Amy Waterson

Thesis title: Unravelling Webs of Affinity: Science, Narrative, and Society in the Victorian 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 focuses on how scientific discoveries influenced the way writers like George Eliot, Thomas Hardy, and Henry James wrote their novels. 

Current research interests

Amy's research interests include the interplay between scientific thought and novel writing during the nineteenth century. She is also interested in depictions of space, place, and their relation to gender and class. Other topics of interest are representations of 'Otherness', literary forms (especially the Bildungsroman), late eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth century literary culture, depictions of children and childhood, and the Victorian circulating library. 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

I have presented, or will present, 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.



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

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

2021: University of Stirling Postgraduate Conference, University of Stirling

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

2018: British Association for Victorian Studies, University of Exeter

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.