Skip to main content
School of English and Drama

Professor Paul Hamilton, MA (Glas) MA DPhil (Oxford)


Professor of English



I was born in Scotland and went to school and then University in Glasgow, where I read English and Philosophy. I wrote a D.Phil on Hazlitt and Coleridge at Oxford, and became a Junior Research Fellow, then a Lecturer, at Balliol College. After a year and a half teaching at Nottingham, I returned to Oxford and worked there for a decade. I was a Professor at Southampton for five years before finally settling in Queen Mary in 1996.


Research Interests:

  • Romanticism
  • Relations between Philosophy, Political Theory and Literature

Recent and On-Going Research

My research is primarily on Enlightenment and Romantic thought and literature. I am particularly interested in the relations between literature, philosophy, and political theory. I have also written on critical theory generally and the transitions between modernism and postmodernism. My most recent monographs were Metaromanticism (Chicago, 2003) which explored historical transformations of the Romantic aesthetic, and Coleridge and German Philosophy: The Poet in the Land of Logic (2007). My last book was on European Romanticism – Realpoetik: European Romanticism and Literary Politics – which compares the writings of some major German, French, and Italian Romantics with an eye to their differences from British Romanticism. My edition of the Oxford Handbook of European Romanticism was published in 2016.


Recent Publications:


Realpoetik: European Romanticism and Literary Politics (Oxford, 2013)

Coleridge and German Philosophy: The Poet in the Land of Logic (London: Continuum, 2007)

Metaromanticism: Aesthetics, Literature, Theory (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2003)

Historicism, second edition (London: Routledge, 2003)


‘Byron, Clare and Poetic Historiography’, Rethinking British Romantic History 1770-1845, edited Porscha Fermanis and John Regan (Oxford: OUP, 2014) pp. 223-245

‘Poetics’, Oxford Handbook of Shelley Studies, ed. Michael O’Neil and Tony Howe (Oxford: OUP, 2013), pp. 177-192

‘Romantic Occasionalism’, in Informal Romanticism, ed. James Vigus, Studien für englischen Romantik(Wissenschaftlicher Verlag: Trier, 2012), pp. 199-214

Realpoetik: Revolution by Other Means in European Romantic Restoration Thought’, History of European Ideas, 38, 3, Special Issue on Republican exchanges, ed. Rachel Hammersley (Routledge: September, 2012), 370-387

‘Leopardi and the Logic of the Romantic Fragment’ (January 2011), Read now

The Excursion and Wordsworth’s Special Remainder’, in Wordsworth’s Poetic Theory: Knowledge, Language, Experience’, ed. Alexander Regier and Stefan H. Uhlig (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), pp. 139-158

‘The Sublime: History of an Education’, in Romantic Circles Praxis Series (University of Maryland: ISSN 1528 8129), general editor, Orrin Wang. The Sublime and Education, ed. Rebecca Jones, August 2010. URL:

'Romanticism and Poetic Autonomy’, in Cambridge History of English Romantic Literature, ed. James K. Chandler (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), pp. 427-451

‘The Romantic Life of the Self’, in The Meaning of ‘Life’ in Romantic Poetry and Poetics, ed. Ross Wilson (London: Routledge, 2009), pp. 81-103

‘Post-Secular Conviviality’, Romantic Circles, Praxis Series (2008) Read now

See also my Queen Mary Research Publications profile


I would welcome enquiries from potential doctoral students interested in any of the areas of my research.

I have recently supervised the following successful PhD projects:

  • Peter Howell, 'Transparency and Obscurantism: An ‘Archaeology’ of Political Discourse in 1790s Britain' (2002)
  • Susanna Jordan, 'The Authority of the Invisible: An Interpretation of the Aesthetics of Burke, Kant, Coleridge, and Shelley' (2002)
  • Li Sui Gwee, 'Ages of Newtonian Space: The Discursive Influence of a Scientific Idea in the Poetry of Blackmore, Pope, and Novalis' (2003)
  • Simon Swift, 'The Needs of Reason: Anthropological Expression and Enlightenment Rationality in Rousseau, Kant, and Wollstonecraft' (2003)
  • Matt ffytche, 'Unconscious Foundations: Schelling, Freud, and the Equivocation of the Liberal Psyche', co-supervised with Jacqueline Rose (2004)
  • Rachel Hewitt, '"Dreaming O'er the Map of Things": The Ordnance Survey and Literature of the British Isles, 1747-1842' (2007)
  • Molly Macdonald, 'Reading Hegel's ‘Phenomenology of Spirit’ with Andre Green and Christopher Bollas: Force, 'The Third', and the Binding of Subjects' (2008)
  • Cato Marks, 'Forging a Political Aesthetic: The Influence of John Milton's Political Prose on the Later Prophetic Poems of William Blake' (2008)
  • Sid Bose, 'Back and Forth: The Grotesque in the Play of Romantic Irony' (2009)
  • Rowan Boyson, 'Communis Voluptas: Pleasure in Wordsworth and Enlightenment Philosophy' (2009)
  • Jeremy Davies, 'The Sense of Pain in the Romantic Period: Bentham, Sade and Shelley' (2010)
  • Daniel Tompsett, 'Wallace Stevens and Pre-Socratic Philosophy' (2010)
  • Philipp Hunnekuhl, 'Henry Crabb Robinson's Early Literary Criticism, 1790-1811' (2012)
  • Ammara Ashraf, 'Romantic Poetologies: Collaboration and Interdisciplinarity in early Anglo-German Romanticism' (2013)
Back to top