Dr Matthew Mauger, BA (Warwick) MA (Queensland) PhD (London)
Lecturer in English and e-Strategy Manager
I have been based at Queen Mary since 2001, first as a PhD student researching a project on William Blake and eighteenth-century legal discourse, and more recently as a lecturer in the Department of English. I specialize in eighteenth-century literature, with a particular focus on London as a cultural and commercial centre. I’ve recently written a book with Markman Ellis and Richard Coulton on the cultural history of tea (though I admit – somewhat to my shame – that my own tea tastes are of a relatively unrefined tea-bag-in-a-mug variety). I am proud both to live and work in Tower Hamlets in the East End of London: it’s an exciting, energetic, and profoundly surprising part of the city.
My teaching has two main focuses: an intellectual curiosity about the life and literature of the eighteenth-century city of London (the main focus of my research activity), and – separately – an interest in the undergraduate development of core disciplinary skills. So whilst I regularly number among the lecturers on the popular second year eighteenth-century module Representing London, and have convened Reading William Blake and The Revolution Controversy 1789-1796, I also co-convene the compulsory final-year module English Research Dissertation (including running a series of research-training workshops), and a related writing support programme. Discovering ways to make this skills-based learning as enjoyable for my students as their more regular modules remains a core challenge of my teaching life.
In the 2015-16 academic year, I am teaching on:
- Intellectual, literary, and commercial life of the city of London in the eighteenth-century
- Poetry of the late eighteenth- and early nineteenth centuries
- Enlightenment legal discourse
- Skills-based learning in the discipline of English Studies
Recent and On-Going Research:
My research focuses on the literary and intellectual life of London in the eighteenth century, with a particular emphasis on how Enlightenment legal debate forms an important context for artistic production in the period. My doctoral thesis argued that the life of the law was a key context for understanding William Blake’s difficult prophetic works. I have published articles on Blake’s legislative architecture, the literature of penal transportation, and on the City of London as a space for commerce, mercantile life, and civic government. With Markman Ellis and Richard Coulton I have recently published a study on the cultural history of tea across the long-eighteenth century (The Empire of Tea: How an Asian Leaf Conquered Britain), and maintain a blog related to our ongoing work on this project. I was the editor of a volume entitled Tea, Commerce and the East India Company in the collection Tea and the Tea-Table in Eighteenth-Century England (2010). When I’m not drinking or thinking about tea, I am also writing (with Chris Reid and Richard Coulton) a collaborative study exploring the theft of books in eighteenth-century London, to be published by Palgrave in 2016.
Stealing Books in Eighteenth Century London, collaborative project with Chris Reid and Richard Coulton (Palgrave Macmillan, under contract)
The Empire of Tea: The Asian Leaf that Conquered the World, with Markman Ellis and Richard Coulton (Reaktion, 2015)
'"Observe how parts with parts unite / In one harmonious rule of right": William Blackstone's Verses on the Laws of England', Law and Humanities (2012)
‘"A Most Exquisite Dilemma": Conscience, Dissent, and the Limits of Civic Authority in London's Sheriffs Case’, London Journal (2012)
ed., Tea and the Tea-Table in Eighteenth-Century England, Vol. 3: Tea, Commerce and the East India Company (Pickering & Chatto, 2010)
‘The Discourses of Law and Architecture in Blake’s The Four Zoas’, Romanticism, 12 (2006)
‘Criminal History Transported: An Enquiry into the Literary Origins of the Australian Convict Narratives’, Australian Studies, 16 (2001)
I would welcome enquiries from potential doctoral students interested in any of the areas of my research.