David Curley

Title: PhD Student
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Email: d.a.curley@keele.ac.uk
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Contacting me: by e-mail
David Curley

I am a PhD student in the Department of English. My thesis focuses on perceptions of landscape and the rural poor in Britain and Russia 1815-1914.

My primary research interests are in the field of Pastoral Theory and Class representation, with a special focus on literature and art of the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. Broadly, my research interests include literature in translation, fine art and theories of aesthetics, the formation of national identities, Russian literature, and cross-cultural exchange, among others.

I have written on Ivan Turgenev and mid-nineteenth century class relations, Vasily Zhukhovsky and translations of Byron, modern influences of Romanticism and the influence of academies and censorship on the development of art in Britain and Russia. These remain ongoing projects either of relevance to my thesis or otherwise of interest to me.

I am in the first year of my PhD in English. My thesis examines the relationship between representations of landscape and the rural poor and the formation of national identities in the century between 1815 and the outbreak of the First World War.

Specifically I focus on the changes that occur in the way that both British and Russian landscapes were perceived from within their countries and the changes in the way that agricultural labourers were seen both culturally and politically, with a view to understanding how these changes contributed to the solidification of the national identities that were broadcast with such fervour at the height of European Imperialism.

An important consideration for my thesis is how the two countries interacted, not only politically but culturally as well; examining the cultural exchange and consumption of foreign art will help me identify where and how these exchanges affected the development of the realist movement both at home and abroad.

I am currently co-supervised by Professor Joe Andrew and Dr Jonathon Shears.

This year I am working with widening participation for the School of Humanities, which involves running workshops with disadvantaged and low engagement schools in Staffordshire, in which I give taster sessions of university seminars or workshops to encourage them to apply for further education.