Dr David Higgins

Dr David Higgins


I joined the University of Leeds as Lecturer in 2006 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2012. I previously taught at several institutions, including the University of Cambridge, the University of Chester, and the University of York. I studied as an undergraduate at the University of Sussex and obtained my MA and doctorate from York.



  • Director of Taught Postgraduate Programmes

Research interests

My research focuses on British Romanticism and the environmental humanities. My most recent book, British Romanticism, Climate Change, and the Anthropocene (Palgrave, 2017) examines a wide range of texts in relation to the global crisis created by the eruption of Mount Tambora in 1815. This book is part of a broader AHRC-funded project on Romanticism and catastrophe, which has involved an international conference entitled 'Mediating Climate Change' and public engagement collaborations with the Wordsworth Trust and Cape Farewell. For further details, see http://romanticcatastrophe.leeds.ac.uk/.

I'm currently working on a collaborative AHRC-funded project to write a history of British nature writing over the last two centuries for Cambridge University Press: https://landlinesproject.wordpress.com/. Increasingly, I am motivated as a researcher by the opportunity to engage broader audiences with pressing environmental issues and am in the process of developing new public engagement collaborations around culture and climate. In the longer term, I'm planning a book on the relationship between philosophical pessimism and environmental thinking.

Past projects include the monographs Romantic Genius and the Literary Magazine and Romantic Englishness, a co-edited issue of the Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies on 'Contesting Creativity', and the co-edited book Jean-Jacques Rousseau and British Romanticism.





<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • DPhil
  • MA in Representations and Contexts, 1750-1850
  • BA (Hons) English

Professional memberships

  • Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment
  • British Association of Romantic Studies

Student education

I have taught and convened a wide range of modules at Leeds, including large core literature modules and more specialist modules on Romanticism and/or literary ecologies. My research directly informs much of my teaching and I am committed to developing students as independent researchers.This commitment is reflected in my book Frankenstein: Character Studies (2008), and in two co-edited books: Studying English Literature (2010) and Teaching Romanticism (2010). I have also worked with the Higher Education Academy to organise a workshop on blended learning and to produce a report highlighting its use in English Studies. In 2012, I was awarded a University Student Education Fellowship. I have been involved in developing the School's teaching provision throughout my time at Leeds, including as Director of Personal Tutoring and Employability and as creator and convenor of the Writing Mentors scheme.


Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>