Bachelor of Arts. 1992. University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.
Bachelor of Arts with Honours in English. 1993. University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.
Master of Arts by Research (English). 1997. University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.
PhD (English). 2004. Keele University, Staffordshire.
Prior to taking up my post as Professor of Gothic Literature at Manchester Metropolitan in September 2016, I was lecturer, then senior lecturer, in Gothic and Romantic Literature at the University of Stirling, Scotland (2003–2016).
Most of my undergraduate teaching is concentrated in the fields of eighteenth-century, Romantic and Victorian literature, and, most recently, I have led seminars and delivered lectures on the second-year unit, 'Enlightenment and Romanticism'.
At Masters level, I convene and teach on 'The Rise of the Gothic', an intensive course on Gothic writing from Shakespeare through to the late nineteenth century.
I have supervised numerous PhD students on a wide variety of Gothic and Gothic-related topics, including the pre-history, life and afterlife of Gaston Le Roux’s The Phantom of the Opera; appropriations of Shakespeare in eighteenth-century Gothic writing (AHRC-funded); Ghostly Modernisms; Metatextuality in Modern and Contemporary Gothic; Gothic, Trauma and Representations of Chernobyl; South African Gothic; the Rise of the Sentient Zombie; Post-9/11 American fiction, Trauma and the Gothic; English and French Gothic of the late eighteenth century; and theology and eighteenth-century Gothic writing.
At present, I am supervising Doctoral projects Gothic Tourism; Gothic and the Digital Humanities; a cultural history of the animated skeleton, 1740--1900; and Anne Grant and Scottish Romantic culture.
I have examined MRes dissertations at Edge Hill University and Royal Holloway, London, and PhD theses at the Universities of Sheffield, Lancaster, York, Université de Lorraine (Nancy) and the University of Western Australia. I am currently external examiner for the undergraduate programme in English and the eighteenth-century MA pathway at the University of Southampton.
My research interests lie in all aspects of Gothic writing (romance; drama; chapbooks; poetry) of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Within this broad field, I have worked on a range of topics, including the Gothic in eighteenth-century children's literature; Gothic appropriations of Shakespeare; Ann Radcliffe; Horace Walpole; William Beckford; Gothic topography; and the relationship between Gothic and Romantic aesthetics. I have recently completed two books on the relationship between architecture and literature in the period 1700–1850, the first a collaborative and interdisciplinary collection of essays entitled Writing Britain's Ruins (co-edited with Michael Carter and Peter Lindfield; British Library, 2017) and the second, a scholarly monograph entitled Gothic Antiquity: History, Romance and the Architectural Imagination, 1760–1840 (Oxford University Press, 2019). These are two of the many academic outputs of my AHRC Leadership Fellowship, Writing Britain's Ruins, 1700–1850: The Architectural Imagination (2015–2017). I also have strong research interests in critical theory, particularly in the work of Roland Barthes, Jacques Derrida, Jacques Lacan, Michel Foucault and Emmanuel Levinas; within this more theoretical mode, I am currently working on the ethics of Gothic fiction, from the eighteenth century to the present. With Angela Wright (University of Sheffield), I have recently edited volumes 1 and 2 of The Cambridge History of the Gothic, a major, three-volume collection of essays that is to be published by Cambridge University Press in October 2020. I currently have in press articles and chapters on such topics as ethics, hospitality and the Gothic; Horace Walpole's Gothic tragedy The Mysterious Mother; and Horace Walpole and Strawberry Hill.
Currently, my two major academic projects are a monograph on Matthew Gregory Lewis, which is contracted to the University of Wales Press and due to be delivered in September 2022, and the co-editing, with Elizabeth Bobbit, of Ann Radcliffe's posthumous works for The Cambridge Edition of the Complete Works of Ann Radcliffe (under the general editorship of Angela Wright and Michael Gamer).
With Prof. Angela Wright (University of Sheffield) and Prof. Catherine Spooner (Lancaster University), I have recently completed The Cambridge History of the Gothic (forthcoming from Cambridge University Press in 2020), an ambitious three-volume collection of essays that covers all aspects of Gothic cultural production, from antiquity to the present day. I also enjoy long-standing research collaborations with Michael Carter, Senior Properties Historian at English Heritage, and with Yale University's Lewis Walpole Library in Farmington, Connecticut.
