Dr. Steve Van-Hagen

Associate Head (Student Experience/Quality Assurance and Accreditation)

School of Humanities
Faculty of Arts and Humanities



I came to Coventry University to take up the post of Principal Lecturer and Associate Head of the School of Humanities (Student Experience, Quality Assurance and Accreditation) in June 2016. I joined Coventry from Edge Hill University, where I was Programme Leader for English Literature and a former Associate Head of the Department of English, History and Creative Writing. I have also previously taught at the International Study Centre, Herstmonceux Castle (Queen’s University, Canada, in the U.K.), Canterbury Christ Church University and the University of Kent. I have taught most periods of English and American Literature and Drama, though have tended to specialise in Eighteenth-Century Literature, Renaissance Poetry and Drama (especially Shakespeare) and in Modernism and Postmodernism; I have also, at various times, taught Philosophy and Creative Writing. As well as writing literary criticism, I am also a poet. I am a long-standing member of the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, and also a member of the British Association for Romantic Studies. I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).

  • PhD in English by Research and Thesis, University of Kent, 2006.
  • English and American Literature BA (Hons), University of Kent, 1998.
Research interests

My principal research interests are in the labouring-class poetry of the ‘long’ eighteenth century, including Stephen Duck, Mary Leapor and James Woodhouse. My other research interests include Jonathan Swift, Samuel Richardson and the contemporary American novelist Chuck Palahniuk. I have a longstanding interest in Late Modernist Poetry, and my own poems have appeared in a range of anthologies and journals, including the festschrift An Educated Desire: Robert Sheppard at 60; The Wolf; Erbacce; Nth Position; Great Works; Pages; Anon; and Poetic Hours.

Published books include:

  • Van-Hagen, S. (2012) Echoes, Ghosts and Others with Futures Ahead of Them. Liverpool: Holdfire Press. [Poetry collection]
  • Van-Hagen, S. (2011) The Poetry of Mary Leapor. London: Greenwich Exchange.
  • Van-Hagen, S. (2011) The Poetry of Jonathan Swift. London: Greenwich Exchange.
  • Woodhouse, J. (2005) The Life and Lucubrations of Crispinus Scriblerus: A Selection. ed. by Van-Hagen, S. Gloucestershire: Cyder Press.
Recent outputs and publications

Selected Book Chapters and Journal Articles:

  • Van-Hagen, S. (2017) ‘“But Genius is the special Gift of God!”: the Reclamation of “Natural Genius” in the Late Eighteenth-Century Verses of Ann Yearsley and James Woodhouse’. in The Cambridge History of British Working-Class Literature. ed. by John Goodridge and Bridget Keegan. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. [forthcoming]
  • Van-Hagen, S. (2016) ‘ “His foul Imagination links / Each Dame he sees with all her stinks”: Masculinity and Obsessional Disorder in The Lady’s Dressing Room’. in Jonathan Swift and Philosophy. ed. by Janelle Poetzsch. Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books / Rowman & Littlefield. [forthcoming]
  • Van-Hagen, S. (2014) ‘Patrons, Influences and Poetic Communities in James Woodhouse’s The Life and Lucubrations of Crispinus Scriblerus’. in Social Networks in the Long Eighteenth Century: Clubs, Literary Salons, Textual Coteries. ed. by Ileana Baird. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Press, 309-3.
  • Van-Hagen, S. (2009) ‘The Life, Works and Reception of an Evangelical Radical: James Woodhouse (1735-1820), the “Poetical Shoemaker”’. Literature Compass (Romantic Compass) 6 (2), 384-406.
  • Van-Hagen, S. (2005) ‘Literary Technique and the Aestheticization of Laboring Experience in Stephen Duck’s The Thresher’s Labour’. Criticism: A Quarterly Journal for Literature and the Arts 47 (4), 421-50.


Teaching modules
  • Approaches to Literature (121DEL)
  • Colonial Literatures (223DEL)
  • Dissertation (301DEL)
  • Shakespeare Today (222DEL)
 Queen’s Award for Enterprise Logo
University of the year shortlisted
QS Five Star Rating 2020
Coventry City of Culture 2021