Dr Michael Simpson

Staff details

PositionSenior Lecturer in English Literature
Email m.simpson (
Phone+44 (0)20 7717 2260
Dr Michael Simpson

Academic qualifications

  • BA (Hons) English, Cambridge University
  • MA Romantic Literature, York University
  • PhD English, Cambridge University

Junior Fellow, Institute for Research in the Humanities, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1994-5; Junior Fellow, Program in British Studies, University of Texas at Austin, 1998-9; appointed Goldsmiths, University of London, 1999.


Prior to appointment at Goldsmiths, Dr Michael Simpson was Visiting Assistant Professor at St Lawrence University, New York, and at Colgate University, New York, where he taught courses on British Romanticism, British literature, and mid-nineteenth-century European and American culture.  

At Goldsmiths, Michael is the convenor of Sensibility & Romanticism (Level 2) and of Oedipus: Myths, Tragedies & Theories (Level 3). He also teaches on the Shakespeare (Level 2) course, and has taught the half-unit course Romantic Shakespeare (Level 3) and on the Explorations in Literature (Level 1) course.

Areas of supervision

Michael is currently supervising the literary-critical components of two MPhil/PhD projects in Creative Writing, on philosophical thought experiments and on the historical novel. He particularly welcomes research proposals on British Romantic literature, drama and theatre, and on postcolonial topics in classical reception studies.

MPhil/PhD projects have included:

  • Voices, Identities and Nations in the Narratives of Maria Edgeworth
  • Romanticism and Socialism in William Morris
  • The Novels of Mary Shelley and William Godwin.

Plus Masters of Research (MRes) projects on hypertext fiction and theory, and on sexuality in the prophetic books of William Blake.

Featured work

Invited lectures and papers

  • The Byron Society, the Swedenborg Society, Whitechapel Gallery; and the Universities of Cambridge, Greenwich, Reading, St. Lawrence, and Texas at Austin

 Conferences organised

  • 'Poetry and the Olympics - ancient and modern', at Goldsmiths, University of London, March 2012
  • 'Thinking the Olympics: modern bodies, classical minds?', at the Institute for Classical Studies, University of London, September 2008 (co-organised with Barbara Goff)
  • 'Romantic Drama in Place: geography, scene, milieu', at the University of Texas at Austin, April 1998 (co-organised with Theresa M. Kelley)


  • ‘Paging the Stage: Romantic Drama and its Spectacle’, at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin, April—June 1998, curated, with exhibition catalogue, by Michael Simpson


  • Co-producer (with Theresa M. Kelley) of Percy Bysshe Shelley's Prometheus Unbound, directed by Madge Darlington, designed and performed by Rude Mechanicals, at the University of Texas at Austin, April 1998

Research Interests

My research interests span Romanticism, classical reception and postcolonialism. I have published critical work across the broad field of Romantic literary culture, on drama and theatre, poetry and the novel. My interest in the Greco-Roman classics lies particularly in how they have been adapted within postcolonial and especially African, Afro-Caribbean and African-American literatures and theatres. Within Romantic literary studies, I am currently writing a book on the theme of distraction in British Romantic literature; within classical reception studies, I am co-writing a book on the bearing of Classics and classical literature on the cultural history of the British Left in the twentieth century.