D. Townshend (2019). Gothic Antiquity History, Romance, and the Architectural Imagination, 1760-1840. Oxford University Press.
M. Carter, D. Townshend (2017). Writing Britain's Ruins.
A. Wright (2015). Romantic Gothic An Edinburgh Companion.
D. Townshend, BL. Staff (2014). Terror and Wonder The Gothic Imagination.
D. Townshend, A. Wright (2014). Ann Radcliffe, Romanticism and the Gothic. Cambridge University Press.
G. Byron, D. Townshend (2013). The Gothic World. Routledge.
(2013). Macbeth: A Critical Reader. A&C Black.
J. Drakakis, D. Townshend (2008). Gothic Shakespeares. Routledge.
D. Townshend (2007). The Orders of Gothic Foucault, Lacan, and the Subject of Gothic Writing, 1764-1820. Ams PressInc.
F. Botting, D. Townshend (2004). Gothic critical concepts in literary and cultural studies.
D. Townshend (2020). 'The Literary Gothic Before _The Castle of Otranto_. In: The Cambridge History of the Gothic, Volume I.. Cambridge University Press,
D. Townshend (2019). Gothic and the Question of Ethics: Otherness, Alterity, Violence. In: The Gothic and Theory: An Edinburgh Companion. Edinburgh University Press,
PN. Lindfield, D. Townshend (2018). Reading Vathek and Fonthill Abbey: William Beckford’s architectural imagination. C. Dakers. In: Fonthill Recovered: A Cultural History. UCL Press, pp.284-301.
• December 2007: Invited Staff Seminar, School of Cultural Studies, Leeds Metropolitan University.
• February 2008: Invited Staff Seminar, Institute for Theology, Imagination and the Arts, University of St Andrews.
• March 2008 (funded): Invited Plenary Lecture, Gothic Literature Congress, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico City.
• February 2009: Invited Staff Seminar, Department of English and Creative Writing, Lancaster University.
• December 2009: Invited Plenary Lecture, ‘Renaissance Gothic’ Conference, University of Cologne.
• April 2010 (funded): Invited Plenary Lecture, Conference on ‘Language, Literature, Change’, Faculty of Philosophy, University Nis, Serbia.
• May 2011 (funded): Invited participant on a panel entitled ‘Gothic, History and Romance’ at the ‘Gothic: Exploring Critical Issues’ conference, Warsaw, Poland.
• December 2012 (funded): Invited paper in Departmental Seminar Series in the Department of English, Queen’s University, Belfast.
• March 2013 (funded): Invited paper at Glasgow University’s ‘Romanticism’ seminar.
• June 2013: Invited paper on the ethics of hospitality in the Gothic at the International Association of Philosophy and Literature conference, University of Singapore.
• August 2013: Invited paper on a panel on ‘The Poetry of Netley Abbey’ at British Association of Romantic Studies conference in Southampton.
• Plenary address (funded) at an inaugural Gothic conference in Costa Rica, ‘Gothic Latitudes’, December 2013.
• July 2014: Invited paper on a panel on Ann Radcliffe at the North American Society for the Study of Romanticism (NASSR), Washington DC.
• October 2014 (funded): Invited paper at Gothic Spaces / Gothic Places conference, Manchester Metropolitan University.
• November 2014: Invited paper in Departmental Seminar Series, Edinburgh University.
• April 2015 (funded): Invited paper in Departmental Seminar Series, University of Lincoln.
• June 2014 (funded): Invited Masterclass on Jacques Derrida, Hospitality and the Gothic at the Justus-Liebig University, Giessen, Germany.
• August 2015 (funded): Invited Plenary Address, International Gothic Association Conference, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada.
• February 2016: Invited paper at University of Cardiff, Wales.
• March 2016 (funded): Invited paper at University of Sunderland, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
• Invited Public Lecture at the National Library of Scotland on ‘Unquiet Dreams: Ghost Stories at the Villa Diodati’, June 2016.
• Invited Public Lecture at the Bath Architectural Museum and William Beckford Society (funded): Annual William Beckford Birthday Lecture, October 2016.
