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.
Arscott, C. & Pettitt, C., 1 Jan 2021, Coding and Representation from the Nineteenth Century to the Present: Scrambled Messages. Taylor and Francis Inc., p. 137-160 24 p. Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding › Chapter › peer-review. DOIs: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003169154-7
Pettitt, C. J. & Arscott, C., 1 Dec 2020, (Accepted/In press) Coding and Representation from the Nineteenth Century to the Present: Scrambled Messages. Chapman, A. & Hume, N. (eds.). Routledge Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding › Chapter › peer-review
Pettitt, C., 10 Jun 2020, Oxford: Oxford University Press. 368 p. Research output: Book/Report › Book › peer-review
Pettitt, C., May 2020, Time Travelers: Victorian Perspectives on the Past. Buckland, A. & Qureshi, S. (eds.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press, p. 196-219 23 p. Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding › Chapter › peer-review
Pettitt, C., Oct 2019, Nineteenth-Century Literature in Transition: The 1880s. Fielding, P. & Taylor, A. (eds.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 15-33 19 p. (Nineteenth-Century Literature in Transition). Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding › Chapter › peer-review. DOIs: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316855546.002
Pettitt, C., Nov 2018, The Edinburgh Companion to Anthony Trollope. Van Dam, F., de Graef, O. & Skilton, D. (eds.). Edinburgh, p. 228-241 14 p. Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding › Chapter › peer-review
Pettitt, C. J., 1 May 2018, Gale Cengage. Research output: Other contribution
Pettitt, C. J., 12 Mar 2017, In: Public Books. Research output: Contribution to journal › Book/Film/Article review › peer-review
Pettitt, C. J., 4 Jan 2017, In: TLS: the Times literary supplement. Research output: Contribution to journal › Book/Film/Article review › peer-review
Pettitt, C. J., 28 Sep 2016, In: TLS: the Times literary supplement. Research output: Contribution to journal › Book/Film/Article review › peer-review