My fields of interest include the novel, in its many sub-genres and variations, and its relationship with the philosophical thought of the Enlightenment. Persisting interest in Jane Austen’s work has helped me familiarize myself with the women’s writing of the long 18th and 19th century as well as theories of criticism. In my research, I have often found myself pondering the legacy of the Scottish Enlightenment as well as Rousseau’s influence on British writers. Apart from their contemporaneous impact, I take particular interest in modifications that these branches of Enlightenment philosophy underwent in the works of what we retrospectively call the Romantic era and how they continue to be discussed, reconfigured and applied in contemporary theories of human society.
I am currently working on my second monograph, which is concerned with cosmopolitan attitudes in literary works of the British Enlightenment. Most scholars of cosmopolitan studies agree that the idea of something being shared by individuals is the premise of cosmopolitan thinking, feeling and action. The questions I pursue are these: what must be shared, or what is the lowest common denominator, between people, in order to have a cosmopolitan moment; and what can the impact of this moment signify? In asking these questions, the project foregrounds the provisionalness of the cosmopolitan ethos and its multifarious lives, including angles of blindness, rather than fixed, transparent cosmopolitan identity. The book assembles novels, travel writing and letter-narratives between the 1600s and the 1800s and bears – for now – the title “Cosmopolitan Moments in the Long Eighteenth Century.”