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Charles Gough

Languages and Literature, University of Birmingham

Thesis title:

Queering the Soul: Sexuality and Self-Construction in Victorian Poetry

The principal focus of my doctoral research is the emergence of the queer soul in nineteenth-century poetry. Investigating the ways in which multiple poets imagined varying iterations of the soul to explore queer self-construction and relationships, my project seeks to uncover the significance of the soul as a mode of examining and articulating the intricacies of sexual selfhood in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Alongside works of literature in verse, my project also considers works of art, sexology, and life writing, in an interdisciplinary approach that traverses the boundaries between literature, visual art, and the history of sexuality.

Research Area

  • English Language and Literature
  • Languages and Literature


Charles Gough, "Marc-André Raffalovich's Queer Mysticism", BAVS 2022: British Association for Victorian Studies Annual Conference, University of Birmingham. (Sept 2022)

Charles Gough, "Queer Mysticism in Marc-André Raffalovich's 'Cyril'", Midlands4Cities Research Festival. (June 2022)

Charles Gough, "John Addington Symonds's Intertextual Selves: Poetry and Queer Self-Construction in the Memoirs", Oxford English Graduate Conference, University of Oxford. (June 2022)

Charles Gough, "Queer Mysticism in Marc-André Raffalovich's 'Cyril'", English Postgraduate Symposium, University of Warwick. (May 2022)

Public Engagement & Impact

Conference Organising Assistant, BAVS 2022 (University of Birmingham)

Conference Ambassador, BAVS 2022 (University of Birmingham)

Other Research Interests

  • Poetry
  • Queer Studies
  • Decadence and Aestheticism
  • Visual Art
  • Life Writing / Confessional Writing


British Association for Victorian Studies (BAVS)