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Dr Melanie Bigold BA Hons (Manitoba), MA (Toronto), DPhil (Oxford)

Overview

Dr Melanie Bigold Position: Lecturer Email: BigoldM@cf.ac.uk
Telephone: +44(0)29 208 75409
Extension: 75409
Location: John Percival Building, Colum Drive, Cathays, Cardiff

Research Group

English Literature

Research Interests

History of the book; manuscript culture; women’s writing and women’s literary history; philosophy, religion and literature in the long eighteenth century; Enlightenment coteries; critical biography and afterlives.

Selected Publications

Bigold, M. ‘Letters and learning’ in Ros Ballaster (ed.), A History of British Women’s Writing: Volume 4, 1690-1750 (forthcoming from Palgrave).

Bigold, M. Editor and transcriber, ‘The Journals of John Ramsay,’ The Slave Trade Debate: contemporary writings for and against. Introduced by John Pinfold (Bodleian Library Books, 2007).

Bigold, M. ‘Elizabeth Rowe’s Fictional and Familiar Letters: Exemplarity, Enthusiasm and the Production of Posthumous Meaning,’ British Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies 29/1 (2006): 1-14.

Teaching

I have held lecturing posts at St. Anne’s and Jesus Colleges (Oxford) and the University of Toronto. At Cardiff, I currently offer undergraduate modules in literature of the long eighteenth century.

Publications

Refereed Journal Articles

Bigold, M. ‘Elizabeth Rowe’s Fictional and Familiar Letters: Exemplarity, Enthusiasm and the Production of Posthumous Meaning,’ British Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies 29/1 (2006): 1-14.

Book Chapters

Bigold, M. ‘Letters and learning’ in Ros Ballaster (ed.), A History of British Women’s Writing: Volume 4, 1690-1750 (forthcoming from Palgrave).

Bigold, M. Editor and transcriber, ‘The Journals of John Ramsay,’ The Slave Trade Debate: contemporary writings for and against. Introduced by John Pinfold (Bodleian Library Books, 2007).

 

Research

I am currently working on two projects. The first, a monograph on Women of Letters: Manuscript Culture in an Age of Print, looks at the writing lives of Elizabeth Singer Rowe, Catharine Trotter Cockburn, and Elizabeth Carter. It considers the ways in which eighteenth-century manuscript culture continued to function as an efficacious mode of engagement with the Republic of Letters in England.

The second project, begun on a SSHRC fellowship at the University of Toronto, is a study of critical biography and the afterlife of lives in the eighteenth century. The primary focus of the project is George Ballard’s important history of learned women, Memoirs of Several Ladies (1752) and his manuscript archives, now held in the Bodleian Library, Oxford. This archive does not just comprise the various source materials that went into ‘Memoirs of Several Ladies’, but features 73 additional volumes of manuscripts related to British literary history, including preliminary notes towards a history of learned women written in 1709 by Elizabeth Elstob (the Anglo-saxon scholar whom Ballard befriended).

It is a collection about collections, collecting, textuality, scholarship, memorialisation, manuscript circulation, collaboration and the creation of textual lives. Reiterated throughout his biographies is the story of his textual reconstruction of these women’s lives. Moreover, his awareness of the differential values, problematic nature and potential veracity of all these sources is constantly broached. He has much to tell us, therefore, about how eighteenth-century scholars conceptualized textuality and the research and writing of texts and lives.

 

Biography

I completed my doctoral studies at the University of Oxford in July 2007. During 2007-08, I was awarded a Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Postdoctoral Fellowship based at the University of Toronto, and was also a Plumer Visiting Fellow at St. Anne’s College (Oxford). I joined Cardiff University in Autumn 2008.