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Adam Bridgen

2023 Brotherton Fellow
Areas of expertise
Eighteenth-century literature and culture; British labouring-class poetry; Romanticism; Social History; Labour History; Postcolonialism; Ecocriticism.
Clothworkers South Building, University of Leeds Campus
Arts, Humanities and Cultures
Leeds Arts and Humanities Research Institute

I am a literary and cultural historian of the period 1650-1850, with a special interest in British labouring-class poetry. My research explores the way in which social class informs writing about slavery, empire, and environmental destruction.

As Brotherton Fellow at LAHRI, I will be researching labouring-class poetry on the first stage of the Industrial Revolution (c. 1770-1850). Drawing on the Brotherton’s local and regional materials, I will be focusing on authors from Leeds, Yorkshire, and Sheffield to explore how labouring-class poets were responding to industrial technologies and their social and environmental effects. This project specifically builds on my recent research on the apocalyptic, ecosocial poetics of the Staffordshire shoemaker poet James Woodhouse (1735-1820), which appeared in Romantic Environmental Sensibility: Nature, Class and Empire (2022).


I received my DPhil from the University of Oxford in 2020, with a thesis exploring British labouring-class writing on transatlantic slavery in the period 1660-1800, which I am currently transforming into a monograph for Oxford University Press. From 2020 to 2021, I was a Post-Award Member of the Faculty of English at Oxford, and received a Royal Historical Society Early Career Fellowship Grant to develop a book proposal. Since the end of 2021, I have been a Research Fellow in Eighteenth-Century Literature and Culture at the University of St Andrews. I am also an Associate Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics.