Amy Waterson

Thesis title: Unravelling Webs of Affinity: Science, Narrative, and Society in the Victorian Realist Novel


Amy holds an MA in English Literature and an MSc in Literature and Society, both from the University of Edinburgh.

Responsibilities & affiliations

Amy has been a fiction reader for the James Tait Black award since 2019 and was the editor in chief for FORUM: University of Edinburgh Postgraduate Journal of Culture and the Arts between 2020 -2021 (issues 31 and 32). She is the 2021 winner of the Patrick Tolfree Essay prize, hosted by The Thomas Hardy Society. 

She is a member of the British Association for Victorian Studies, the Société Française des Etudes Victoriennes et Edouardiennes, and The Thomas Hardy Society.

Amy is also involved with the Binks Hub; a new, interdisciplinary research hub which works with communities to promote participatory and artistic methods in academic research.

Undergraduate teaching

English Literature 1

English Literature 2

Literary Studies 1A

Research summary

Amy's PhD research examines how nineteenth-century realism was influenced by contemporary scientific developments, through the novels of George Eliot, Thomas Hardy, and Henry James.


Current research interests

Amy's research interests include the interplay between scientific thought and literary writing during the nineteenth century. She is currently interested in expanding her PhD research by exploring the relationship between realism and the scientific romance. Other topics of interest include depictions of space, place, and their relation to gender and class, representations of 'Otherness', literary forms (especially the Bildungsroman), late eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth century literary culture, and depictions of children and childhood. Amy is particularly interested in individual authors like George Eliot, Thomas Hardy, Henry James, H.G. Wells, Elizabeth Gaskell, George Bernard Shaw, Charlotte Bronte, and Charles Dickens.

Past research interests

Literature of the American Counterculture (1837 - 1971)

Conference details

Amy has presented research papers on Henry James's handling of subjectivity in What Maisie Knew,  the nineteenth-century Bildungsroman, and Thomas Hardy's use of Darwinian thought in his early fiction at conferences, nationally and internationally. In May 2024 she was invited to chair a panel for the University of Durham's Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies International symposium, and will present her research on George Eliot's use of sympathy in 'The Mill on the Floss' in September 2024.



2024: Panel Speaker, British Association for Victorian Studies annual conference, University of Stirling

             Panel Chair, Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies International, University of Durham, Charles Dickens: Beyond Realism Symposium 

2022: Panel Speaker, British Association for Victorian Studies annual conference, University of Birmingham

             Panel Speaker, Société Française des Etudes Victoriennes et Edouardiennes annual conference, Université Toulouse Jean-Jaurès

2021: Panel Speaker, University of Stirling Postgraduate Conference, University of Stirling

2020: Panel Speaker, Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies, University of Durham

2018: Panel Speaker, British Association for Victorian Studies annual conference, University of Exeter

Papers delivered

2024: "Sympathetic Events in 'The Mill on the Floss'". (Working Title)

2022: "Shifting Realities During the Nineteenth-Century and Thomas Hardy's 'A Pair of Blue Eyes'.

              "'What Maisie Knew': On the Outside, Looking In".

2021: "Narratives of Uncertainty in 'What Maisie Knew'".

2020: "'What Maisie Knew' and the Power of Silence".

2018: "'This is not to be a regular autobiography': An Examination of the Nineteenth-Century Bildungsroman (1847 - 1895)".

Waterson, Amy. "The Shakeable Faith of Thomas Hardy: Poetic Instability and Darwinian Interventions in 'Hap'". The Hardy Society Journal 18. 1, 2022. 

Waterson, Amy. Review of Children's Play in Literature: Investigating the Strengths and the Subversions of the Playing Child. Edited by Joyce E. Kelley. Australasian Journal of Victorian Studies 25. 1, 2021.