of Scottish history, and his impact on nineteenth-century literature, music and painting.
She co-edited (with David Duff) a collection of essays, Scotland, Ireland, and the Romantic Aesthetic (Bucknell University Press, 2007), which contributed to the evolution of an 'archipelagic' approach to British and Irish Romanticism. She recently completed a chapter on 'Irish Romanticism' for The Cambridge History of Irish Women's Poetry, edited by Ailbhe Darcy and David Wheatley (2021).
(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 developing a follow-on project that will concentrate on Romantic pianism, with particular reference to the German and Russian musical traditions.
(iii) Medical humanities.
She is currently researching and writing a biography of Robert Areskine of Alva (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 has published a series of journal articles and book chapters 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).
She is currently completing an article on 'Scots in the Medical Worlds of France and The Netherlands in the Early Enlightenment', which will focus on Robert Sibbald, Andrew Balfour and Archibald Pitcairne.
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).
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. Her past and current doctoral students include:
Dr Steffi Metze: 'An Imperial Enlightenment? Notions of India and the Literati of Edinburgh' (University of Aberdeen PhD Thesis, awarded 2011).
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 Candice Smith, 'Architecture, Politics and Gender in the Gothic Novel of the 1790s' (University of Aberdeen PhD Thesis, awarded 2014).
Dr Natalie Harries, 'Romantic Esotericism, Neoplatonism and Hinduism in the Poetry of Coleridge and Shelley' (University of Aberdeen PhD Thesis, awarded 2018)
Mr Matthew Lee, 'Private Reflections and Public Pronouncements: Caribbean Slavery in the Scottish Consciousness, 175-1834' (University of Aberdeen PhD Thesis, in progress)
Research Funding and Grants
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).
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'.
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.
2018: She held a Leverhulme Trust International Academic Fellowship at the Scaliger Institute, Leiden University.
EL45HQ: Literature and Medicine (convenor; seminars)
EL4502: English Dissertation
ME44M2: Medical Humanities Dissertation
EL35XR: Romanticism (convenor; lectures and seminars)