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Chris Mounsey is a Professor of Eighteenth-Century English literature and has special interests in the histories of sexualities and disabilities. 

In 2014, he won the Student-led award for the best taught module in the University for Literature, Sexuality and Morality.

Before Chris’s vision was impaired he wrote and directed a number of plays: Written on Water, And Did Those Feet and Love Intrigues. At the same time he ran the annual conference for the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies and edited their journal, moving it to an online format with John Wiley Ltd. 

On a smaller scale, Chris co-organised the Queer People series of conferences at Christ’s College, Cambridge and the Variabilities conferences at Emory University, Atlanta and Winchester.

Further afield, Chris has been for many years an active member of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Queer Caucus and two years ago set up the Disability Studies Caucus.

Chris is in currently in discussion with four University Presses in the USA, the UK and Germany, to find the best home for a series of monographs and essay collections on disability history.


  • 2019: Sight Correction: Vision and Blindness in the Eighteenth Century. Univ. of Virginia Press.
  • The Birth of a Clinic: the Treatment and Experience of Blindness in Eighteenth Century England
    A Monograph for Bucknell University Press
    (MS completed and with publisher)
    This book will be the first major study of blindness in the eighteenth century. The book gives an alternative historiographical approach to Foucault of the way medical studies developed, considering both the doctors and patients, and lays the groundwork for a new methodology for contextual study of all types of historical texts.
  • 'A Manifesto for a Woman Writer: Delarivier Manley's Letters Written as Varronian Satire,' in The Ladies Pacquet Broke Open, eds. Aleksondra Hultquist and Elizabeth Matthews (London: Routledge, 2016)
    This essay puts back the date of Aaron Santesso's ascription of Manley's use of Varronian Satire inThe New Atlantic (1710) to her first publication of 1696, making it clearer why Manley chose that form in her most important publication. 
  • 'Blind Woman on the Rampage: Priscilla Pointon's Grand Tour of the Midlands and the question of the legitimacy of sources for biography,' in Voice and Context in Eighteenth-Century Verse: Order in Variety, eds. Jo Fowler and Allan Ingram, (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2015)
    The essay explores the huge subscription list and Pointon's use of verse epistles and evaluates them as sources for biographical information.
  • Developments in the Histories of Sexualities: In Search of the Normal
    Bucknell University Press, 2015
    Paperback ISBN: 978-1-6114688-9
    Sole editor: Contribution, Introduction.
    This collection of essays marks my latest contribution to Queer Studies. My Introduction, while placing the essays in context also gestures towards the new position of "Variability". My introduction has been described by one anonymous reviewer as "a major piece of scholarship" and "world leading".
  • The Idea of Disability in the Eighteenth Century
    Bucknell University Press, March 2014
    978-1-61148-559-2 Hardback
    978-1-61148-560-8 eBook
    Contribution: Introduction and one essay
    This is the first collection of essays about disability in the eighteenth century. The introduction explores my idea of Variability as an organising principle for the study of the multiplicity of the body in literature.
  • "Christopher Smart and Leicester House Opposition", in Reading Christopher Smart in the Twenty-first Century. Eds. Min Wild and Noel Chevalier.
    Bucknell University Press, 2013
    ISBN: 978-1-61148-519-6
    This essay revisits the work I did for my biography of Smart, and using new finds from the recently available Seaton Delaval archive makes a stronger case for Smart's involvement with Prince Frederick and John Lord Egmont's opposition to George II's ministry.
  • Developments in the Histories of Sexualities: In Search of the Normal
    Bucknell University Press, 2013
    ISBN: 978-1-61148-500-4
    Sole editor: Contribution, Introduction.
    This collection of essays marks my latest contribution to Queer Studies. My Introduction, while placing the essays in context also gestures towards the new position of "Variability". My introduction has been described by one anonymous reviewer as "a major piece of scholarship" and "world leading".
  • Being the Body of Christ: Towards a Twenty-First-Century Homosexual Theology for the Anglican Church
    Series: Gender, Theology and Spirituality, series editors Lisa Isherwood and Marcella Althaus Reid
    Equinox/Acumen Publishing, 2012
    ISBN: 9781845539511
    The book explores two parallel histories of the twentieth century Anglican Church. The first is tragic, telling of Oscar Wilde's rejection of it because of his homosexuality, and E. F. Benson's rejection of his homosexuality because of his father's position as Archbishop of Canterbury. The second history tells a happier tale, deriving from Edward Carpenter's positive writings about intermediate sexualities, and grounds a homosexual theology in the novels of Alan Hollinghurst and Jeanette Winterson, as well as in my recent experience of blindness.
  • William Blake and the Logic of Contraries
    Edwin Mellen Press, 2011
    ISBN: 0-7734-1605-6
    This book gives a reading of all Blake's illuminated work along with Vala, or The Four Zoas, in a radical re-reading of Blake's intentions gleaned from detailed research on the palimpsest of the Vala ms. There is a tight focus on Blake's use of the term "contraries" and as such it is very useful as a class text for advanced level students (I use the book very successfully in my classes), as well as a challenge to the current critical framework which, in my opinion, distorts Blake studies at present.
  • The Variable Body in History, eds. Stan Booth and Chris Mounsey (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2016)
    Other Publications


