Robert Hampson

Robert Hampson, FEA, FRSA


  • TW20 0EX

Personal profile


Research Associate, Centre Vortex, Paris III.

Affiliate of the Centre for Creative Writing, University of Essex.

Advisory Board, International Ford Madox Ford Studies Series, Rodopi.

Co-Editor, The Conradian

Editorial Board, Conradiana.

Advisory Board, Wild Court.

Advisory Board, Network for New York School Studies.

Editorial Board, Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry.

Editorial Board, Cambridge Edition of the Works of Joseph Conrad.

Scientific Board, Prace Literaturoznawcze  (Uniwersytet Warminsko-Mazurskiego).

Advisory Board, creative/critical (University of East Anglia)



Professor Robert Hampson FEA, FRSA was Professor of Modern Literature at Royal Holloway, University of London, from 2000 to 2016. He was educated at King's College, London, and the University of Toronto.He gained his BA and PhD from King's College, London, and his MA from the University of Toronto (which he attended as the result of the award of a Commonwealth Scholarship). He was Director of the MA in Creative Writing (2016-17) and Distinguished Teaching and Research Fellow (2016-19). He is currently a Research Fellow at the University of London Institute of English Studies, a Visiting Professor at the University of Northumbria and Professor Emeritus at Royal Holloway. 

Professor Hampson has an international reputation as a Conrad scholar and critic. His books on Conrad include Joseph Conrad: Betrayal and Identity (Macmillan, 1992), Cross-Cultural Encounters in Joseph Conrad's Malay Fiction (Palgrave, 2000) and Conrad's Secrets (Palgrave, 2013). Cross-Cultural Encounters was described in The Year's Work in English Studies (2002) as 'the outstanding contribution to Conrad scholarship this year', while Conrad's Secrets was described, in The Year's Work in English Studies (2013), as 'arguably the most striking and inventive contribution to Conrad scholarship in 2012' and, by the Times Literary Supplement, as 'an indispensable resource for specialists and enthusiasts alike'. He has also edited various works by Conrad ('Heart of Darkness', Lord Jim and Victory) and was the editor of The Conradian (1989-96). He has recently co-edited Conrad and Language (Edinburgh, 2016) with Katherine Baxter, which was given third prize in the Adam Gillon Awards for 2017 by the Joseph Conrad Society of America; he has also co-edited two collections of essays on Ford Madox Ford - Ford Madox Ford: A Re Assessment (Rodopi, 2002) and Ford Madox Ford and Modernity (Rodopi, 2003) - and works by Kipling and Rider Haggard. In January 2015, he was elected Chair of the Joseph Conrad Society (UK). Conrad's Secrets was the recipient of the first prize in the Adam Gillon Awards from the Joseph Conrad Society of America (2015) for best book on Conrad. In 2017 the Joseph Conrad Society of America awarded him the Ian P. Watt Prize for Excellence in Conrad Scholarship for his lifetime's work on Conrad.

His critical biography, Joseph Conrad, was published as part of Reaktion Books' Critical Lives series in 2020, and Bloomsbury has just published The European Reception of Joseph Conrad, which he co-edited with Veronique Pauly.

In addition to his work on Conrad, he has had a long-term involvement with contempory innovative poetry as editor, critic and practitioner. He co-edited the magazine Alembic during the 1970s, and he and Peter Barry co-edited the pioneering collection of essays The New British poetries: The scope of the posible (Manchester University press, 1993). He co-edited Frank O'Hara Now (Liverpool University Press, 2010) with Will Montgomery; Clasp: late modernist poetry in London in the 1970s (Shearsman, 2016) with Ken Edwards; and The Allen Fisher Companion (Shearsman, 2020) with cris cheek. His own most recent poetry publications include Assembled Fugitives: Selected Poems 1973-1998 (Stride, 2000), Seaport (Shearsman, 2008), an explanation of colours (Veer, 2010), and sonnets 4 sophie (pushtika, 2015). Reworked Disasters (Knivesforksand spoons, 2013) was long-listed for the Forward Prize. He collaborated (with Robert Sheppard) on Liverpool (hugs &) kisses (2015) and the translations of the poetry of Mirele Nemoianu for Twitters for a Lark: Poetry of the European Union of Imaginary Authors (Shearsman: 2017). His Covodes 1-19 was published by Artery Editions in 2021.


