Professor Clare Pettitt
Professor of Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture
I came to King’s in September 2005 from Cambridge University, and I have previously taught at the Universities of Leeds and Oxford.
Research Interests and PhD Supervision
- History of the Book and Ideas of Authorship
I am interested in the history of the book and in the development of different ideas of authorship in the period. My first monograph, published by Oxford University Press in 2004, is called Patent Inventions: Intellectual Property and the Victorian Novel and argues that the debate over the ownership of both mechanical and literary property in the nineteenth century had profound effects on the way texts were written, and the way in which authors represented their authorship.
- Media and Technology: 'the annihilation of space and time'
The second strand of my research concerns the media, technology and what the Victorians liked to call “the annihilation of space and time’ in the period.
- Cambridge Victorian Studies Group
The third strand of my research has been stimulated by my Research Directorship of a five-year Leverhulme Programme Grant for a Victorian Studies Project (2006-11) which focuses on the ways in which the Victorians coped with their discoveries of multiple pasts.
- ‘Scrambled Messages: The Telegraphic Imaginary 1857-1900’
AHRC-funded, October 2013-August 2017. This is brand new four-year joint project on the aesthetics of the Atlantic Telegraph developed with Professor Caroline Arscott at the Courtauld Institute for the History of Art and Dr Mark Miodownik, a materials scientist at UCL.
I am always very happy to hear from potential graduate students, and encourage anybody who might be interested in working with me to get in touch early in the application process.
For more details, please see my full research profile.
I teach or have taught nineteenth-century literature at BA and MA level, including the following courses:
- ‘Victorians and Social Change’ (undergraduate)
- ‘Memory and Time in the Nineteenth Century’ (undergraduate)
- ‘Writing London’ (undergraduate)
- ‘The Fin-de-Siecle’ (undergraduate)
- ‘Text, Theory and Culture: London, 1850 to the Present’ (postgraduate)
- ‘Modernity and the City’ (postgraduate)
- 'Victorian Pasts' (postgraduate)
- ‘The Archive Workshop: Victorian Things’ (postgraduate)
Expertise and Public Engagement
The 19th Century Research Group
I collaborate closely with other Department colleagues in the 19th century research group and I have been involved in running the 19th century archive project set up by Josephine McDonagh which aims to assess the provision of research skills for undergraduate and taught postgraduate students of English literature, and to help students to make the most of the rich resources available to them in museums, archives and libraries of London. We are developing a new MA course out of this pedagogic research.
I also organise the Shows of London research group and, with Dr Adelene Buckland, and colleagues, I have been responsible for organising several half-day events for this group on subjects such as history and form; ephemera; re-enactment; and London Stutters.