Dr Ruth Scobie was the Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Exploring Celebrity between 2013 and 2015. She is now an Early Career Research Fellow at TORCH.
She runs the Celebrity Research Network, organising a programme of interdisciplinary and cross-period events which bring together scholars from Oxford and beyond studying fame, celebrity, reputation and notoriety in history, literature, and art. She is also the project manager of Diversifying Portraiture at Oxford, a scheme to catalogue, highlight and promote portraits of diverse individuals around the University.
Ruth studied for an MA in Eighteenth Century Studies at the University of York, followed by a PhD in English Literature, on representations of the death of James Cook. In 2012 she won the Keats-Shelley Prize for an essay, “Mary Shelley’s Monstrous Explorers: James Cook, James King, and a Sledge in Kamchatka”, published in 2013 in the Keats-Shelley Review; and has also written on the impact of Pacific material culture on the writers William Cowper and Elizabeth Montagu. She is currently completing a monograph, to be called Islands of Celebrity: Oceania and the British Problem of Fame 1770-1830, as well as articles covering criminality and celebrity, Frances Burney and Samuel Foote, and early British (especially Romantic) images of New South Wales.
Ruth has taught undergraduate courses at York and Oxford on eighteenth-century and Romantic literature, eighteenth-century empire and commerce, and literary theory, and an Oxford English MSt course on “British Globalisations, Georgian to Romantic”.
The Oxford Celebrity Research Network website, which Ruth set up and runs, publicises network activities and other relevant research news, as well as short posts on her ongoing research. She has also published research-based blog posts and reviews for academic readers at sites such as Romantic Textualities, and BSECS Criticks, and for a general audience at The Toast. Other public engagement projects include an interactive website to accompany the Ashmolean Museum’s James Gillray exhibition, and an active Twitter account.