Research at Leeds Beckett
Dr Julia Banister
About Dr Julia Banister
Julia Banister researches and teaches the literature and culture of the long eighteenth century. Her work focuses on masculinity and the body.
Julia has a PhD in English Literature from the University of Southampton. Prior to joining Leeds Beckett University, she held a teaching fellowship in eighteenth and nineteenth-century literature at the University of Sussex. She has also taught at the universities of Southampton, Portsmouth and Chichester.
Her monograph, "Masculinity, Militarism and Eighteenth-Century Culture: 1689-1815" (Cambridge University Press, 2018), explores the cultural function of the military man, with a particular emphasis on the figure of the hero, including the gothic knight and the modern military celebrity. Julia argues that competing versions of the military man served as vehicles for conceptualizations of the ‘nature’ of masculinity. This is an interdisciplinary study; it draws on publications related to a series of high-profile naval courts martial of senior admirals, and on works by James Boswell, David Hume, Horace Walpole, Henry Mackenzie, Jane Austen and others. These texts are read in light of major cultural preoccupations in the eighteenth century, principally politeness and sensibility.
Julia has broader research interests in gender and culture in the long eighteenth century. She has co-organized conferences on celebrity and women’s writing and her publications include a co-edited volume for the Chawton House Library Series, "Women’s Travel Writings".
- All-Consuming: Researching Eighteenth-Century Material Culture (MA Social History)
- Early Modern Comedy (BA English and English joint courses)
- Eighteenth-Century Fictions (BA English)
- Literatures of Romanticism (BA English and English joint courses)
- Masculinity and the Long Eighteenth Century (BA English and English joint courses)
- Texts and Theories (BA English and English joint courses)
Julia’s current research extends her interest in the relationship between masculinity and militarism in the long eighteenth century; she is writing about two texts that critique the idealization of military masculinity: Laurence Sterne’s A Sentimental Journey and Jane Austen’s unfinished novel Sanditon.
Her next research project will explore eighteenth-century attitudes to physical disability and eighteenth-century literary genres. The wounded soldier or sailor is one of many physically impaired figures who commanded attention in the eighteenth century. Julia’s new research takes a wide ranging approach to studying the intersection between understandings of physical disability and the textuality of the new literary forms of the long eighteenth century, such as the periodical and the novel.