• Invited Plenary Lecture (funded): ‘Gothic Spaces’, at the University of Sheffield Gothic Study Day, May 2017.
• Invited Plenary Address (funded): Horace Walpole and His Legacies conference, Durham University, May 2017:
• Invited Paper: American Comparative Literature Association conference, University of Utrecht, Netherlands, July 2017
• Invited Paper: British Association of Romantic Studies conference, University of York, July 2017
• Invited Public Lecture (funded): Netley Literary Festival, October 2017: Literature, Art and Tourism at Netley Abbey, 1700–1850.
• Invited Public Lecture (funded): Horace Walpole: The Tercentenary Lectures, University of Durham, November 2017
• Invited Paper: John Ruskin Library and Research Centre, Lancaster University, December 2017.
• Invited Paper (funded): Department of English, University of St Andrews, Research Seminar, March 2018
• Invited Paper: British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies conference, University of Oxford, January 2018
• Invited Paper (funded): Horace Walpole’s The Mysterious Mother: A Mini-Conference Yale Centre for British Art and the Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University, May 2018.
• Invited Paper (funded): Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein: Circuits and Circulations, 1818–2018, University of Bologna, Italy, September 2018
• Invited Public Lecture (funded): ‘Domestic Picturesque Tourism’, Department for Continuing Education, Kellogg College, University of Oxford, June 2019
• Invited paper: on the ‘Fellows of the Lewis Walpole Library’ panel at the International Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Conference, University of Edinburgh, July 2019.
• Co-organiser, with Bethan Benwell and Scott Hames, of a one-day English Subject Centre workshop on the transition from School to University within the Scottish context, University of Stirling ( September 2006).
• Co-organiser, with Glennis Byron, of a one-day postgraduate symposium on the Global Gothic, University of Stirling (December 2007).
• Co-organiser, with Adrian Hunter, of ‘Poetry and Translation’, a major three-day international conference, University of Stirling (July 2008).
• Co-organiser, with Glennis Byron, of a one-day postgraduate symposium on the Global Gothic, University of Stirling (December 2008)
• Organiser of a one-day symposium on Scottish Gothic, University of Stirling, October 2009.
• Organiser of a one-day symposium on Shakespeare in honour of John Drakakis at University of Stirling, June 2011.
• Organiser of a one-day symposium for postgraduates and early career researchers on the theme of ‘Unhealable Wounds: Gothic and the Question of Trauma’ at the University of Stirling on 24 November 2012.
• Organiser, with Katie Halsey and Angus Vine, of the British Shakespeare Association conference, ‘Shakespeare: Text, Power and Authority’ at the University of Stirling, July 2014.
• Co-organiser, with Angela Wright of Sheffield University, a major international conference, ‘Ann Radcliffe at 250: Gothic and Romantic Engagements’, which was held in July 2014 at the University of Sheffield. This conference not only commemorated the 250th anniversary of the writer’s birth, but also the launch of our edited collection, Ann Radcliffe, Romanticism and the Gothic, which was published by Cambridge University Press in 2014.
• Co-organiser of ‘Reading Architecture Across the Arts and Humanities’, a major international conference at the University of Stirling on 5‒6 December 2015 as part of my AHRC grant.
• Co-organiser of the 2018 International Gothic Association Conference in the Centre for Gothic Studies at MMU on 31 July–3 August 2018. IGA 2018. The academic event can concurrently with our annual Gothic Manchester Festival, an outward-facing programme of public engagement that I also helped to programme and coordinate.
• With Professor Jon Stobart (History, MMU) and Peter Lindfield, I organised a 2-day conference entitled ‘Reading the Country House’, held at MMU in November 2018. This event was intended to mark the launch of MANCHN, our interdisciplinary research grouping on all aspects of the country house.
• In collaboration with English postgraduate students, I co-organised a two-day postgraduate and early-career researcher conference at MMU on the theme of ‘Absent Presences’ (June 2019).
• A member of the Advisory Board for Glennis Byron’s AHRC Network Grant for Global Gothic (2008-2009).
• Regular peer-reviewer of both proposals and full manuscripts for ‘Gothic Texts and Writers’ Series, edited by Andrew Smith and Benjamin Fisher, and published by the University of Wales Press.
