Biography

Peter Kitson is Professor of English in the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing at UEA where he teaches and researches British Romantic period writing. He has formerly served as Head of School at UEA, Dundee and UWB. Prior to UEA, he was Professor of English at the University of Dundee, where he was the Associate Dean of Research for the Faculty of Arts and Humanities Research (2005-2010) after acting as Head of the School of English (2002-2005).  Before his time at Dundee, he served as the Head of the School of English and Linguistics at University of Wales, Bangor, (1997-2000). Professor Kitson received his BA and PhD from the University of Hull. His doctoral thesis was written on the the subject of the relation between S. T Coleridge's early political and religious dissent and his poetry from c. 1790-1805'. He was the recipient of a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship (2010-2012) for his project on China and the Romantic Imagination 1760-1840. He has also received support from the British Academy and the AHRC for his work. He was awarded a Visiting Research Fellowship at the Humanities Research Centre of the Australian National University in 2017; among his other research fellowships are a Huntington Library Fellowship (2009) and a Visiting Fellowship of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (2010). Professor Kitson specialises in research into the long eighteenth century and the literature of the Romantic period (especially S. T. Coleridge), and he has published widely on the subject including monographs on Literature, Science and Exploration in the Romantic Period (Cambridge UP, 2004), Romantic Literature, Race and Colonial Encounter, 1760-1840 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), and Forging Romantic China: Sino-British Cultural Encounters, 1760-1840 (Cambridge UP, 2013). He has edited three multi-volume editions of writings about slavery and travel writing in the period for Pickering and Chatto, as well as several collections of essays, including (with Tim Fulford), Romanticism and Colonialism (Cambridge UP, 1998). His most reccent co-edited collection of essays (with Robert Markley) Writing China: Essays on the Amherst Embassy (1816) and Sino-British Cultural Relations was published in 2016. Professor Kitson was elected Chair and then President of the English Association, of which he is now an Honorary Fellow. He also served as Chair of the Association's Higher Education Committee for several years. He was also elected President of the British Association for Romantic Studies (2007-2011) of which he is an Honorary Member. Professor Kitson is one of the founder members of the newly-formed international and interdisciplinary research network China and Global Modernity. He is currently completing his next monograph on Opium Writing, Travel, Trade and Commerce 1800-1842 for which he has recently received a Research Fellowship at the Humanities Research Centre, ANU, a research grant from the British Academy for £10k (2014-2016), and a Leverhulme Research Fellowship for 2017-2018. 

 Other

  • elected President of The English Association in May 2007
  • elected President of the British Association for Romantic Studies (BARS) in July 2007 and again in July 2009.
  • Chair of the Higher Education Committee of the English Association (until 2012),
  • Series Editor of Essays and Studies (D.S. Brewer/The English Association) (2000-2009)
  • member of the editorial boards of the journals: Romanticism, the Keats-Shelley Journal, the John Clare Society Journal, and the Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Panel Judge for the Keats-Shelley Essay and Poetry Prize from 2002-2008.
  • member of the AHRC Peer Review College
  • member of the Advisory Panel of the English Subject Centre.
  • Honorary Fellow of the English Association (2012)
  • Honorary member of the British Association for Romantic Studies

All Publications

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Kitson, P.

(2017)

'Unexpected Affinities' and 'Fatal Errors': Ambiguities in the Romantic Reception of Confucius,

in Romantic Ambiguities: Abodes of the Modern : Studien zur Englischen Romantik / Studies in English Romanticism.

Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier

ISBN 978-3-86821-727-8

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Kitson, P. J.

(2017)

The ‘catastrophe of this new Chinese mission’: The Amherst Embassy to China of 1816,

in Early Encounters between East Asia and Europe : Telling Failures.

Routledge

ISBN 9781472481672

(Chapter (peer-reviewed))

(Published)


Kitson, P.

(2017)

The Romantic period, 1780–1832,

in English Literature in Context.

Cambridge University Press

ISBN 9781316506639

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Kitson, P.

(2016)

The Dark Gift: Opium, John Francis Davis, Thomas De Quincey and the Amherst Embassy to China 1816,

in Writing China Essays on the Amherst Embassy (1816) and Sino-British Cultural Relations.

Boydell & Brewer

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Kitson, P. (ed.), Markley, R. (ed.)

(2016)

Writing China: Essays on the Amherst Embassy (1816) and Sino-British Cultural Relations,

Boydell & Brewer

ISBN 9781843844457

UEA Repository

(Book)

(Published)


Kitson, P. J. (ed.), Corns, T. N. (ed.)