  • How to Write Great Essays and Dissertations, Oxford University Press, 2013, ISBN: 978-0-19-967074-1
    The 2nd edition of my successful handbook for writing undergraduate essays and dissertations: One Step Ahead in Essays and Dissertations is now in the design stage. The current edition brings research up to date with electronic information retrieval techniques.
  • Queer People: Negotiations and Expressions of Homosexuality 1700-1800. Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press, 2007, ISBN: 0-8387-5667-6
    Editor with Caroline Gonda.
    Contribution, Introduction and one essay.
  • Friendship and Same-Sex Love.
    Studies in English Literature, SEL, Volume 46, No. 3, Summer, 2006)
    ISSN: 0039-3657
    Editor of special number with Caroline Gonda. Contribution, one essay.
  • Eighteenth-Century British Erotica, 5 vols.,
    London: Pickering and Chatto, 2002, ISBN: 1 85196 742 7
    Editor with Rictor Norton of Volume 1: Pleasures, Comforts and Plagues of the early eighteenth century
  • One Step Ahead In Essay Writing and Dissertations for Undergraduates
    Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002
    ISBN: 0198605056
  • Christopher Smart: Clown of God
    Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press, 2001
    ISBN: 0-8387-5483-X
  • Presenting Gender: Changing Sex in Early Modern Culture
    Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press, 2001
    ISBN: 0-8387-5477-5
    Editor. Contribution, Introduction and one essay.

Essays in books

  • Gender, Ethnicity, Sexuality, in Continuum Studies in British Literature: The Eighteenth Century. ed. Bridget Keegan and Gary Day. (London: Continuum Publishing, 2008) ISBN: 9780826485649
  • Anglican Jewish, Pagan: The Queen Anne Churches as Queer Spaces, in Jewish Christian Queer ed. Fred Roden (Farnham: Ashgate, 2008), ISBN: 978-0-7546-9142-6
  • "Christopher Smart and the Architecture of the Mind," in Ritual, Routine, and Regime: Repetition in Early Modern British and European Cultures, ed. Lorna Clymer, Toronto University Press, 2007, ISBN: 9780802090300
  • "Searching in the Dark, A History of Anglo-Irish Homosexuality," in Love, sex, friendship and intimacy between men, 1550 - 1800, ed. Noreen Giffney and Michael O'Rourke, Palgrave, 2006, ISBN: 9781403920447
  • "Christopher Smart: Jubilate Agno," in Blackwell's Companion to Eighteenth-Century Poetry ed. Christine Gerrard, Oxford: Blackwell's, 2006, ISBN: 9781405113168

Journal articles

  • '" bring her naked from her Bed, that I may ravish her before the Dotard's face, and then send his Soul to Hell": Penelope Aubin, impious pietist, humourist or purveyor of juvenile fantasy?' British Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Volume 26, Number 1, Spring 2003 pp.55-75. ISSN: 0141-867X
  • 'Thomas Sheridan and the Second Smock-Alley Theatre Riot,' in New Hibernia Review/ Iris Eireannach nua, Volume 4 No.3, (Fall, 2000) pp.65-77. ISSN: 10923977. Publisher: University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota.
  • 'Edible Bulls and Drinkable Mice: Eighteenth Century Taxonomy and the Crisis of Eden.' in Worldviews: Environment, Culture, Religion. Vol.4 No.II (2000) pp.114-130. ISSN: 1363-5247. Publisher: E. & J. Brill Academic Press
  • 'Christopher Smart's The Hop-Garden, and John Philips's Cyder: a battle of the georgics? Mid-eighteenth-century poetic discussions of authority, science and experience.' in British Journal of Eighteenth-Century Studies, Volume 22 No. 1, (Spring, 1999) pp.67-84. ISSN 0141 - 876X. Publisher: British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies.
  • 'Christopher Smart and William Blake: A Distinctive Mode', in The Early Romantics: Pope to Wordsworth, ed. Tom Woodman, (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1998) pp.166-181. ISBN 0333 711 459
  • 'Oliver Goldsmith and John Newbery: A Case of the Robert Maxwells?' in Eighteenth Century Ireland, Iris an da chultur, Volume 13 (1998) pp. 149-158. ISSN 0790-7915. Publisher: Irish Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies.

Conference Organisation/Keynotes

British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, St. Hugh’s College, Oxford. Annual Conference from 2003 to 2010.

Queer People: negotiations and expressions of homosexuality. Co-organised with Caroline Gonda of St. Catherine’s College, Cambridge. Christ’s College Cambridge, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008 & 2010.

VariAbilities: The Body in History
Emory University Atlanta GA, Atlanta, July 2013. University of Winchester, July 2015, London University, Senate House, June 2017 Birkbeck, University of London, June 2018, New College Florida, Sarasota FL (with the Ringling Circus Archive) 2021 and 2022, Hunterian Collection at the Royal College of Surgeons, 2023, Quinnipiac University, Connecticut 2024

Queer Bodies: a Skyposium on all aspects of the body. Wherever you are, 2014, 2016, 2019

American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies
Instigator of the Disability Studies Caucus: 2012. I ran a regular panel on Health and Disease every year until its 5th year running, in 2019 I set up the first ever panel on Bioethics which ran on 5 April 2021. I gave a Keynote address, financed by the American Society for Eighteenth-century Studies, on 2 April 2022: Nicholas Saunderson: Towards a new definition of Interdisciplinarity.

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