Dr James Whitehead

Humanities and Social Science

My research and teaching interests include Romanticism and its legacies, psychiatry and mental illness in nineteenth and twentieth-century literature, including modernism and contemporary literature, and life-writing (autobiography and biography). I have supervised undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations in these areas and am always happy to discuss research plans with prospective students. I have been at LJMU since 2014.

I have three main research projects completed or in progress: one on the figure of the mad poet in the nineteenth century, published in 2017 by Oxford University Press, one on the representation and appropriation of schizophrenia in twentieth-century culture, to appear in Liverpool University Press’s Representations series, and one on autobiographical narratives of mental illness and confinement.

I am the correspondent for a society dedicated to the writer and critic William Hazlitt, and for the journal it produces, The Hazlitt Review. Queries or submissions for the society or journal should be sent to: hazlittsociety@gmail.com. For more information see: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/hazlitt-society.


2011, King's College London, United Kingdom, PhD in English
2006, University College London, United Kingdom, MA in English
2002, University of Oxford, United Kingdom, BA in English Language and Literature

Academic appointments

Lecturer in English, Liverpool John Moores University, 2014 - present
Lecturer in English and Medical Humanities, King's College London, 2011 - 2012
Wellcome Research Fellow, King's College London, 2010 - 2014


Whitehead J. 2020. 'A song in the night': reconsidering John Clare's later asylum poetry Kövesi S, Lafford E. Advances in John Clare Studies Palgrave Macmillan. Basingstoke Public Url


Whitehead JR. 2017. Madness and the Romantic Poet: A Critical History Oxford University Press. Oxford 9780198733706 DOI Publisher Url

Journal article

Whitehead JR. 2015. Biopower: bodies, minds and biographical subjection in Victorian Lives of the Poets Victorian Network, 6 :7-31 Publisher Url Public Url

External PGR Supervision - completed students:

King's College London, PhD, Dementia in science, medicine and literature of the twentieth century. 2017

Editorial boards:

The Hazlitt Review, Assistant Editor, https://www.ucl.ac.uk/hazlitt-society/hazlitt-review. 2015