Since 1980, he has successfully supervised over fifty PhD theses:

1. Sandra Penney: First-person narration in the works of Conrad and later novelists (1980-84). Funded by a Northcliff Scholarship. Dr Penney subsequently took up a teaching post at the University of Newfoundland.

2. David Miller on W. H. Hudson (1981-86). The thesis was subsequently published as W.H. Hudson and the Elusive Paradise (Macmillan, 1990). Dr Miller became a researcher on an AHRB-funded project at Nottingham Trent University and subsequently joined the academic staff there.

3. Susan Tiley: 'Joseph Conrad: Language and Narrative' (1983-89). Dr Tiley became a consultant in the computing industry.

4. Nik Panagopoulos on Conrad and Schopenhauer (1988-93). The thesis was later published as The Fiction of Joseph Conrad: The influence of Schopenhauer and Nietszche (Peter Lang, 1998). Dr Panagopoulos took up a teaching post in Greece at a private university.

5. Daniel Lea on J.G. Farrell (1992-96). Dr Lea became a lecturer at John Moore's University, Liverpool, and subsequently at Oxford Brookes.

6. Anna-Marie Allen on Henry James (1992-97). Dr Allen became a financial consultant.

7. Siv Janssen on the representation of mothering in Victorian fiction (part-time 1984-98). Dr Janssen became a lecturer at Greenwich University and now teaches in New Zealand.

8. Teng Hong-Shu: 'Conrad and Conspiracy' (1995-99). dr Teng became an Associate Professor at Feng Chia University, Taiwan.

9. Patricia Scanlan on English surrealism (part-time 1989-99). Dr Scanlan became a Visiting Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of North London and now runs Artery Editions.

10. Heloise Coffey: 'An Examination of the relationship between female emancipation and imperialism in the writings of Lady Florence Dixie' (part-time 1995-2001). Funded by the British Academy.

11. Susan Barras on games and gaming in late-nineteenth-century colonial fiction (1998-2001). Funded by the AHRB. Dr Barras became a sixth-form teacher.

12. Hilda Bronstein on Mina Loy (1998-2002). Funded by the British Academy. Dr Bronstein became a Lecturer in Creative Writing.

13. Redell Olsen on contemporary women's poetry (1998-2002), Funded by the British Academy. Dr Olsen became a Lecturer in English Literature at Royal Holloway.

14. Olivia Jennings on Janet Frame (1997-2002). Funded by the British Academy.

15, Hwang Pao-i on national identity and contemporary fiction (1999-2003). Dr Hwang became Associate Professsor at Taiwan National University.

16. Yael Levin : 'Joseph Conrad and the Otherwise Present' (2000-03).The thesis was published as Tracing the Aesthetic Principle in Conrad's Novels (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008). Dr Levin became Lecturer in English at Tromso University. She now teaches at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

17. Tiffany MacEnroe on Mangan, Yeats and Joyce (2006). Dr MacEnroe went on to teach at Brunel University.

18. Georgina Colby on Kathy Acker and Brett Easton Ellis (2007). Part of the thesis was published as Brett Easton Ellis: Underwriting the Contemporary (Palgrave, 2010). Dr Colby became a Lecturer in American Literature at Westminster University.

19. Maria Ollivere on D.H. Lawrence and Wyndham Lewis (2011).

20. Elizabeth-Jane Burnett, The Poethic Economy (2011). Dr Burnett is now Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Newman University, and the thesis was the basis for her recent monograph.

21. John Wallen on Richard Burton and Orientalism (2011). This was published as Richard Burton and Orientalism.

22. Andrew Purssell on Joseph Conrad and Graham Greene (2011).

23. Sarah Perry (2012). This was a practice-based PhD jointly supervised with Andrew Motion. The novel was published in 2014.

24.William Searle (2013). This was a practice-based PhD jointly supervised with Andrew Motion. It included a critical component on Wordsworth, Ted Hughes, R.S. Thomas and ecology.

25. Jan Kosecki on J. M. Coetzee (2013). 

26.Vali Gholami on Conrad and narratology (2013). Dr Gholami is now lecturing in Iran.

