Sharon Ruston

Sharon Ruston

I am Professor in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture at the University of Salford.

My main research interests are in the relations between the literature, science and medicine of the Romantic period, 1780-1820.

My first book, Shelley and Vitality (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), explored the medical and scientific contexts which inform Shelley’s concept of vitality in his major poetry. Recently I have been working on Mary Wollstonecraft’s interest in natural history, William Godwin’s interest in mesmerism, and Humphry Davy’s writings on the sublime; these will form chapters in my next book, called Creating Romanticism: Case Studies in the Literature, Science, and Medicine of the 1790s.

I have also begun preliminary work on a Collected Edition of Humphry Davy and his Circle’s letters, with a team of Davy scholars including Professor Frank James (Royal Institution), Professor Tim Fulford (Nottingham Trent University), Professor Jan Golinski (University of New Hampshire) and Professor David Knight (University of Durham). We have recently secured funding from the British Society for the History of Science, the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry, and the Wellcome Trust. See the Davy Letters website, here.

I was the lead-investigator on the AHRC doctoral training programme, ‘Theories and Methods: Literature, Science, and Medicine’. From 2009 to 2011 the University of Salford delivered training in collaboration with eleven other partners: the Universities of Keele, Leicester, Manchester, King’s College London and the London Consortium, and the Science Museum, National Maritime Museum, Museum of Science and Industry, Royal College of Surgeons, Royal Institution of Great Britain, and the Wellcome Library. The LitSciMed website can be found here.

To listen to my podcast on the Aeolian harp, click here.

See my inaugural lecture (given at the University of Salford, 22nd February 2011), here.