Clare Pettitt

Visiting Scholar

Columbia University

Professor of Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture and

King's College London

Clare Pettitt is Professor of Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture at King’s College London.  She read English at Cambridge University and then worked in theatre and journalism before returning to study and receiving a D.Phil. from Oxford University.   She taught at Oxford and Leeds universities, and she was Fellow and Director of Studies in English at Newnham College, Cambridge, from 1998-2005.  In 2005, she moved to the English Department at King’s College London where she currently works.  

She is interested in the history of the book and the media and technology in the nineteenth century.  Her first monograph, Patent Inventions: Intellectual Property and the Victorian Novel (Oxford University Press, 2004) investigated the status of creativity in an industrializing world.  Her second book, Dr. Livingstone, I Presume?  Missionaries, Journalists, Explorers and Empire (Profile and Harvard University Press, 2007) was about the clash of African and European modernities in the nineteenth century.  While she is at the Heyman Center, she is working on Distant Contemporaries: Time Lag, History and Form in the Nineteenth Century, a book about the connections between technology and historicism.  From 2006-2011, she was a Research Director on the Cambridge Victorian Studies Project, and she is now working on ‘Scrambled Messages: The Telegraphic Imaginary 1857-1900’a four-year AHRC-funded project on the aesthetics of the Atlantic Telegraph developed with Professor Caroline Arscott at the Courtauld Institute for Art and Professor Mark Miodownik, a materials scientist at University College London.