Dr Jonathan Godshaw Memel
College: College of Humanities
Research Centre/Unit: Centre for Victorian Studies
After graduating from the University of Edinburgh I began a Great Western Research/National Trust-funded PhD, ‘Thomas Hardy and Education’, at the University of Exeter’s Centre for Victorian Studies under the supervision of Professor Angelique Richardson, Professor Tim Kendall and Phillip Mallett (St Andrews). I passed my viva in February 2016 with Professor Dame Gillian Beer (external, Cambridge) and Professor Wendy Robinson (internal).
This research explored the work of Thomas Hardy, focusing on the influence of late-Victorian changes to education on his fiction. I have written on such topics as school architecture, teacher training and tensions between dialect and curricula, with work published in the Hardy Review, History of Education and Neo-Victorian Studies. I am an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and have taught undergraduate modules at institutions in the UK (University of Exeter) and the United States (University of Virginia). In 2011 I was also supported by the British Council and Entente-Cordiale to teach in Montpellier, France.
I took up an AHRC Cultural Engagement Fellowship following my PhD and since September 2016 I have been Research Assistant on COVE: The Central Online Victorian Educator, a digital project based at Purdue University involving over 300 nineteenth-century scholars. This includes working with metadata and CSS code to create digital editions of canonical texts (most recently the Matthew Arnold poem, ‘Calais Sands’). In 2015 I was involved in another digital humanities project, ‘Hardy and Clothing’, which I led with Professor Angelique Richardson, Exeter's Digital Humanities Team and Dorset County Museum. I regularly collaborate with local government and the cultural heritage sector as a member of the Hardy Country Steering Group (National Trust, Dorset AONB, Dorset County Museum, Dorset County Council and others) and Thomas Hardy Society Council of Management. My appointment as an RCUK-funded Champion for Public Engagement was made in recognition of these non-HEI research initiatives.