Dr Michael J. Sullivan

Junior Research Fellow


BA English (Dunelm), MPhil (Cantab), PhD (Cantab)

Academic Background

Michael J. Sullivan is a Junior Research Fellow at Christ Church, Oxford, and former Visiting Fellow in the Study of Manuscripts at the Houghton Library, Harvard. Before arriving at Oxford, he was an AHRC-funded PhD candidate at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he also studied for an MPhil in Eighteenth-Century and Romantic Studies. For his research on Tennyson’s literary notebooks, he was awarded Cambridge’s 2016 Gordon Duff Prize in the Arts of Manuscripts. Prior to postgraduate study, Michael graduated with a BA in English from the University of Durham, where he was a Vice-Chancellor’s Scholar and winner of the T. W. Craik, Brooks Johnson and J. R. Watson prizes.

Undergraduate Teaching

Nineteenth and eighteenth-century poetry and prose – particularly Tennyson, Shelley, Byron, Keats, Arnold, Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and Christina and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. In Cambridge, he supervised at Trinity, St John's, Selwyn, Magdalene, Pembroke, and Emmanuel. He is interested in supervising Master's dissertations in any of his areas of research.

Research Interests

Michael’s research conducts the first book-length study of Tennyson’s manuscript revisions, and their role in the development of his style. He holds additional research interests in the development of genre in the nineteenth century, and in Byron, Shelley, Wordsworth, and Keats, on whom he has published and lectured.

Publications include:

Journal Articles

1. ‘Alfred Tennyson and Frederick Goddard Tuckerman: An Omitted Page of Correspondence’, Notes & Queries, 64/1 (2017), 131-133

2. ‘Tennyson and The Golden Treasury’, Essays in Criticism, 66/4 (2016), 431-443

3. ‘Tennyson and The Golden Treasury: A Rediscovered Revision Copy’, Literary Imagination, 18/3 (2016), 230-238

4. ‘“The Controlless Core of Human Hearts”: Writing the Self in Byron’s Don Juan’, The Byron Journal, 42/2 (2014), 123-132

Reviews and Other Publications

5. ‘Emily Dickinson’s Poems: As She Preserved Them. Edited by Cristanne Miller’, Essays in Criticism (2018), forthcoming

6. ‘The Victorian Period (1830-1900)’, The Year’s Work in English Studies, 94/4 (2018), forthcoming

7. ‘The Victorian Period (1830-1900)’, The Year’s Work in English Studies, 94/3 (2017), 703-915, co-authored

8. ‘The Persistence of Beauty’, The Cambridge Quarterly, 45/4 (2016), 385-390

9. ‘Deborah Lutz, Relics of Death in Victorian Literature and Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015)’, Tennyson Research Bulletin, 10/5 (2016), 483-484

10. ‘Tennyson at Trinity’, The Fountain, 19 (2014), 12-13

Selected Conference & Seminar Papers

‘Tennyson and the Victorian Literary Canon’, Tennyson Society Annual Conference, Girton College, Cambridge (August 2016 – invited, one-hour lecture)

‘Tennyson’s Early Voice: Romantic Prophecy and the Lyrical Mode’, British Association for Romantic Studies: Romantic Voices Conference, University of Oxford (June 2016)

‘Elegy in Exile: Byron and the Poetic Experiments of 1816’, The Summer of 1816: A Bicentenary Conference, University of Sheffield (June 2016)

‘Tennyson and The Golden Treasury: A Rediscovered Proof Copy’, Conference in Editorial Studies, Boston Editorial Institute (April 2016)

‘Tennyson and the Nineteenth-Century Lyric Anthology: Constructing a Victorian Canon’, British Association for Victorian Studies Annual Conference, Leeds Trinity University (August 2015)

‘“Notes of busy life in distant worlds”: Tennyson and the Voice of Antiquity’, Victorian Modernities Conference, University of Kent (June 2015)

‘Byronic Illusion and the Elegiac Mode’, Long-Eighteenth-Century Research in Progress Seminar, University of Oxford (November 2014)

‘“The Controlless Core of Human Hearts”: Writing the Self in Byron’s Don Juan’, Adam’s Dream: Imaginative Incarnations in the Long Eighteenth Century, University of Cambridge (April 2013)


Music (piano and cello), art, and travel