Claudine van Hensbergen


Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I welcome enquiries from students interested in developing research projects on any aspect of English literary culture 1600s-1700s, or on projects that explore gender or interdisciplinary connections between literature and the visual arts.

I have supervised the following PhD projects to completion:

* Montana Davies-Shuck, ‘Follower of Fashion: Mapping the Social and Political Genealogy of the Literary Fop, 1660-1790' (second supervisor, 2016-present, viva August 2020).

* Nicole Cochrane, ‘Appropriating Antiquity: Greco-Roman Sculpture and the British Public 1770-1900’ (second supervisor, Heritage Consortium studentship, completed 2019).

* John Hemy, ‘Samuel Johnson and British Drama' (first supervisor, completed 2018).

* Danielle McDonnell, ‘Rape in Law and Literature, 1700-1765’ (second supervisor, completed 2017).

I am currently supervising the following student(s):

* Malcolm Clements.

* Daisy Winter (first supervisor, start date October 2019).

* Ella Nixon (first supervisor, start date October 2020).

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Personal profile

Research interests

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests 

I work on literary culture of the period 1640–1740, with a particular interest in sculpture and visual culture, history of the book, theatre and women’s writing. Current projects include: a monograph, The Making of Monument in Britain, 1660-1736, exploring the emergence of public monumental culture; an edition of Behn's selected works for the Oxford University Press 21st-Century Authors series; and a short monograph for Cambridge University Press, "Behn's Two Bodies: A Cultural History of Aphra Behn's Grave".

I have an ongoing research interest in better connecting the scholarly recovery of women writers with the wider public and led on the 2023 unveiling of a commemorative plaque for Mary Astell (1666–1731) in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Between 2019-2023 I was an AHRC Leadership Fellow for the project “Learning through the Art Gallery: Art, Literature and Disciplinarity” for a project run in partnership with the Laing Art Gallery. Our project developed a new learning offer for KS4/5 English pupils visiting the Laing. We aim to demonstrate how art collections can help pupils to develop and improve their study of language, literature and creative writing, whilst inspiring their wider interest in the Arts. To find out more about the project please visit our website.

Further Information

Teaching Interests 

At Northumbria, I teach on the following modules: 

* Research Methods: Traditional and Digital (Masters-level core module) 

* Writing Women: Aphra Behn in Focus (3rd-year optional module) 

* Working with our Cultural Heritage (2nd-year optional employability module) 

* Historical Fiction (2nd-year optional module)


  • Humanities Departmental Impact Lead

I joined Northumbria in 2012 having worked as a postdoctoral researcher on a History of Art project run between the University of York and Tate Britain. Prior to this I completed my PhD in English Literature at the University of Oxford and where I also taught undergraduates and worked on the Leverhulme-funded 'Digital Miscellanies Index' project

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 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities

Education/Academic qualification

BA (Hons), King's College London

MSt, University of Oxford

DPhil, University of Oxford


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