Professor David Higgins

Professor David Higgins


I joined the University of Leeds as Lecturer in 2006, was promoted to Associate Professor in 2012, and to Professor in 2020. I am currently Deputy Director of the Leeds Arts and Humanities Research Institute.

I have previously worked at 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.


Research interests

My research moves between the environmental humanities and British Romanticism. 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 was part of a broader AHRC-funded project on Romanticism and catastrophe (see

I am currently finalising my contribution to Landlines, a co-written history of modern British nature writing over the last two centuries: Increasingly, I am motivated as a researcher by the opportunity to engage broader audiences with pressing environmental issues; the AHRC-funded Landlines project has involved a wide range of collaborations and public engagement activities.

I recently completed work for a co-edited special issue on ‘Environmental Humanities Approaches to Climate Change’: My next major book project is provisionally entitled ‘Climate Change: A Philosophical History’.  

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="">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 Taught Postgraduate Programmes, 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="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>