Dr Catherine Jones

Dr Catherine Jones
MA, PhD (Cambridge)

Senior Lecturer

Dr Catherine Jones
Dr Catherine Jones

Contact Details

work +44 (0)1224 273759
The University of Aberdeen Taylor, 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) and Senior Lecturer (2013-). In 2004 she was a Visiting Scholar at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, in the USA. In 2017-18 she held a Royal Society of Edinburgh / Caledonian Research Fund European Visiting Research Fellowship and a Leverhulme Trust International Academic Fellowship at the Scaliger Institute, Leiden University, in the Netherlands. She is a past president of the Eighteenth-Century Scottish Studies Society (2014-16). She is a Senior Fellow of the UK's Higher Education Academy.


Research Interests

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.

(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.

(iii) Medical humanities.

She is currently researching and writing a biography of Robert Areskine of Alva (in Clackmanackshire, Scotland) (1677-1718), who studied medicine in Edinburgh, Paris and Utrecht, and later became chief physician and councillor to Peter the Great of Russia. She is also working on a monograph entitled Migration, War and the Making of Medical Knowledge in Northern Europe, 1648-1815, which is envisaged as a contribution to both the history of medicine and Enlightenment studies.

Recent articles and book chapters related to this work examine the international influence of Scottish medical ideas upon literary practice, and the development of medico-literary genres. 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 a collaborator in the Romantic National Song Network, led by Professor Kirsteen McCue, University of Glasgow, and funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh (2017-18).

Research 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.


Teaching Responsibilities

Her current undergraduate teaching includes five English courses: Literature and Medicine; American Insurrections: Writing, Self and Nation, 1776-1865; RomanticismUnion, Enlightenment and Modernity: Scottish Literature 1750-1850; and The Tragedy of Knowledge. She also contributes to the teaching of the taught MLitt in English Literary Studies.

Further Info

Admin Responsibilities

She is an Academic Line Manager in the School of Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture, and Programme Coordinator of the intercalated BSc degree in Medical Humanities.

Supervision of Research Students

She welcomes inquries from potential research students interested in pursuing work in the fields of eighteenth-century and Romantic studies, literature and the other arts, and medical humanities.

She is currently supervising in Aberdeen:

PhD: 'Private Reflections and Public Pronouncements: Caribbean Slavery in the Scottish Consciousness, 1750-1834’ (Collaborative Doctoral Partnership studentship, in collaboration with the National Library of Scotland). 

Recently completed and successfully examined research student work under her supervision:

PhD: '"Fine old castles" and "pull-me down works": Architecture, Politics and Gender in the Gothic Novel of the 1790s'.

PhD: '"Pulled Hither and Thither": The Conflict Between Creativity and Economic Circumstance in the Selected Prose Work of Herman Melville'. 

PhD: 'An Imperial Enlightenment? Notions of India and the Literati of Edinburgh, 1723-1791'.

The Centre for Medical Humanities

The University of Aberdeen's Centre for Medical Humanities was established in 2009 to provide a focus for the development of research, teaching, and public engagement activities in the field of medical humanities. For further information on the Medical Humanities courses that form part of the MB ChB degree, see:




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