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Our department is an active centre of academic research, with faculty involved in a variety of research projects across many periods and forms of literature. You can find out more about the research interests and publications of individual department members by visiting our People page. Below are a few examples of some of the recent and ongoing research activities within the department:



Dr Ceylan Kosker Bevington’s book chapter, “In Time of Disturbance: Political Dissonance and Subversion in Violet Fane’s Contributions to the Lady’s Realm”, which appears in the Edinburgh History of Women’s Periodical Culture in Britain, 1830s-1900s is available here.

Dr. Atti Viragh’s article, “‘The Keener Touch’: Walter Pater and the Hermeneutic Scene of Contact” can be found here.

Dr Jonathan Williams’s article, titled “Melancholy’s Ends: Thomson’s Reveries,” appeared in Criticism: A Quarterly for Literature and the Arts 64.1 (Winter 2022):

Dr Andrea Selleri’s articles since arriving at Bilkent (two on Oscar Wilde and one on A.C. Swinburne) can be found here, here and here.

Dr Ayşe Çelikkol’s recent work on capitalism, ecology, and nineteenth-century British literature (“World Ecology in Martineau’s and Gaskell’s Colonial Pastorals” and “Capitalism in the Pastoral Mode and Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd”) are available here and here. Another recent article, “Secularity and the Limits of Reason in Swinburne’s ‘Hymn to Proserpine’ and ‘Hymn of Man,’” is available here.

Dr Timothy Sean Wright’s articles “Ruined Time and Post-Revolutionary Allegory in Nthikeng Mohlele’s Small Things“, “Melancholy Freedom: Movement and Stasis in Sibs Shongwe-La Mer’s Necktie Youth” and “Surviving the African Anthropocene: Dilman Dila’s Mutational Aesthetics” can be found, respectively, here, here and here.



Dr. Atti Viragh’s edited volume, Mind and Embodiment in Late Victorian Literature, coedited with Marion Thain, from Edinburgh University Press. His book chapter, “Hermeneutics, Close Reading, and Attention,” in Close Reading as Attentional Practice, ed. Marion Thain and Ewan Jones, from Edinburgh University Press.

Dr. Andrea Selleri’s edited volume Literature and Philosophy in Nineteenth-Century British Culture. Volume 3: The Later Victorian Period, 1870-1910 is forthcoming with Routledge in 2023. His articles “Ghostly Selves in Augusta Webster’s Poetry” and his mini-essay on “Free Will” will also appear in 2023, respectively in Victorian Poetry and Victorian Literature and Culture.



Rural Capitalism and Nineteenth-Century British Literature. With the aim of putting New Economic Criticism in dialogue with ecocriticism, Ayşe Çelikkol’s book project discusses literary responses to the increasing commercialization of the countryside in Britain.  Examining poems, novels, and travel writing by authors such as William Cobbett, John Clare, and Thomas Hardy, the project traces those insights about rural capitalism that crystallize in literary forms and techniques from parataxis to realist mediation.

The Typology of the New Woman. Dr Ceylan Kosker Bevington is currently working on a comparative study that examines the differing ways in which the New Woman is represented in both British and American periodicals of the nineteenth century. Taking as its starting point the prevalent conflicting images of the New Woman as a utopian ‘political woman of the coming century’ on the one hand and that of her as a ‘mannish brute’ representative of ‘a dystopic vision of a society gone wrong’ on the other, the article aims to define a typology of the New Woman that acknowledges the numerous gradations of depiction that exists between these polar extremes and offer more nuanced definitions of the New Woman than have been previously established.

The Author in Victorian Literary Culture. Dr Andrea Selleri is completing a monograph on the history of the idea of the author between Romanticism and Formalism. The book will show that in Victorian criticism the Romantic idea that poets express their soul through poetry developed into a more eclectic concern with the concrete circumstances of writers’ lives, which extended from poets to dramatists and novelists. But with the development of alternative aesthetic ideals over the period, especially among Aestheticist writers at war with the prevalent morality, the method came under sustained fire. This dynamic laid the groundwork for early twentieth-century Modernist poetics.

Melancholy’s Wake: Feeling and Social Life, Burton to “Beachy Head.” Dr Jonathan Williams is currently working on this book project, which argues that writers in eighteenth-century Britain deployed the feeling of melancholy as a figure for and a way of coming to terms with some of the contingencies of their historical presents. In the eighteenth century, this book argues, writers incorporated, sometimes simultaneously, the language of both depressive and genial states of mind to expound a more capacious version of the feeling: the model of melancholy that this book elaborates makes possible a mode of social criticism that fuses the physical body, mental activity, social life, and the cosmos.