• Reader of both proposals and full manuscripts for Manchester University Press and Routledge (UK and USA).
• Reader of both proposals and full manuscripts for Palgrave Macmillan.
• Reader of both proposals and full manuscripts for Yale University Press.
• Regular Peer-Reviewer for Journal of Eighteenth-Century Studies; Mosaic; Literature Compass; European Romantic Review; Shakespeare; Eighteenth-century Fiction; Journal of Eighteenth-Century studies; Gothic Studies; Studies in Gothic Fiction.
• Invited peer reviewer of a major grant application on the Gothic submitted to the Israeli Institute of Science (January 2015; March 2019)
• Co-curator, with Peter Lindfield, of the Gothic-architectural elements in the Darkness and Light: Exploring the Gothic exhibition at the John Rylands Library, Manchester (July 2015–January 2016).
• Invited Academic Advisor on Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination at the British Library, the largest public exhibition, to date, on all aspects of the Gothic (October 2014‒January 2015)
• Appointed Advisor to the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland in February 2019 (ongoing): Assessor of Research Grants, PhD Scholarships; Post-Doctoral Fellowships
• Elected Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London (February 2019)
• £40 000 from Thesia Stiftung Trust for postdoctoral research (September 2003-September 2005)
• 2007: £1000 awarded by the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland for further research on my monograph, The Orders of Gothic.
• 2008: £1800 awarded by British Academy Conference Support Grant towards organisation of the “Poetry and Translation” conference held at Stirling University in July 2008.
• I was an active member of the Stirling-based AHRC-funded Global Gothic Network (PI: Prof Glennis Byron) from January 2008-September 2009.
• 2009: £1180 awarded by the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland towards a research project on T. J. Horsley Curties entitled ‘Unsexing the Gothic,’ subsequently published as ‘Unsexing Macbeth, 1606‒1800’.
• 2013: £1000 from the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland towards the publication costs of The Gothic World.
• February 2015: School of Arts and Humanities Initiatives Fund, University of Stirling: £1000 awarded for the funding of an Orientation Session for the members of my AHRC-funded Network (see below).
• June 2015—December 2016: AHRC Leadership Fellowship (P.I) for the project ‘Writing Britain’s Ruins: The Architectural Imagination, 1700-1850’. Grant Ref: AH/M00600X/1. Amount Awarded (80 % of FEC): £181 863. This research grant includes the following costings:
1) 100 % FTE buyout for myself, for 12 months (1June 2015—31 May 2016), followed by a 50% FTE buyout for 6 months (1 June 2016—30 November 2016). In addition to undertaking a range of collaborative research and impact-related events, this period of research will facilitate the completion of my current monograph project, Gothic Antiquity: History, Romance and the Architectural Imagination, 1760‒1840.
2) The appointment of a named postdoctoral research assistant, Dr Peter Lindfield, at 100 % FTE for 12 months (1 September 2015—31 August 2016)
3) The formation of a research network, ‘Writing Britain’s Ruins’, composed of 12 UK-based academics and members of English Heritage, and the running of 2 funded symposia (November 2015 and April 2016) for network members
4) The hosting of a major interdisciplinary conference, ‘Reading Architecture Across the Arts and Humanities’ on 5‒6 December 2015.
5) The production of 6 videocasts for a six-week ‘MOOC’ entitled ‘The Gothic Revival, 1700--1850: Interdisciplinary Perspectives’ to be run from Stirling from 29 February 2016.
6) The delivery of 6 public lectures on the theme of ‘Writing Britain’s Ruins, 1700-1850’ at Strawberry Hill House, Twickenham, London. Papers to be presented by members of research network in May and June 2016, and reworked as chapters in Writing Britain’s Ruins, 1700-1850, under contract to the British Library.
7) The running of a funded postgraduate conference on Gothic Architecture / Gothic Textuality.
• Lewis Walpole Library Fellowship, Yale University: 1 November–1 December 2016, including all travel, accommodation and subsistence grant.
• Yale Centre for British Art and Lewis Walpole Library Travel Grant for Horace Walpole’s The Mysterious Mother: A Mini-Conference, Yale University, May 2018.