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Professor Clare Brant

Clare Brant Department of EnglishProfessor of Eighteenth-Century Literature and Culture

Tel +44 (0)20 7848 2247
Address Department of English
King's College London
Room 7.09 Virginia Woolf Building
22 Kingsway
London WC2B 6LE

Office hours document available here


Research Interests and PhD supervision

My research explores a wide range of subjects in the long eighteenth century and contemporary culture: I am interested in most forms of literature, the history of ideas and human lives. I am also interested in poetry.

My new book Balloon Madness: Flights of Imagination in Britain 1783-1786 (Boydell & Brewer, October 2017) explores imaginative responses to balloons in literature, material and visual culture as well as the history of technology and science. I’ve published several articles on balloons and in 2011 I re-enacted an eighteenth-century balloon flight for the BBC’s The One Show.

The project of Strandlines, made me curious about urban experience, especially in relation to the senses; I also work on histories and cultures of smell. I am co-editing an essay collection about London life in the 1750s, featuring the controversial polymath Sir John Hill. My other research area is life writing. I am a Series Editor (with Max Saunders) of a new series, Palgrave Studies in Life Writing, and I co-direct the Centre for Life Writing Research at King’s. My book Eighteenth-Century Letters and British Culture (Palgrave 2006; paperback 2010) won the ESSE Book Award for 2008.

I’m currently interested in diaries, with a co-curated exhibition, Dear Diary: A Celebration of Diaries and their Digital Descendants (Inigo Rooms 26 May-7 July 2017). As part of the ERC-funded Ego Media group, I’m researching digital forms of life writing. I welcome enquiries from prospective PhD students on any 18th century topic, and selected contemporary topics. 

For more details, please see my full research profile.

Selected Publications
  • 'There's No Space Like Home' Brant, C. V. Jan 2016 Life Writing and Space. Kilian, E. & Wolf , H. (eds.). Ashgate, p. 209-24
    [Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding › Chapter]
  • 'Philosophical Playthings?: Balloons and the Play of Ideas' Brant, C. V. 2016 Sich selbst aufs Spiel setzen. Spiel als Technik und Medium von Subjektivierung. Moser , C. & Stratling, R. (eds.). Fink Verlag
    [Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding > Chapter]
  • 'Urban Sensations: Motion and Commotion in Eighteenth-century Cities' Brant, C. 2013 A Cultural History of the Senses in the Age of Enlightenment. Vila, A. C. (ed.). Bloomsbury Academic, p. 41-64 (Cultural History of the Senses ed Constance Classen ; vol. 4)
    [Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding › Chapter]
  • 'Psychogeographic soul sister' Brant, C. V. 27 Aug 2012 3 am
    [Contribution to specialist publication › Featured article]
  • 'The Progress of Knowledge in the Regions of Air?: Divisions and Disciplines in Early Ballooning' Brant, C. 2011 In : Eighteenth-Century Studies. 45, 1, p. 71-86
    [Contribution to journal › Article]
  • Clare Brant (2011) '"I Will Carry You with Me on the Wings of Imagination": Aerial Letters and Eighteenth-Century Ballooning' Eighteenth-Century Life, 35 (1), pp. 168-187.
    [Article in print Journal]
For a complete list of publications, please see my full research profile.

My teaching includes modules featuring gender, life-writings, film, travel, 18th century literature, 20th century literature and poetry, and all of these figure one way or another in my research interests too.

Expertise and Public Engagement

I've presented research on television, on radio and at numerous public events, covering 18C and contemporary topics. The Centre for Life-Writing Research at King’s runs a full programme of events and activities: in 2017 we host a major international conference, June 7-9, for IABA Europe on Life Writing, Europe and New Media.

I am collaborating with the Great Diary Project on an exhibition in the Inigo Rooms, 26 May- 7 July 2017, on diaries: Dear Diary: A Celebration of Diaries and their Digital Descendants. CLWR will hold Diaryfest, a day of diary-related talks, on 30 May.

I am an editor on the European Journal of Life Writing,, and help edit its Creative Matters section too. I devised and direct Strandlines, a project about lives on the Strand, past, present and creative:















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