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Dr Kirsten Harris

Contact Details
Tel. 02476 574964
Room: R3.17 Ramphal Building
Office Hours: Monday 12-1, Tuesday 2.30-3.30

Senior Teaching Fellow


BA in English Literature (Sheffield); MA in Nineteenth-Century Studies (Sheffield); PhD in English Literature (Sheffield)

Research interests

My current research focuses on socialist print culture in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, particularly in the poetry of the so-called 'socialist revival'. Poetry was a major genre of the radical press, and I work on verse by little-known contributors to socialist publications alongside the more familiar figures of William Morris and Edward Carpenter. I am interested in debates in the socialist press about poetic voice, form, aesthetic and canon, and how these discussions were integrated in nuanced ways into debates about the nature and purpose of socialism itself. My first monograph, published in 2016, explores the different ways that Walt Whitman was interpreted, appropriated and put to use by British socialists at the turn of the century, despite his outright refusal to endorse a socialist political programme. More generally, I'm concerned with the relationship between art and radical political and social movements.


Having grown up near Stratford-upon-Avon, I hold a BA in English Literature, an MA in Nineteenth-Century Studies and a PhD in English Literature, all from the University of Sheffield. My interest in the political facets of Walt Whitman's poetry grew out of my MA dissertation, and was developed in my doctoral studies under the supervision of Professor Daniel Karlin. Both my MA and PhD were funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

I worked first as a Teaching Associate at the University of Sheffield, in the School of English and the Institute for Lifelong Learning, before taking up a lectureship at the University of Nottingham in 2012. I was one of a small team that launched a new School of English and two new degree programmes at Nottingham's campus in Malaysia. In 2014 I joined the University of Bristol as a Senior Tutor in the Faculty of Arts. With collective responsibility for student support and wellbeing in the Faculty, my role encompassed pastoral care and academic development. I have a strong interest in the student experience and am committed to creating an accessible and inclusive campus and curriculum.

My first monograph, Walt Whitman and British Socialism: 'The Love of Comrades' was published by Routledge in 2016. I hold a Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education from the University of Nottingham and am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.




  • British Socialism and Walt Whitman: ‘The Love of Comrades’ (New York: Routledge, Feb 2016)


  • ‘Poetry and Fin de Siècle Socialism’, Literature Compass (November 2016)
  • ‘The “Labour Prophet”?: Representations of Walt Whitman in the British Nineteenth-Century Socialist Press’, Walt Whitman Quarterly Review, 30 (2013), 115-137
  • ‘The Evolution of Consciousness: Edward Carpenter’s Towards Democracy’, Victorian Spiritualities, Leeds Working Papers in Victorian Studies, 12 (Spring 2012), 226-235
  • ‘“Have the elder races halted?”: British Socialist Readings of “Pioneers! O Pioneers!”’, 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century, 9 (Autumn 2009)