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Dr Eric Langley
Dr Eric Langley profile picture
  • Associate Professor
  • Dept of English Lang & Literature
  • Faculty of Arts & Humanities

Dr Eric Langley (BA hons, MA dist, PhD: Leeds) was awarded his PhD in 2003, and since then has taught at the Universities of Leeds, York, St Andrews, Sheffield, and Royal Holloway. Having previously been a Teaching Fellow in the department, Eric returned to UCL in 2014 as Lecturer in Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature.

Research Summary

Eric’s first monograph, Narcissism and Suicide in Shakespeare and his Contemporaries, was published by OUP in November 2009. Understanding self-love and self-slaughter in terms of self-reflexivity and aggressive isolationism, the book considers the rhetoric of introspection and period conceptions of individualism, reading the narcissist and suicide in relation to Renaissance ocular theory, the pastoral tradition, Ovid, classical influence, and religious text. His current research considers Shakespeare and other early modern authors in relation to period anxieties concerning plague and infection, metaphors of transmission, the figure of the parasite, and notions of hospitality/hostility: his second monograph - Ill Communications: Shakespeare's Contagious Sympathies - will be published by OUP in 2018, and continues to examine the influence of scientific, medical, and pathological thought upon the history of the subject, in order to explore how Shakespeare – alive to both the rewards and dangers of sympathetic communication – articulates an increasing sense of both the pragmatic benefits of monadic privacy, emotional isolation, and subjective quarantine, while offering his account of the considerable loss involved when we lose faith in vulnerable and tender inter-relational existence. Other recent or ongoing research considers Renaissance erotica, friendship essays, early modern letters, Lucretian atomism, early-modern conceptions of compassion, and Montaigne’s digressive tendencies. 

Eric's debut poetry collection - Raking Light - was published by Carcanet in 2017, and was nominated for the Felix Dennis Award for Best First Collection in that year's Forward Prizes. He has poems placed in a number of publications including PN Review, New Poetries VIBlackbox Manifold, and 3:AM Magazine, and has a pamphlet of sonnets (These. Insuing. Sonnets.), written in dialogue with Emily Critchley forthcoming from The Crater Press in 2018.

Teaching Summary

Eric has been teaching and lecturing in some of the UK's leading English departments for over a decade, at Leeds, York, St Andrews, Sheffield, Royal Holloway, and UCL. The majority of his teaching has been on Shakespeare and Renaissance modules, but he has taught more widely across literary periods and genre: avant-garde contemporary poetry (BA and MA), Lit. Hist. and Representation of Homosexuality (BA), Intellectual and Cultural Sources (BA), film modules (BA), literary theory (BA), speechwriting (BA), and Romanticism (BA). As a tutor at UCL, he has taught across all literary periods, and supervised undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations in a wide variety of areas, and has supervised a number of doctoral studies.

01-SEP-2014 Lecturer in Shakespeare English Language and Literaturend Literature UCL, United Kingdom
01-SEP-2011 – 31-AUG-2014 Lecturer in Shakespeare English Literature Royal Holloway, University of London, United Kingdom
01-SEP-2008 – 31-AUG-2011 Teaching Fellow in Shakespeare English Language and Literature UCL, United Kingdom
01-JAN-2008 – 31-MAR-2008 Teaching Fellow in Renaissance Lit. (PT) English Literature University of Sheffield, United Kingdom
01-SEP-2005 – 31-DEC-2008 Teaching Fellow in Shakespeare and Renaissance Lit. School of English University of St Andrews, United Kingdom
01-SEP-2004 – 31-AUG-2005 Teaching Fellow in Early-Modern Literature English and Related Literatures University of York, United Kingdom
Academic Background
2003   Doctor of Philosophy University of Leeds
1999   Master of Arts (Hons) University of Leeds
1998   Bachelor of Arts (Honours) University of Leeds
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