27. James Sumner (co-supervised with Douglas Cowie) (2013). A novel, The Excursionist, and a critical component on travel writing and satire.

28. Patricia Pye, Sound and modernity in Conrad's London Fiction (2013). This provided the basis for her recent monograph from Palgrave, Sound and Modernity in the Literature of London, 1880-1918.

29. Andrew Glazzard, Character Types from Popular Fiction in Conrad's Urban Fiction (2013). This was published by Palgrave as Conrad's Popular Fictions (2017).

30. Helen Taylor, The Liverpool Scene (2013).

31 Anna Whitwham (co-supervised with Andrew Motion). A practice-based PhD which produced the novel, Boxer Handsome (2013). 

32. Hyun Sook Oh, 'A Deleuzian reading of Hanif Kureshi and J.M. Coetzee' (2014).

33. Philip Rowland (with Martin Dodsworth), Laura Riding (2014).

34. Balazs Csizmadia, 'Conrad and Narratology' (2014).

35. Paul McLoughlin, 'The Poetry of Brian Jones' (2015).

36. Robert Selby (co-supervised with Andrew Motion). A practice-based PhD involving a volume of poetry and a critical thesis on Mick Imlah (2015).

37. Dominic McLoughlin (co-supervised with Jo Shapcott). A practice-based PhD involving a volume of poetry and a critical thesis on 'Reading as a Writer' (2015).

38. Liou Wei-Ting,The Colonial Palimpsest in Taiwanese Literature (2015). Dr Liou is adjunct assistant professor at Tamkang University.

39. Declan Ryan (co-supervised with Jo Shapcott). A practice-based PhD involving a volume of poems and a critical thesis on Ian Hamilton (2015).

40. Adam O'Riordan (co-supervised with Andrew Motion). A practice-based PhD involving an historical novel and a critical thesis on some recent historical novels by William Boyd, Alan Hollinghurst and others (2016). Dr O'Riordan is Lecturer in Creative writing at Manchester Metropolitan University. 

41. Penny Rudge (co-supervised with Andrew Motion). A practice-based PhD involving a novel and a critical thesis on the representation of deafness and blindness in literature.

42. Kate Potts (co-supervised with jo Shapcott). A practice-based PhD on poetic radio drama (2016).

43. Yusuke Takahata, Conrad and narrative. Dr Takahata is now associate professor at Saitama University, Tokyo.

44. Nisha Ramayya (co-supervised with Redell Olsen). A practice-based PhD (2016).

44. Ben Felderhof. the jungle in late-nineteenth-century fiction (2017). 

45. Karen McCarthy Woolf (co-supervised with Jo Shapcott), At the Centre of the Edge: Contemporary Ecological Poetry and the Scared Hybrid. This is a p[ractice-based PhD, which included a collection of poems, 'Seasonal Disturbances'.

46 Aimee Le, 'The National Question' in American Literature, 1913 to the present. This is a practice-based PhD, where the critical component provides the context for a creative exoploration of the American Vietnamese experience.  

47. Alison Gibb. 'Visual Arts Practice as a Basis for Experimental Poetic Practice'  (2018).

48. Kasia Nowak, Faulkner's Polyphonic Narrative' (2018).

49. Michael James. Trade Unions in Recent and Contemporary Poetry (2018).

50. Ahmed Honeini. Death in William Faulker's Fiction (2018). 

51. Mary Jean Chan (with Jo Shapcott), a practice-based Ph.D. (2019).

52. Gizem Okulu. 'Cultural Narratives and Aletrnative Topologies in the Works of Etel Adnan, Ingeborg Bachmann, and Sevini Burak' (2020).

53. Charles Rangeley-Wilson (with Douglas Cowie), 'The Unknowable Past: The Emigrants and W. G. Sebald's Documentary Fiction' (2021).


Professor Hampson served on the RAE panel for 2008 and the REF panel for 2014. He has also served on the Rumanian and Hong Kong RAE panels. He was a member of the QAA Benchmarking Group for Creative Writing (2015) and is currently a member of the Practice Research Advisory Group, and the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission Advisory Committee.. 









Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


  • Conrad; Ford; Modernism
  • Contemporary Poetry
  • Contemporary Fiction

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