Claudine van Hensbergen

Associate Professor

Research interests

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests 

My research interests lie in English print and visual culture from the 1660s to the 1730s. My work breaks down the traditional generic boundaries (between drama, poetry and prose), and between disciplines (Literature and History of Art) to better understand the wider correspondences of literature of this period. I am a member of the AHRC Peer Review College (2020-2023), and I am the co-founder (with Dr. David F. Taylor, Oxford University) of the 18th-Century Literature and Visual Culture Research Network.


Current and Recent Projects 

My new project, Learning through the Art Gallery: Art, Literature and Disciplinarity is funded through an AHRC Leadership Award (March 2019-Feb 2021). The project explores the relationship between literature and art during the period 1660-1735, arguing that during these decades art and literature were conceived of as part of a shared cultural discourse, from which, by the mid-eighteenth century, they would emerge as increasingly distinct forms and genres, served by their own theories, networks, institutions and markets. I will argue that the period marks a key turning point between Renaissance debates upon the relationship between the arts – fuelled by Horace’s concept of ut pictura poesis (‘as a painting, so a poem’) – and the modern tendency to view literature and the visual arts as distinct disciplines. 

The project involves a collaboration between Northumbria English staff and the learning teams of the Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle, and the Shipley Art Gallery, Gateshead. Our project is creating a new learning offer through which KS4/5 pupils studying English can visit the Laing and Shipley for educational workshops. 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

In recent years I have edited Nicholas Rowe’s late plays, The Tragedy of Jane Shore (1714) and The Tragedy of the Lady Jane Gray (1715) for Routledge, and seen a number of articles to publication which related to two major-funded projects with which I was involved between 2010-2012, these being the Leverhulme-funded Digital Miscellanies Index and the AHRC-funded Court, Country, City: British Art, 1660-1735.



Research Student Supervision Interests

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: * Nicole Cochrane, ‘Appropriating Antiquity: Greco-Roman Sculpture and the British Public 1770-1900’ (second supervisor, Heritage Consortium studentship, viva Feb 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): * Montana Davies-Shuck, ‘Follower of Fashion: Mapping the Social and Political Genealogy of the Literary Fop, 1660-1790' (second supervisor, 2016-present)

Organisational affiliations

Education/Academic qualification

  • BA (Hons), King's College London

  • MSt, University of Oxford

  • DPhil, University of Oxford

Professional Qualifications

  • Associate Fellow, Higher Education Academy (AFHEA)