Peter Kitson is Professor of Romantic Literature and Culture in the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing at UEA where he teaches and researches British Romantic period writing. Hes has published widely on the period especially the global contexts of eighteenth-centuty anf nineteenth-century literature, including the impact of slavery and the slave trade, and the histories of Romantic period ubderstandings of race, colonialism, and cross cultural encounters. 

Educated at Hanson Comprehensive School, Bradford, he was formerly Associate Dean of Research (2005-2010) and Associate Dean of Postgraduate Research (2011-12) of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, at the University of Dundee. Professor Kitson succeeded to the chair formerly held by Richard Holmes at UEA. Previously he served as Head of School at Dundee (2002-2005). Professor Kitson was a fomer elected Chair (2007-2010) and elected President (2010-14) of the English Association and a former elected President (2007-2011) of the the British Association for Romantic Studies. He was also Chair of the English Association's Higher Education Committee for many years. Professor Kitson received his BA and PhD from the University of Hull. His doctoral thesis was written on the the subject of the relation between S. T Coleridge's early political and religious dissent and his poetry from c. 1790-1805'. He was the recipient of a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship (2010-2012) for his project on China and the Romantic Imagination 1760-1840. He has also received support from the British Academy and the AHRC for that research project. He was awarded a Visiting Research Fellowship at the Humanities Research Centre of the Australian National University in 2017; among his other research fellowships are a Huntington Library Fellowship (2009) and a Visiting Fellowship of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (2010).

Professor Kitson specialises in research into the literature and culture of the Romantic period (especially S. T. Coleridge), and he has published widely on the subject including monographs on Literature, Science and Exploration in the Romantic Period (Cambridge UP, 2004), Romantic Literature, Race and Colonial Encounter, 1760-1840 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), and Forging Romantic China: Sino-British Cultural Encounters, 1760-1840 (Cambridge UP, 2013). He has edited three multi-volume editions of writings about slavery and travel writing in the Romantic period for Pickering and Chatto, as well as several collections of essays, including (with Tim Fulford), Romanticism and Colonialism (Cambridge UP, 1998). His co-edited collection of essays (with Robert Markley) Writing China: Essays on the Amherst Embassy (1816) and Sino-British Cultural Relations was published in 2016. Professor Kitson is an Adviser to the scholarly journal The Wordsworth Circle (University of Chicago Press) and a member of the board of the Wordsworth-Coleridge Association (affilated to the MLA). He is one of the founder members of the international and interdisciplinary research network China and Global Modernity. He is currently completing his next monograph on Opium and the Global Romantic Imagination: Travel, Trade and Commerce 1800-1842 for which he has recently received a Research Fellowship at the Humanities Research Centre, ANU, a research grant from the British Academy for £10k (2014-2016), and a Leverhulme Research Fellowship for 2017-2018. Professor Kitson has acted as plenary conference speaker for NASSR (North American Society for the Study of Romanticism), the German Society for the Study of English Romanticism, the RSAA (Romantic Studies of Australia Association), as well as the Coleridge International Conference, among others. Professor Kitson was also the editor of the major annual evaluative bibliography The Year's Work in English Studies (Oxford UP) from 1995 to 2001.

Applications for CHASE and FASS funded PhD studentships in Professor Kitson's areas of research and teaching expertise are especially welcome at UEA. He is an experienced supervisor of doctoral students to successful completion (please see Research and Teaching interests for potential areas of supervision).


  • elected President of The English Association in May 2007
  • elected President of the British Association for Romantic Studies (BARS) in July 2007 and again in July 2009.
  • Chair of the Higher Education Committee of the English Association (until 2012),
  • Series Editor of Essays and Studies (D.S. Brewer/The English Association) (2000-2009)
  • Member of the board of the Wordsworth-Coleridge Association and Adviser to The Wordsworth Circle.
  • member of the editorial boards of the journals: Romanticism, the Keats-Shelley Journal, the John Clare Society Journal, and the Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Panel Judge for the Keats-Shelley Essay and Poetry Prize from 2002-2008.
  • member of the AHRC Peer Review College
  • member of the Advisory Panel of the English Subject Centre.
  • Honorary Fellow of the English Association (2012)
  • Honorary member of the British Association for Romantic Studies

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