I am a researcher and writer investigating the intersections of literature, art, psychology, and philosophy. I focus on conceptions of human nature, imagination, creativity, and genius, exploring how these impact upon what it means to be human in the twenty-first century. I have articles published in English Studies and forthcoming in Journal of Romanticism and have presented my work both nationally and internationally.
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• Doctor of Philosophy (English Literature), Flinders University, 2020 (PhD thesis complete, conferral due September 2020)
• Bachelor of Arts with First-Class Honours (Art History), Charles Sturt University/Griffith University, 2016
My doctoral thesis explores the trope of the daimon in William Blake’s Jerusalem: The Emanation of the Giant Albion as an allegory for Blake’s humanistic vision. My thesis argues that Blake’s daimon provides a methodology for understanding and developing our humanity through literature.
Literature is written by humans, read by humans, and discussed among humans. Humanness is a common factor in all literature, which is a vast record of our shared human experience and imagination, encompassing many times, cultures, and perspectives. Yet recent decades in literary studies have seen human nature as a topic within literature often dehumanised—stereotyped, abstracted, or disappearing from focus.
This thesis aims to reinvigorate the study of humanity within literature, in an inclusive and meaningful way. By researching the painter and poet William Blake’s understanding of the human within his longest illustrated poem, Jerusalem: The Emanation of the Giant Albion, I show how Blake’s concept of genius provides a method for understanding and developing our own humanity through literature.
This research is original, significant, and relevant because it presents Blake’s contribution to reading literature in a way that is designed to rehumanise literary studies for the twenty-first century.Read my doctoral thesis (PDF version)
• Dearing, Todd. ‘Finding Infinite Imagination within the Clay Man: Merlin and Reuben in Blake’s Jerusalem.’ English Studies, forthcoming. doi.org/10.1080/0013838X.2020.1797348.
• —. ‘Daimonic Art: Mediating Text and Imagery in Blake’s Jerusalem.’ Journal of Romanticism, forthcoming.
• —. “Every thing is Human, mighty! sublime!”: New Literary Humanism and the Trope of the Daimon in William Blake’s Jerusalem. PhD Thesis, Flinders University, 2020. Link.
• —. ‘David Stewart, The Form of Poetry in the 1820s and 1830s: A Period of Doubt.’ Review of The Form of Poetry in the 1820s and 1830s, by David Stewart. Victoriographies, vol. 10, no. 1, 2020, pp. 110-12. doi.org/10.3366/vic.2020.0370.
• —. ‘Romanticism and Time, Conference of the French Society for the Study of English Romanticism (SERA), Université de Lille, France, 8-10 November 2018.’ RSAA Digest, vol. 5, no. 3, September-December 2018, pp. 6-9. Conference Report.
National and International Presentations
• William Blake and the Idea of the Artist, Conference at the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, London, UK, November 2019.
___Paper presented: ‘Etching Out Blake’s Mythological Artist in Contemporary Times.’
• Embodying Romanticism, Romantic Studies Association of Australasia 2019 Conference, UNSW Canberra, Australia, November 2019.
___Paper presented: ‘Finding Infinite Imagination within the Clay Man: Merlin and Reuben in Blake’s Jerusalem.’
• Romanticism and Time, Conference of the French Society for the Study of English Romanticism (SERA), Université de Lille, France, November 2018.
___Paper presented: ‘Creating Time: Chronos and Kairos in William Blake’s Jerusalem: The Emanation of the Giant Albion.’
• Natures and Spaces of Enlightenment, The David Nichol Smith Seminar in Eighteenth-Century Studies XVI, Australian and New Zealand Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Brisbane, Australia, December 2017.
___Paper presented: ‘The Daimonic Human in William Blake.’
• ‘What’s Poetry About?’, Unley Town Hall, Adelaide, Australia, 29 August 2019
• Library Lovers’ Day, Marion Cultural Centre, Adelaide, Australia, 14 February 2019
• ‘Why Read Novels?’, Unley Town Hall, Adelaide, Australia, 18 October 2018
• Postgraduate Representative and Webmaster, Australian and New Zealand Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ANZSECS)
• Graduate Researcher, Enlightenment Romanticism Contemporary Culture (ERCC)
• Member, Romantics Studies Association of Australasia (RSAA)
• Member, North American Society for the Study of Romanticism (NASSR)
• Member, Société d’Études du Romantisme Anglais (SERA)
• Member, Australasian Association for Literature (AAL)
Grants, Scholarships, and Awards
• Horizon Professional Development Award, Platinum (with Leadership Specialisation), Flinders University, 2019
• Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship, Flinders University, 2017-2020
• Conference Travel Funding, William Blake and the Idea of the Artist, Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, London, United Kingdom, 2019
• Travel Bursaries, Enlightenment Romanticism Contemporary Culture Research Unit, University of Melbourne, 2019
• Horizon Professional Development Award, Gold, Flinders University, 2018
• Academic Internship Program for Doctoral Students (1-year program), Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching (CILT), Flinders University, 2018
• Project Funding Award for HDR Students, Flinders University, 2018
• Horizon Professional Development Award, Silver, Flinders University, 2017
• Dean’s Award, Charles Sturt University, 2016
• Honours Scholarship, Charles Sturt University, 2016
• Marker, ENGL2140: Epochs of English, Flinders University, Semester 1 2020
• Marker, ENGL1102: Literary Interpretations, Flinders University, Semester 2 2019
• Tutor, ENGL2140: Epochs of English, Flinders University, Semester 1 2019
• Tutor, ENGL1101: Approaches to Literature, Flinders University, Semester 1 2019
• Guest Lecturer, ‘Interpreting Poetry,’ ENGL1102: Literary Interpretations, Flinders University, 6 August 2018.
• Tutor, ENGL2140: Epochs of English, Flinders University, Semester 1 2018
English, taught and learnt in an authentic manner, leads to greater personal, professional, and cultural development because it facilitates analytical and creative thinking, excellent written and oral communication skills, an understanding of oneself and others, and a sense of historical and cultural perspective. It provides immensely valuable skills and knowledge for success in the world.
Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.Leonardo da Vinci
ORCID Profile: orcid.org/0000-0002-0148-1286