Nicholas Halmi

Nicholas Halmi

Margaret Candfield Tutorial Fellow in English; Professor of English and Comparative Literature; Fellow Librarian

Contact information


I teach literature of 1910 to the present to first-year undergraduates and of 1760–1830 to second-years, and supervise third-year dissertations on various authors and topics (including in the Joint Schools of Classics and English and History and English). In the English Faculty I lecture on literature of 1760–1830, most recently on the ‘second-generation’ Romantic poets (Lord Byron, Percy Shelley, John Keats) and women poets (e.g. Anna Barbauld, Charlotte Smith, Mary Robinson, Felicia Hemans). At the postgraduate I teach MSt courses on literature and thought of the ‘long eighteenth century’ (c. 1660–c. 1830), and supervise MSt dissertations and DPhil theses in areas broadly related to my research. I hope to become involved soon in the new MSt programme in comparative literature.


The modern meaning of the word literature (‘literary work or production’) dates only from the end of the eighteenth century. And this time, in which so many of the ideas, institutions, and events we associate with modernity (e.g., urbanisation, industrialisation, individual rights, intellectual property rights, the nation-state, a public sphere of opinion and debate, democratic government, the research university and the current differentiation of academic disciplines) had their beginning, is at the centre of my research and teaching. What especially interests me are intellectual and artistic responses to the challenges and discontents of modernity in British and western European literature, philosophy, and the visual arts from the seventeenth through the nineteenth century. Transnational cultural exchange, especially Anglo-German and Anglo-Italian, is another, related focus of my research. At present I am completing a monograph on the simultaneous assimilation of and resistance to historicising thought in European aesthetic theory and artistic practice, History’s Forms: Aesthetics and the Past, 1650–1850. I have also been active in textual scholarship, producing editions of S. T. Coleridge and more recently William Wordsworth.

Selected Publications


History’s Forms: Aesthetics and the Past, 1650–1850 (in progress)

Editor, Norton Critical Edition of Wordsworth’s Poetry and Prose (2013; corr. 2nd printing, 2017), 791 pp.

The Genealogy of the Romantic Symbol (OUP, 2007), 216 pp.

Co-editor,  Norton Critical Edition of Coleridge’s Poetry and Prose (2003; 6th printing, 2017), 828 pp.

Textual editor, Opus Maximum, vol. 15 of The Collected Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge (2002), 660 pp.


European Romanticism’, in W. Breckman and P. Gordon (eds.), The Cambridge History of Modern European Thought (forthcoming 2018)

‘The Literature of Italy in Byron’s Poems of 1817–20’, in A. Rawes and D. Saglia (eds.), Byron and Italy (forthcoming late 2017 or early 2018)

‘Romanticism, the Temporalization of History, and the Historicization of Form’, Modern Language Quarterly, 74 (2013), 363–89

‘Ruins without a Past’, Essays in Romanticism, 18 (2011), 7–27

‘The Very Model of a Modern Epic Poem’, European Romantic Review, 21 (2010), 589–600  [on Byron’s Don Juan]

For a full list please see my personal website. PDFs of selected publications are available on

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