Photo of Dr Mark Towsey

Dr Mark Towsey MA (Hons), MLitt, PhD, FRHistS

Reader (Britain 1700-1850; Print Culture; Enlightenment) History

    Biography

    Personal Statement

    I studied at the University of St Andrews at undergraduate and postgraduate level, completing my doctorate in 2007. After one year at the Institute of Historical Research, University of London, as the Past and Present Society’s Postdoctoral Fellow, I arrived in Liverpool in October 2008 on a three-year Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship. I was then appointed to a permanent position as Lecturer in 2010. I am primarily interested in the history of reading in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, using the practice and experience of reading in the past as a key to understanding much broader social and cultural processes across the English-speaking world. This research agenda was pioneered in my first monograph on the social impact of the Enlightenment in Scotland, but I've since broadened out my interests to include published research on the cultural history of libraries, the reading experiences of Napoleonic prisoners of war, and the history of women's reading.

    I returned from extended research leave in January 2016, funded by the award of a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship for 2014-15.

    Personal Distinctions

    • Katharine Pantzer Senior Fellowship in Bibliography and the British Book Trades (Competitive Fellowship, Bibliographical Society of America 2015)
    • Antiquarian Booksellers' Association Award (The Bibliographical Society 2015)
    • British Academy Mid-Career Fellow (Competitive Fellowship, British Academy 2014)
    • Frederick A. and Marion S. Pottle Fellowship in 18th-Century British Studies (Competitive Fellowship, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale 2010)
    • Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship (Competitive Fellowship, The Huntington Library 2009)
    • W. Jackson Bate/Douglas W. Bryant/American Society for 18th-Century Studies Fellowship (Competitive Fellowship, Houghton Library, Harvard University 2009)
    • Pantzer New Scholar (Bibliographical Society of America 2009)
    • Grolier Club Library Fellowship (Competitive Fellowship, Grolier Club, New York 2009)
    • Roger W. Eddy Fellowship (Competitive Fellowship, Lewis Walpole Library, Yale 2008)
    • SCOTTISH HISTORY BOOK OF THE YEAR (shortlist) (Prize, The Saltire Society 2011)
    • THE FRANK WATSON BOOK PRIZE IN SCOTTISH HISTORY, 2011 (runner up) (Prize, Centre for Scottish Studies (Guelph) 2011)
    • Pollard Prize (for the best paper given at the IHR by a postgraduate student) (Prize, Institute of Historical Research 2008)
    • David Berry Prize (for the best article published in Scottish History) (Prize, Royal Historical Society 2007)
    • Economic and Social History Society of Scotland Postgraduate Research Essay Prize (Prize, ESHSS 2007)
    • Internationalisation Priority Projects Fund (School of Histories, Languages and Cultures, University of Liverpool 2016)
    • International Symposium on the History of the Information Society (Keynote Speech, Copenhagen University 2016)
    • City Readers Symposium (Invitation to Speak, New York Society Library 2016)
    • Knowledge: Community, Communication and Conflict (Postgraduate History Conference) (Invitation to Speak, UCL 2016)
    • Book History Research Group Seminar (Invitation to Speak, Open University/Institute of English Studies 2016)
    • History seminar (Invitation to Speak, Dundee University 2016)
    • Centre for the Study of Text and Print Culture Seminar (Invitation to Speak, Ghent University 2015)
    • Women's Networks in History: Economic History Society Workshop (Invitation to Speak, University of Nottingham 2015)
    • Postgraduate Reading Weekend (Invitation to Speak, University of St Andrews 2015)
    • John Rylands Seminar on Print and Materiality in the Early Modern World (Invitation to Speak, University of Manchester 2015)
    • Centre for Anglophone Studies (Invitation to Speak, University of Paris VII 2014)
    • Research Methods in Book History Workshop (Keynote Speech, AHRC Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities 2014)
    • Book History Research Network (Invitation to Speak, University of Leicester 2014)
    • Centre for Eighteenth-Century Studies Seminar (Invitation to Speak, University of York 2013)
    • Centre for the History of Material Texts Seminar (Invitation to Speak, University of Cambridge 2013)
    • Scottish Romanticism Research Group Seminar (Invitation to Speak, University of Glasgow 2013)
    • Invitation to Speak (Invitation to Speak, Yale University 2011)
    • Invitation to Speak (Invitation to Speak, Centre for Eighteenth-Century Studies, University of York 2011)
    • Keynote Speech (Keynote Speech, Book, Text and Place Research Group, Bath Spa University 2011)
    • Invitation to Speak (Invitation to Speak, Queen Mary Centre for Eighteenth-Century Studies 2010)
    • Invitation to Speak (Invitation to Speak, Universities of Oxford and Dundee 2010)
    • Invitation to Speak (Invitation to Speak, University of Stirling 2010)
    • Invitation to Speak (Invitation to Speak, University of Edinburgh 2009)
    • Invitation to Speak (Invitation to Speak, University of Reading 2009)
    • Invitation to Speak (Invitation to Speak, Institute of English Studies, University of London 2009)
    • Invitation to Speak (Invitation to Speak, University of Manchester 2009)
    • Invitation to Speak (Invitation to Speak, SOCLAS, University of Liverpool 2008)
    • Invitation to Speak (Invitation to Speak, Institute of Historical Research, University of London 2008)
    • Invitation to Speak (Invitation to Speak, University of Liverpool 2008)
    • Invitation to Speak (Invitation to Speak, University of St Andrews, Scottish History Seminar 2005)

    Administrative Roles

    • REF Lead, History Unit of Assessment
    • Director of Research, Department of History
    • Director, Eighteenth-Century Worlds Research Centre
    • Funder Champion: British Academy
    • Academic Lead, 'Reading, Texts and Archives' Research Cluster

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