(2016)

Coleridge and the Armoury of the Human Mind: Essays On His Prose Writings,

Routledge

ISBN 9781138670112

UEA Repository

(Book)

(Published)


Kitson, P.

(2016)

Milton: the Romantics and After,

in A New Companion to Milton.

Wiley-Blackwell

pp. 547-565

ISBN 978-1-118-82782-6

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Kitson, P. J.

(2016)

China and the Victorian Imagination: Empires Entwined. By Ross G. Forman. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013. 318 pp. ISBN 9781107013155 (cloth),

in Journal of Asian Studies

75

(1)

pp. 207-208

Full Text

(Book/Film/Article review)

(Published)


Kitson, P. J.

(2016)

“The Kindness of my Friends in England”: Chinese Visitors to Britain in the Late Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries and Discourses of Friendship and Estrangement,

in European Romantic Review

27

(1)

pp. 55-70

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Kitson, P.

(2016)

Introduction: China and the British Romantic Imagination,

in European Romantic Review

27

(1)

pp. 3-7

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Kitson, P. J.

(2016)

John Thelwall, The Daughter of Adoption: A Tale of Modern Times,

in Romanticism

22

(3)

pp. 360-364

Full Text

(Book/Film/Article review)

(Published)


Kitson, P. J.

(2016)

Marcus Rainsford, An Historical Account of the Black Empire of Hayti,

in Romanticism

22

(3)

pp. 360-364

Full Text

(Book/Film/Article review)

(Published)


Kitson, P. J.

(2016)

Elizabeth Bohls, Romantic Literature and Postcolonial Studies,

in Romanticism

22

(3)

pp. 360-364

Full Text

(Book/Film/Article review)

(Published)


Kitson, P.

(2015)

Oriental Gothic,

in Romantic Gothic : An Edinburgh Companion .

Edinburgh University Press

ISBN 9780748696741

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Kitson, P.

(2015)

'That mighty Wall, not fabulous/ China's stupendous mound!' Romantic Period Accounts of China's 'Great Wall',

in New Directions in Travel Writing Studies .

Palgrave Macmillan

ISBN 9781137457578

(Chapter (peer-reviewed))

(Published)


Kitson, P.

(2013)

Forging Romantic China: Sino-British Cultural Exchange, 1760-1840,

Cambridge University Press

ISBN 9781107045613, 9781107623613

Full Text UEA Repository

(Book)

(Published)


Kitson, P.

(2013)

'Reason in China is not Reason in England': 18th-century adaptations of China by Horace Walpole and Arthur Murphy,

in Romantic Adaptations : Essays in Mediation and Remediation.

Ashgate Publishing

pp. 9-22

ISBN 9781472414106

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Kitson, P.

(2013)

Refusing to Kowtow: Romantic-period Representations of Asian Ceremonials from Macartney to Byron,

in Coleridge, Romanticism and the Orient: Cultural Negotiations.

Bloomsbury Academic

pp. 19-38

ISBN 9781441149879

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Kitson, P.

(2013)

Fictions of Slave Resistance and Revolt: Robert Southey's Poems on the Slave Trade (1797) and Charlotte Smith's "The Story of Henrietta" (1800),

in Race, Romanticism and the Atlantic.

Ashgate Publishing

pp. 107-125

ISBN 9780754669272

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Kitson, P.

(2012)

Race,

in A Handbook of Romaticism Studies.

John Wiley and Sons Ltd

ISBN 9781118458822

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


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Key Research Interests

Professor Kitson's research interests include: Coleridge and romantic period literature, 1780-1830; Literature and science in the romantic period, especially anatomy; the historical contexts 1780-1830; politics and religion 1780-1830; ideas of race and colonialism and imperialism; travel writing 1750-1900; orientalism and representations of China in the period 1750-1850; Gothic writing 1760 to the present. He has recently published a major study of ideas of Race and human variety in the Romantic Period and a study of Romantic-period representations and exchanges concerning Britain and China and the in Romantic period writing. He is currently working on a new study of China, opium, and the Romantic imagination.

Teaching Interests

Undergraduate Teaching

Professor Kitson teaches Romantic period writing at second and third year. He lectures and teaches on the second year period course Romanticism as well as his third-year special options: Dark Romanticism: the Gothic Inheritance and Romantic Orientalism. Professor Kitson also teaches Reading Texts 1 and Reading Texts 2. He has also supervised numerous dissertations in these areas.

Postgraduate Teaching

Professor Kitson is an experienced supervisor of doctoral students and has supervised over a dozen students to successful completion. He offers supervision in the areas of:  Romantic period writing, Gothic literature, the global contexts of the eighteenth and nineteenth century, Literature and Science, and especially, Sino-British cultural relations.