Dr John ScholarBack to People

Subjects: English
Department: English Language and Literature
College appointment: Fellow by Examination
Phone: 01865 276000


I read English at Magdalen as an undergraduate. I then trained as an economist, completing an M.Sc. in Economics at the London School of Economics, and working at H.M. Treasury for three years. Returning to English studies, I did an M.A. in English at Birkbeck College, before pursuing doctoral work at New College, Oxford.


In Oxford, I have taught topics within modernist poetry and the modernist novel, as well as some literary theory and critical commentary (parts of ‘Literature in English 1910 — present day’, Special Options, ‘Introduction to English Literature and Language’). I am also a tutor in Oxford’s UNIQ summer school in English (which works with Year 12 students currently studying at state schools).

Research Interests

My research examines the novel in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. At the moment I largely work on the Anglo-American novelist, Henry James (1843-1916). My thesis tries to shed new light on the representation of consciousness in James’s work, especially his late novels, by focusing on one word, ‘impression’, much used by James himself. This focus draws in a variety of contexts from philosophy, literature, psychology, and the visual arts, such as Empiricism (Locke and Hume), Aestheticism (Pater and Wilde), William James, and both Painterly and Literary Impressionism. I am also working on the Irish novelist James Joyce (1882-1941), looking at how the twentieth-century continental philosophers, Henri Bergson and Martin Heidegger, may help us to understand the extraordinary representation of the material world in Joyce’s Ulysses (1922).