Fraser Riddell
Departmental Lecturer in English

Research

My research is broadly focussed on questions of gender, sexuality and embodied experience in Victorian and early-twentieth century literature. I am currently completing my first monograph, provisionally entitled Music and the Queer Body in Fin-de-Siècle Literature. This takes as its focus works by John Addington Symonds, Walter Pater, Vernon Lee, E. M. Forster and Virginia Woolf, and draws upon the work of psychoanalytic, phenomenological and queer theorists to suggest new ways of understanding the significance of spatial, temporal and material encounters with music at the fin-de-siècle for the formation of non-normative subjectivities.

My other current project builds upon recent debates in Victorian studies on cognition and the senses, investigating the place of tactile sensory perception in nineteenth-century literature and culture. The project examines a range of literary, medical and scientific discourses, looking at works by authors such as George Eliot, Thomas Hardy, H. G. Wells, and Lafcadio Hearn. Closer attention to touch in nineteenth-century texts allows for useful new perspectives on modes of sociality prompted by fin-de-siècle cosmopolitanism, the impact of technological change on the experience of bodily materiality, and on the place of embodied cognition in Victorian liberalism.

A number of articles and book reviews are forthcoming in Victorian Literature and Culture, Journal of Victorian Culture, Victorian Review, and Studies in Walter Pater and Aestheticism.

Teaching

I teach literature in English from the late-eighteenth century to the present day, with a particular focus on Victorian and fin-de-siècle literature. At Trinity College, I am responsible for teaching Prelims Paper 3 (1830-1910), Paper 4 (1910-present) and part of Paper 1 (Introduction to English Language and Literature), and Finals Paper 5 (1760-1830).

In 2018-2019, I am delivering a lecture course on ‘Embodied Victorians’, which draws on my interests in the medical humanities and my theoretical work on phenomenology, affect and cognition in nineteenth-century literature. I contribute a number of lectures on Victorian (and neo-Victorian) literature to the Victorian Fiction and Poetry circuses. I am also the convenor of a M.St. C-Course, ‘Queer Identities in Fin-de-Siècle Literature and Culture’.

Background

I was awarded my Ph.D. from Durham University in 2018. Before arriving in Oxford, I taught English Literature and Comparative Literature at the University of St Andrews and Durham University.