After graduating in 2007 with a first-class honours degree in English Literature from the University of Wales Aberystwyth, Amy spent several years working in business and administration before enrolling on the MA English Literatures programme at Keele in 2018. After graduating with Distinction from her MA, Amy stayed on at Keele to undertake her NWCDTP AHRC funded PhD under the supervision of Professor Nicholas Seager, Professor David Amigoni, and Professor David Matthews (University of Manchester).
Amy's doctoral research examines literary engagements with Arthurian legend across the long eighteenth century and considers the ways in which reworkings of Arthur intervene in debates about historiography, gender, class, and national identity.
Amy's fascination with Arthurian myth and legend goes back to childhood and her doctoral research has developed out of her undergraduate and MA dissertations, both of which examined aspects of Arthurian mythology by considering, in the first instance, the mirroring of gender roles in Tennyson’s Idylls of the King and, for my MA, the formation of the English gentleman and the presentation of masculinity in the Arthurian narrative from 1760 - 1850.
Alongside completing her PhD, Amy works as a sessional tutor in the School of Humanities and acts as a Student Representative on the HUMSS Faculty Research Committee. She is the organiser and facilitator of The PGR Café, a peer-led research training initiative (run with the support of the Keele Doctoral Academy) and is also a Student Ambassador.
I can be found on Twitter at @blaneylouise
Research and scholarship
My doctoral thesis examines literary engagements with Arthurian legend across the long eighteenth-century, considering the ways in which reworkings of Arthur intervene in debates about historiography, gender, class, and national identity.
My research explores the nationalisation of cultural mythologies and examines the intersections between gendered and national identities. In particular, my work considers how Williamite and Georgian appropriations of King Arthur enabled the Victorians to rework the myth, but were also distinctive from those later reworkings, responding to cultural concerns from the Glorious Revolution to the Napoleonic Wars.
My wider research interests include Arthurian literature, folklore and mythology, eighteenth and nineteenth-century medievalism, gender theory, cultural memory literary explorations of ageing, and the intersections between literature and history.
From 2020-2022 I worked as an Associate Lecturer in English Literature for Staffordshire University, teaching on ENGL-40464 Introduction to English Studies, ENGL-40512 Writing for Success, and ENGL60376 English Dissertation, and acting as module convenor on ENGL-50359/ENG-60350 Shakespeare: From Comedy to Romance, ENGL-50359/ENG-60350 Shakespeare’s Tragedies.
Topics taught include Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets, poetry and drama from the medieval period to the present day, the eighteenth-century novel, and academic writing skills.
In the 2022/23 academic year, I am teaching ENG-10029 Playing Parts.
I am also the organiser and facilitator of The PGR Café, a peer-led research training initiative run with the support of the Keele Doctoral Academy.
Recent conference and events organisation
- Organiser & Session Lead: The PGR Café, Keele Doctoral Academy Peer-Led Initiative 2022/23
- Organising Committee & Session Lead, Archival Skills for Postgraduate Researchers, 25 March 2022, Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum
- Student Representative (HUM), Faculty Research Committee, 2022/23
- Facilitator, HUMSS Writing Retreat, Keele Researcher Summer School, 16 August 2022
- Facilitator, Online Writing Retreat, Keele Researcher Summer School, 11 August 2021
- Co-Editor and Finance Officer, Under Construction: The Postgraduate Journal for Keele Humanities and Social Sciences, 2019 – 2021
- Committee Member, Keele Humanities and Social Sciences Work in Progress Seminar Series, 2019-2021
- "Thomas Warton’s The Grave of King Arthur". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 24 January 2019
- Review: "Katie Garner, Romantic Women Writers and Arthurian Legend: The Quest for Knowledge", The Byron Journal 48: 1 (2020)
- Blog Post: "Pandemic Pedagogy 2.0: Recreating Informal Spaces in Virtual Learning Environments", History UK Blog (2021)
