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Indiana University Bloomington

Nicholas Williams

Nicholas Williams

Email | 812-855-7649

Associate Professor

Ph.D., Emory University, 1990
M.A., Emory University

I specialize in British Romanticism (particularly William Blake and the Wollstonecraft-Godwin-Shelley circle), with further interests in utopian thought and literature and the Bible as literature. Methodologically, I’m drawn to Marxist aesthetics and phenomenological accounts of literature, with a particular focus on the representation of motion and emotion. I’ve published Ideology and Utopia in the Poetry of William Blake (Cambridge, 1998) and edited Palgrave Advances in the Study of William Blake (Palgrave, 2006), along with articles on Mary Shelley, Thomas Malthus, William Godwin and others. Currently, I’m pursuing research on the problematic representation of motion (both self-motion and motion in the object world) in a host of Romantic works, in terms of the broad Romantic goal of incorporating animate life in literature. On the undergraduate level, I regularly teach courses on Romanticism, on the Bible, and critical theory. On the graduate level, I’ve taught seminars on the sublime, on emotion, on Blake and Materiality, and on the Wollstonecraft-Godwin-Shelley circle.

Recent Courses


British Romanticism
Literature of the Bible
Critical Practices
The Bible and William Blake
Utopian Thought and Literature


The Sublime
The People, the Public and the Popular
Wollstonecraft, Godwin, Shelley
Blake and Materiality
Romantic Feelings
Blake and Ideology

Selected Publications (click images for more information)


Palgrave Advances in William Blake StudiesPalgrave Advances in William Blake Studies. Editor. (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006).

Ideology and Utopia in the Poetry of William BlakeIdeology and Utopia in the Poetry of William Blake. ( Cambridge, 1998).

Articles and Essays:

"'The Sciences of Life': Living Form in Alduous Huxley and William Blake," Romanticism (forthcoming).

"Angelic Realism: Domestic Idealization in Mary Shelley's Lodore." Studies in the Novel 39:4 (Winter 2007): 397-415.

"Eating Blake or, An Essay on Taste: The Case of Thomas Harris's Red Dragon," Cultural Critique 1999.

"The Limits of Spatialized Form: Visibility and Obscurity in Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward," Utopian Studies 1999.

"'Bewildering Dreams and Extravagant Fancies': The Sublime of Population in Thomas Malthus," European Romantics Review 1999.

"The Dialect of Authenticity: The Case of Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting," in English and the Other Languages (Rodopi, 1998).

"'The Subject of Detection': Legal Rhetoric and Subjectivity in William Godwin's Caleb Williams," Eighteenth-Century Fiction 1997.