Dr Nicola Parsons

BA Hons (ANU), PhD (Melb.)
Senior Lecturer

A20 - John Woolley Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 9036 7229

Biographical details

My research is focused on eighteenth-century literature and cultural history. I’m especially interested in reading practices and forms of literary sociability. My first book, Reading Gossip in Early Eighteenth-Century England (Palgrave, 2009), concentrates on texts by Delariver Manley, Daniel Defoe, Richard Steele, Edmund Curll and Jane Barker and shows how gossip modelled an interpretative strategy that shaped readers' participation in both literary culture and in public debates. My two current research projects extend these interests into the long eighteenth century. I have published articles on Delarivier Manley, Queen Anne’s correspondence with the Duchess of Marlborough, and Jane Barker. Before coming to Sydney, I lectured in the English Department at the University of Melbourne.

Research interests

  • Eighteenth-century literature and cultural history
  • theories and histories of reading
  • cultures of scandal and sociability
  • literary Jacobitism
  • literary history and historical fiction

Teaching and supervision

As part of my interest in tertiary level teaching I have a Graduate Certificate in Educational Studies (Higher Education) from the University of Sydney (2008).

Some of the units I currently teach are:

  • ENGL2611: Jane Austen and her Contemporaries
  • ENGL2659: The Eighteenth Century: Scandal and Sociability
  • ENGL 3654: Libertine Literature: Sex & Politics
  • ENGL IV Hons: The Eighteenth Century Novel: Theory and Practice

Current projects

Eliza Haywood and Daniel Defoe: Gender, Genre and Nation in the Eighteenth-Century Novel (ARC Discovery Grant, 2011-2013).

This ARC-funded research project focuses on the twinned careers of Eliza Haywood and Daniel Defoe in order to investigate the impact of gender and nationalism in debates surrounding the rise of the novel in eighteenth century.

Reading the (Re)Presented Past: Literature and Historical Consciousness, 1700 to the present, with Dr Kate Mitchell (ANU)

This collection of essays examines the relationship between the reader and the represented past in British fiction since the eighteenth century, focusing on the intersection of historical representation, fictional techniques, and reading practices. Our aim is to provide a clearer understanding of the reader’s role in negotiating the relationship between past and present as it is mediated by the literary text.

Awards and honours

  • Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Excellence in Teaching Award (Design and Practice), 2010

PhD and master's project opportunities

Selected grants

2012

  • Putting Periodisation to Use: Exploring the Limits of Early Modernity; Gagne J, Gal O, Gaukroger S, Griffiths H, Maddox A, McIlvenna U, Parsons N, Semler L; Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences/FASS Collaborative Research Scheme.
  • Writing the World - Transnationalism in Literary Studies; Bandhauer A, Borghesi F, Christie W, Cowan R, Dixon R, Giles P, Karalis V, Kirkpatrick P, Lu Y, Minter P, Morgan P, Parsons N, Rooney B, Suter R, Walsh A; Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences/FASS Collaborative Research Scheme.

2011

  • Eliza Haywood & Daniel Defoe: Gender, Genre and Nation in the Eighteenth-Century Novel; Parsons N; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Discovery Projects (DP).

2006

  • Minds, Bodies, Machines: a cultural and intellectual history of technologies in the 21st century; Coleman D, Finkelstein J, Hyland P, Dolan E, Barnes G; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Linkage Projects (LP).

Selected publications

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Books

  • Parsons, N. (2009). Reading Gossip in Early Eighteenth-Century England. United Kingdom: Palgrave Macmillan.

Edited Books

  • Mitchell, K., Parsons, N. (2013). Reading Historical Fiction: The Relevant and Remembered Past. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Book Chapters

  • Parsons, N. (2013). Reading and Remembering History in Daniel Defoe's 'A Journal of the Plague Year'. In Kate Mitchell, Nicola Parsons (Eds.), Reading Historical Fiction: The Revenant and Remembered Past, (pp. 119-135). Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Mitchell, K., Parsons, N. (2013). Reading the Represented Past: History and Fiction from 1700 to the Present. In Kate Mitchell, Nicola Parsons (Eds.), Reading Historical Fiction: The Revenant and Remembered Past, (pp. 1-18). Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Parsons, N. (2010). Inscribing the Carte de Tendre: mapping epistolary intimacy in Queen Anne's court. In Salzman, Paul (Eds.), Expanding the Canon of Early Modern Women's Writing, (pp. 168-180). Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
  • Parsons, N. (2004). Unlocking Court Culture: Delarivier Manley's New Atalantis. In Lisa O'Connell and Peter Cryle (Eds.), Libertine Enlightenment: Sex, Liberty and License in the Eighteenth-Century, (pp. 145-160). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Journals

  • Parsons, N. (2001). Theoretical Territories: An Orientation to Volume 12. Antithesis, 12, 8-10.

Edited Journals

  • Parsons, N. (2001). Space. Antithesis, 12.

2013

  • Parsons, N. (2013). Reading and Remembering History in Daniel Defoe's 'A Journal of the Plague Year'. In Kate Mitchell, Nicola Parsons (Eds.), Reading Historical Fiction: The Revenant and Remembered Past, (pp. 119-135). Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Mitchell, K., Parsons, N. (2013). Reading Historical Fiction: The Relevant and Remembered Past. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Mitchell, K., Parsons, N. (2013). Reading the Represented Past: History and Fiction from 1700 to the Present. In Kate Mitchell, Nicola Parsons (Eds.), Reading Historical Fiction: The Revenant and Remembered Past, (pp. 1-18). Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

2010

  • Parsons, N. (2010). Inscribing the Carte de Tendre: mapping epistolary intimacy in Queen Anne's court. In Salzman, Paul (Eds.), Expanding the Canon of Early Modern Women's Writing, (pp. 168-180). Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

2009

  • Parsons, N. (2009). Reading Gossip in Early Eighteenth-Century England. United Kingdom: Palgrave Macmillan.

2004

  • Parsons, N. (2004). Unlocking Court Culture: Delarivier Manley's New Atalantis. In Lisa O'Connell and Peter Cryle (Eds.), Libertine Enlightenment: Sex, Liberty and License in the Eighteenth-Century, (pp. 145-160). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

2001

  • Parsons, N. (2001). Space. Antithesis, 12.
  • Parsons, N. (2001). Theoretical Territories: An Orientation to Volume 12. Antithesis, 12, 8-10.

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