David Clifford

Fellow and Director of Studies for English (Part 2)
Faculty of English
Contact number: 
01223 747244
Contact email address: 
Year Joined Homerton: 

The crossovers between literature and anthropology and between literature and the history of science. I focus mainly on Victorian literature, especially as it intersects with debates about evolution and politics, and on contemporary literature.

Research Interests: 

The humanities and anthropology, primatology, evolutionary psychology and sociobiology. Victorian literature, in particular the Victorian psychological novel. Contemporary literature and scientific ideas. Dystopias.

Current Research Projects: An anthropological study of the role of the humanities.

Teaching And Professional Interests: 

Most of my undergraduate teaching is on literature from 1800 to the present day. For the earlier period I concentrate more on the origins of narrative and how the English novel serves to express ideological positions about social class. After about 1840 the emphasis shifts onto the novel as vehicle of social and scientific discourse.

Prospective PhD Applications: My successful PhD candidates to date have all worked on literature and the history of science, both in the nineteenth century and in contemporary literature. Though my own focus is on evolutionary biology I am happy to look at topics addressing other scientific ideas.


PhD (Cambridge 2000); MA Victorian Studies (Birkbeck, London, 1996); BA English & Related Literature (York, 1994)


‘Wilde and Evolution’ in Oscar Wilde in Context (ed. by Kerry Powell and Peter Raby), Cambridge University Press 2013. ISBN 9781107016132.
David Clifford, Elisabeth Wadge, Alex Warwick, Martin Willis (eds), Repositioning Victorian Sciences, Anthem Press, 2006. ISBN 1843312123.

David Clifford, Literature and Science 1660-1834 Vol 5: Fauna (General Editor Judith Hawley), Pickering & Chatto, 2004. ISBN 1851967400.

David Clifford and Laurence Roussillon (eds), Outsiders Looking In: The Rossettis, Then and Now, Anthem Press, 2004. ISBN 1843311062.

Forthcoming Publications:
Anti-Darwinism before Darwin: Reform, the Novel and the Origins of Neo-Lamarckism, Palgrave Macmillan 2017.