- Article: "There’s no such thing as a ‘faithful retelling’ of Arthurian legend”, The Conversation UK. First published 19 February 2021
- Co-Authored Article: "Book Club: A Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel Defoe", Church Times (05 March 2021)
- Review: "Jeff Strabone, Poetry and British Nationalisms in the Bardic Eighteenth-Century: Imagined Antiquities", Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies 44:3 (2021)
- Podcast episode: "Engaging with Theory", Study Matters Podcast (2022)
- Review: "Justin Tonra, Write My Name: Authorship in the Poetry of Thomas Moore", The Byron Journal 50:1 (2022)
- Review: "Jerrold E Hogle (ed.), 'Frankenstein and Its Environments, Then and Now', Huntington Library Quarterly 83: 4 (Winter 2020). Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press. pp. 643-837”, The Byron Journal 50:1 (2022)
- Article: "'A great many strange puppets': Queen Caroline, Merlin's Cave, and Symbolic Arthurianism in the Age of Reason", Arthurian Literature (2023)
- Review: "Victoria Coldham-Fussell, Miriam Edlich-Muth, Renée Ward (eds.), The Arthurian World", Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies (2023)
- Book Contribution: 'A Chronology of Lord Byron’s Life, Work & Times' (TBC), The Oxford Handbook of Lord Byron, ed. Dr. Jonathon Shears (Oxford: Oxford University Press, publication date TBC)
- "Such marvellous fictions”: Antiquarians, Arthur, and the Re-Imagining of the English Past in the Mid-Eighteenth Century, British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies 50th Annual Conference, 06 January 2021, St Hugh’s College, Oxford University
- "Myth-Making and National Identity: Re-Reading Arthur in the Aftermath of the Glorious Revolution”, Bangor English 16th Annual Medievalism Transformed Conference, 19 September 2020, The Centre for Arthurian Studies, Bangor University
- “King Arthur vs The Devil: Allegory, Myth-Making and National Identity in Richard Blackmore’s Prince Arthur”, British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies 49th Annual Conference, 08 January 2020, St Hugh’s College, Oxford University
- “Literary Coteries and the Revival of Arthurian Romance amongst Eighteenth-Century Antiquarians”, International Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies 15th International Congress on the Enlightenment, 16 July 2019, University of Edinburgh
- “Manly Sensibility: King Arthur, Antiquarianism and Masculinity in Eighteenth-Century England”, Keele Humanities and Social Sciences Postgraduate Symposium, 12 June 2019, Keele University
- “The Formation of the English Gentleman: Masculinity in the Eighteenth-Century Arthurian Narrative”, Disrupting Disciplines, Sharing Perspectives Postgraduate Conference, 29 April 2019, Keele University
Collaborations and grants awards
During the 2022/23 academic year, I am collaborating with the Keele Doctoral Academy to organise and facilitate a series of peer-led research training and networking events called The PGR Café.
I am open to collaboration with researchers and external organisations interested in the study of medievalism, Arthurianism, and the intersections of literature, gender, and cultural memory.
I am an advocate of open research and accessibility with higher education and have previously worked with Tamworth Castle & Archives and The Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum, Lichfield to improve digital access to their collections material.
Awards and honours
- Literary Encyclopaedia Travel Award, 2022
- International Arthurian Society British Branch Ray Barron Award 2022
- Bob Beattie Postgraduate Student of the Year Awards: Highly Commended, Keele Postgraduate Association, 2021
- British Association of Romantic Studies Stephen Copley Research Award, 2020
- British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Postgraduate Bursary, 2020
- Best Overall Student on an English PGT Programme, Keele University, 2019/20
- NWCDTP AHRC PhD Studentship, 2019
- Keele Postgraduate Association Bursary, 2019
- Keele Graduate Scholarship, 2018/19
- Keele Doctoral Academy Peer-Led Initiative Funding (2022/23)
- NWCDTP Cohort Development Fund (2021)
- Keele English & Creative Writing Department Researcher Development Fund (2021)
- Keele English & Creative Writing Department Researcher Development Fund (2022)
- NWCDTP Fieldwork and Conference Fund (2022)
- NWCDTP Fieldwork and Conference Fund (2023)
School of Humanities
Tel: +44 (0) 1782 733109