Dr Steven Vine
Associate Professor
English Literature & Creative Writing
Telephone: (01792) 604303

Steve Vine’s teaching and publications focus on Romanticism and critical theory - in Romanticism on William Blake and Romantic versions of the sublime, in critical theory on psychoanalysis and literature, and the postmodern. His work concerns the interaction between these fields.

Along with articles and chapters on Romantic and post-Romantic literature and theory, he has published books on William Blake (Blake's Poetry: Spectral Visions, Macmillan, 1993), Emily Brontë (Emily Brontë, Twayne, 1998), an edition of D.H. Lawrence's Aaron's Rod (Penguin, 1995), an edited collection of psychoanalytic criticism (Literature in Psychoanalysis: a Reader, Palgrave, 2005), an introduction to Blake’s illuminated poetry for the British Council ‘Writers and their Work’ series (William Blake, Northcote House, 2007), and a study of transformations of the sublime in Romantic, modern and postmodern texts (Reinventing the Sublime: Post-Romantic Literature and Theory, Sussex Academic Press, 2013). He is a contributor on Emily Brontë to the online Literary Dictionary, has reviewed regularly for the BARS [British Association for Romantic Studies] Bulletin and Review, and acted as reader for Oxford University Press, Palgrave Macmillan, University of Wales Press, Continuum Press, and for the inter-disciplinary journal Mosaic.

His current focus is on teaching, academic management and writing fiction.

Areas of Expertise

  • William Blake; Romanticism; the sublime; critical theory; literature and psychoanalysis

Publications

  1. ‘To "Make a Bull": Autobiography, Idealism and Writing in Coleridge's "Biographia Literaria"'. Prose Studies 13(3), 99-114.
  2. ‘To "Make a Bull": Autobiography, Idealism and Writing in Coleridge's "Biographia Literaria"'. In P. Kitson and T. N. Corns (Ed.), Coleridge and the Armoury of the Human Mind. (pp. 99-114). Frank Cass: London.
  3. 'Hellish Sport: Irony in "Frankenstein"'. Q/W/E/R/T/Y 3, 105-114.
  4. Blake's Poetry: Spectral Visions. Basingstoke: Houndmills.
  5. '"That Mild Beam": Enlightenment and Enslavement in William Blake's "Visions of the Daughters of Albion"'. In Carl Plasa and Betty J. Ring (Ed.), The Discourse of Slavery: Aphra Behn to Toni Morrison. (pp. 40-63). London: Routledge.

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Teaching

  • EN-100 Monsters, Theories, Transformations

    Literary works open up different meanings depending on the questions we ask them and the assumptions we bring to them. Literary meaning is in continual transformation. This module examines some of the ways in which this occurs through critical reading and intertextual revision. The first half of the module looks at two works, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Bram Stoker's Dracula, that have been plurally interpreted by critics; the second half of the module considers the transformation of narrative and ideology in the 'intertextual' revision of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre by Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea. The course looks at how meaning in literature is transformed and how it transforms the ways in which we see the world.

  • EN-114 Voices of Poetry

    'Voices of Poetry' is an engaging and exciting module which aims to introduce students to poetry and the various voices it articulates. Taught by well-known poets as well as scholars of poetry, this course will introduce students to a wide range of poetic forms and literary periods, ranging from the medieval lyric to postmodern poetry, from Shakespeare to Sylvia Plath. Particular attention will be paid to the interrelationship between meaning and form, and how rhetorical figures, metre, rhythm, tone, register and the speaker's voice create meaning. 'Voices of Poetry' will also foster an appreciation of how poetic forms are re-written in the socio-historical context in which they were produced.

  • EN-206 Debating Texts: Theory in Literature

    Literature prompts debate, and speaks to us differently depending on the questions that we ask of it. This course looks at how our understanding of meaning in literature changes when we think about critical debates concerning the role of history, language and subjectivity in texts. We take three very different texts from different periods, and look at the ways in which the texts (and debates around them) raise questions of history, language and subjectivity, and how the texts comment on these issues. We begin with a classic of 19th century realism, Charles Dickens's HARD TIMES (1854), move on to the groundbreaking work of modernist experiment, Virginia Woolf's MRS DALLOWAY (1925), and end with a powerful example of postmodern representation, Toni Morrison's BELOVED (1987). The course will be taught by a formal lecture followed by a discussion forum, in which short passages of literary and theoretical text will be read and debated in the lecture theatre.

  • EN-207 Revolution of the Word: Modernism

    An introduction to Modernist literature, focussing upon its origins in response to the crisis of modernity, its engagement with colonialism and the First World War, its formal experimentation, its depiction of city-life and its engagement with new ideas of gender and the unconscious.

  • EN-240 Revolution and Romanticism

    In this module students will study some major texts of British Romantic poetry and prose in the historical context of contemporary debates on revolutionising society. We will trace a dialectic between Romantic individualism and social concern in poetry, revolutionary `propaganda¿, gothic fiction and the romantic novel. Through detailed critical analysis we will focus on the various ways in which writers sought to unmask bourgeois hypocrisy and political corruption; to portray lower-class life and sexuality honestly; or to invoke tradition and question change. The philosophical implications of such terms as `Romanticism¿, `Sensibility¿, and `Subjectivity¿ will be explored, and the ideology of different literary styles, contrasted. Though we will be reading a varied selection of texts, a continuing concern will be on the ways in which social changes are embodied in literary consciousness, and on the relationship between experience and perception.

  • EN-3027 William Blake: Poetry and Designs

    From his early 'Songs' to his late epics, Blake's poetry and designs are concerned with struggle and critique. A poet of the Romantic period, Blake often overturns Romantic assumptions, such as the Romantics' celebration of `nature¿. A Christian visionary, Blake reinvents Biblical tradition, restoring the sacred text to its origins, for him, in poetry. A political radical, Blake interrogates the workings of power and ideology, assaulting the injustices of his day and welcoming the eruption of the French Revolution. An artisan artist, Blake prints his own books in the form of the `illuminated book¿, an innovative combination of text and design. The module explores a selection of Blake's poetry and illuminated plates from the early 'Songs' to the political prophecies and Lambeth books of the mid 1790s, and concentrates on the radical nature of his art. It examines Blake¿s dialogue with his culture and the interaction of the verbal and visual in his work.

  • EN-3031 Dissertation - English Literature

    The Dissertation is an optional, two-semester, 40-credit module designed to develop high-level academic skills and intellectual independence in the students. A first-semester skills-building programme will include: research skills, summary skills, bibliographic skills, ability to synthesise succinctly, planning and organisational skills, correct presentation of a thesis and bibliography, presentational skills and public speaking. Students conduct research on a subject of their choice, devised in consultation with a member of the English literature staff. The topic will be devised to fall within staff research and teaching specialisms, broadly defined. Students attend group sessions on research skills in Semesters 1 and 2, and have individual meetings with supervisors in Semester 2.

  • EN-374 Theorising Texts: Shakespeare, Bronte, James

    This module examines three key literary texts- one Renaissance, one Modernist- in relation to the concerns of contemporary critical theory.

  • EN-M07 The Romantic Sublime

    The module examines the significance of the figure of the sublime in Romantic literature and aesthetcs, and considers the extent to which sublimity is a founding category for Romantic representation. Surveying key writers of the Romantic period, the module explores the relationship between the sublime and aesthetics, the sublime and representation, the sublime and history, the sublime and the self, and the sublime and gender.

  • EN-M31 Dissertation

    Individual project devised and defined in discussion between supervisor and student.

  • EN-M41 Research Practice in English / Contemporary Writing / Welsh Writing in English

    Supervised project on research methodology in practice. Students build a detailed bibliographical plan for their MA dissertation project.

Supervision

  • Untitled (current)

    Student name:
    MA
    Other supervisor: Prof Caroline Franklin
    Other supervisor: Dr Steven Vine
  • Fetishism and Fluidity: Jeanette Winterson's Narratives of Diverse Pleasure and Desire (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Steven Vine
    Other supervisor: Dr Brigid Haines
  • The Fifth Notebook: A Variorum Facsimile Edition (30,000 word equivalent) `A Beast, an Angel, and a Madman’: Dylan Thomas’s process poetry and prose 1933-36 (70,000 word thesis) ‘A Beast, an Angel, and a Madman’: Dylan Thomas’s process poetry and prose 1933-36 (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof John Goodby
    Other supervisor: Dr Steven Vine