Abigail Williams

Professor Abigail Williams is the Associate Head of Research and Innovation for the Humanities Division. She is Professor of English Literature and Lord White Tutorial Fellow at St Peter’s College. Her research focuses on eighteenth-century literature, politics, and the history of the book, with a recent focus on historical and contemporary readers and reading practices. Her publications include Poetry and the Creation of a Whig Literary Culture (OUP 2005), Jonathan Swift’s Journal to Stella (CUP 2013), The Social Life of Books (Yale 2017) and most recently Reading It Wrong: A New History of Early Eighteenth-Century Literature (Princeton 2023). She also led the seven-year Leverhulme-funded project The Digital Miscellanies Index. She is currently working on an ed tech innovation project focussed on literacy and writing skills in English. She teaches graduates and undergraduates at the university, often working with special collections in the Weston library and Ashmolean Museum.

Abigail is involved in a number of external collaborations, in the museum and heritage sectors and in creative industries. She writes and presents on cultural topics for BBC Radio 4, and her most recent BBC Radio 4 series are Pride or Prejudice: How We Read Now (2022) and I Feel Therefore I Am (2023). She was a Director of Oxford Limited from 2018-22, a trustee of the St Peter’s College Foundation from 2016-2021, and a trustee of the Museum of the Home in Hoxton from 2015-23.

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