Dr Steven Vine
Associate Professor
English Literature & Creative Writing
Telephone: (01792) 604303
Room: Office - 202
Second Floor
Keir Hardie Building
Singleton Campus

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


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

See more...


  • 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-120 English Essentials

    This is a skills-based module which will equip students with the technical and critical expertise that is necessary for their academic journey in English Literature and Creative Writing. It is designed to support the transition from post-16 study to undergraduate study and to show students *how* to become successful scholars of English. How should we read texts? How do we write essays? Focusing on an exciting anthology of texts selected by the English academics at Swansea, this team-taught module uncovers the power of written language. We will explore how writers inspire and challenge their readers, how to think critically, how to close-read, how to construct powerful arguments and how to produce written work that is rigorous, academic and convincing. This module empowers students to think, write, and persuade.

  • 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-269 Literature and War in the 20th Century

    This module examines writing from WWI and WWII in Europe from the point of view of combatants and non-combatants, men and women, those who experienced the war first hand and those for whom it is a historical event. Linking these different viewpoints are a series of images and ideas including No-Man¿s Land, the front line, the home front and the trauma of conflict. English, Welsh and American literature of the period engages with a number of complex issues including trauma, political failure, individual desire and the crisis of identity, and in this module we will examine some of these issues by reading novels, memoirs and poetry and by discussing texts covering almost a century of imaginative responses to the two `World Wars¿ of 1914-18 and 1939-45.

  • 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.

  • EN-M80 Practising Ideas: Advanced Research Skills in English / Contemporary Writing / Welsh Writing in English

    This module is designed to introduce you to key practical and conceptual tools necessary for scholarship at Master¿s level and beyond. The aim is for you to gain the competencies and confidence to complete and enjoy the degree. In a seminar and occasional workshop format, you will practise a range of core professional research skills. You will be encouraged to reflect on your own learning and academic development to become a more independent and self-directed lifelong learner. You will produce a Portfolio of assessed work. These activities will support your work in other MA modules, particularly EN-M41 Research Practice and your EN-M31 Dissertation, while also equipping you with a set of transferable skills that are highly valued by many employers.


  • ‘Tearing away that ‘decent drapery’: Self(ish) Publication and the Romantic Reader (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr Steven Vine
    Other supervisor: Prof Caroline Franklin
  • A Beast, an Angel, and a Madman’: Dylan Thomas’s process poetry and prose 1933-39 (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr Rachel Farebrother
    Other supervisor: Dr Steven Vine
  • The philosophy of totalitarianism in twentieth-century literature. (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr Steven Vine
    Other supervisor: Prof Daniel Williams
  • Fetishism and Fluidity: Jeanette Winterson's Narratives of Diverse Pleasure and Desire (awarded 2018)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr Brigid Haines
    Other supervisor: Dr Steven Vine