Academic

I am currently Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing in the School of English at the University of Leicester. My University of Leicester webpage is here. I teach Creative Writing and English at all levels, B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. I am co-founder and director of the new M.A. in Creative Writing at the University of Leicester.

I obtained my B.A. and M.A. in English from Warwick University (in 1995 and 1997 respectively) in the U.K., and my Ph.D in English at Loughborough University, where I was Lecturer in English, specialising in nineteenth-century literature and Creative Writing, until 2007. At Loughborough University, I was co-founder and director of the M.A. and Ph.D programmes in Creative Writing. From 2007 to March 2014, I was Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at De Montfort University, where I helped to set up and taught on the B.A. joint honours programme in Creative Writing, as well as the M.A. by Independent Study in Creative Writing and Ph.D in Creative Writing.

In addition to various essays and reviews in journals and anthologies, I am author of two academic monographs: Mastery and Slavery in Victorian Writing (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2003), and Science and Omniscience in Nineteenth-Century Literature (Sussex Academic Press, hardback 2007, paperback edition 2014). I am currently working on a new monograph about laughter and violence in nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature.

With Dr. Andrew Dix, I am co-editor of Figures of Heresy: Radical Theology in English and American Writing, 1800-2000 (Sussex Academic Press, 2005).

As well as various articles in journals such as Poe StudiesInterdisciplinary Science Reviews, Clio and Dickens Studies Annual, my essays feature in academic books including Edgar Allan Poe in Context, ed. Kevin Hayes (Cambridge University Press, 2012), and The Idea of Music in Victorian Fiction (Ashgate, 2004).

I have given conference papers at conferences across the U.K. and in the U.S.

Some reviews of recent academic writing:

Science and Omniscience in Nineteenth-Century Literature:

“… fresh and incisive study … makes a major contribution to our understanding of the complexities of nineteenth-century culture” (Prof. Clare Hanson).

“… It seems to me a very interesting, highly intelligent, original, wide-ranging and thought-provoking monograph …. The standard of research and presentation is impeccable” (Prof. Adam Roberts).

“This book is a magnificent and scholarly addition to the current debates concerning the relationship between science and the arts” (Dr. Sharon Ruston).

“… intriguing and innovative” (Yearbook of English Studies).

“Taylor challenges the conventional view that science evolved steadily from the determinism of the 19th century to the uncertainty and chaos of the 20th. He shows how some of the most now-lampooned scientists of the Victorian era in fact admitted that the human mind highly influenced the understanding of the universe, and how artists widely portrayed science as malleable to desire and prejudice” (Reference & Research Book News).

In Science and Omniscience in Nineteenth-Century Literature, Jonathan Taylor demonstrates the ways in which various Romantic and Victorian writers absorbed and complicated the ideas of scientific omniscience. In particular, Taylor shows how Pierre-Simon Laplace’s and Isaac Newton’s sense of the universe allowed these writers to reimagine themselves and reshape their writing. He also sees a continuity between these ideas and modern scientific thought, especially the branch dealing with Chaos Theory” (Studies in English Literature).

Figures of Heresy:

“… a serious and innovative contriution to contemporary debates about theology and literature” (Prof. David Jasper).

“A spirited and variegated set of essays” (Prof. Geoffrey Hartmann).

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