Staff Directory

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01522 83 7382
University of Lincoln
Brayford Pool
United Kingdom

About Owen Clayton

I have a primary specialism in late nineteenth and early-twentieth century US American Literature, with a secondary specialism in British Victorian and Edwardian literature. My particular research interests are literature and social justice, literature and homelessness, and working class studies. I am currently working on my second monograph, provisionally entitled 'On and Off the Road: Vagabonds, Tramps, and Hobos in American literature'. My first monograph, 'Literature and Photography in Transition, 1850-1915', came out with Palgrave MacMillan in 2015. The book examined the representation of photography in British and American literature, focusing particularly on representations of poverty. I have also published articles and book chapters on William Dean Howells, Jack London, Henry James, and Alfred Tennyson. I have worked as a peer-reviewer for numerous organisations, including Bloomsbury and The Chetham Society. I previously organised the ‘International Poetry Month’ for the No Glory in War campaign. I write occasional, sometimes tongue-in-cheek (!) articles for the New Statesman. I am a Newberry Library Fellow for 2018-19. I welcome Ph.D applications within nineteenth- and early twentieth-century literary studies, whether focused on American, British or Transatlantic literature. I have supervised doctoral students working on Patricia Highsmith and social class, Alfred Tennyson and ‘Celticism’, and on notions of heroism and villainy in American WWII comics. I am currently organising an interdisciplinary conference entitled 'Representing Homelessness', which will take place in Lincoln in the Summer of 2019. The event is funded by a British Academy Conference Grant.

Department Responsibilities

I teach Victorian, Edwardian and nineteenth-century American Literature, among other subjects. I am the Level 1 co-ordinator for English, as well as the co-ordinator for the modules ‘Popular Culture’, and ‘A Dream Deferred: Class in American Literature’. I co-organise the Nineteenth-Century Research Group. This is a cross-departmental group that welcomes staff, students and members of the public alike. The group generally meets about 3 times a term. For further information, see the blog:

Subject Specialism

US American Literature, approx 1850-1940; literature and social justice; literature and homelessness; working-class studies; British Victorian and Edwardian Literature; literature and photography/early film.


  • Ph.D — University of Leeds,
  • B.A — University of Lancaster,
  • M.A — University of Lancaster,


  • William Dean Howells Essay Prize — William Dean Howells Society
  • Ambassador’s Award — British Association of American Studies
  • British Association of American Studies Travel Grant — British Association of American Studies
  • Newberry Library Short-Term Fellowship, 2018-19 — Newberry Library, Chicago
  • British Academy Conference Grant — British Academy

Orcid ID


Research Interests

  • early photography

  • Nineteenth-century British and American Literature

  • Visual Culture

  • working class studies

Research Groups Memberships

Research in the Lincoln Repository

Professional Affiliations

  • Higher Education Academy — Associate Fellow