Dr John Baker

Dr John Baker

My interests are in literature (particularly Romantic, Victorian and contemporary literature) and the Bible.

I have taught English literature at Westminster since 2002, initially as a Visiting Lecturer, then as a fractional Lecturer from 2005 and as a full time Lecturer from 2007. I was appointed a Senior Lecturer in 2012.

I was educated at Manchester University (BA Hons First Class in English Literature, 1994) and King's College London (PhD in English, 1999).

I have taught the literature of a wide range of periods from Chaucer to contemporary drama and the eighteenth century novel at a variety of universities in London since 1997, including Kingston, Birkbeck and the Open University. I currently teach a range of Foundation, Level 4, Level 5 and Level 6 modules on topics including 'reading identities', 'what is literature?', the novel and work experience. I am also an academic adviser at Level 4. I supervise Level 6 dissertations. I am also a personal tutor.

My research interests are focused on religion and literature, particularly the Bible, and I have published on Howard Barker, Howard Brenton, Philip Pullman, Nick Cave and David Peace in recent years. I have recently completed an article on the influence of a poem by Robert Southey on one by Robert Browning.

My PhD Dissertation (1999) focused on the influence of the poetry of William Wordsworth on that of Robert Browning, using the 'influence theory' of Harold Bloom, and was published as Browning and Wordsworth by Fairleigh Dickinson University Press in 2004. Further work has appeared in journals such as Victorian Poetry, The Review of English Studies, New Theatre Quarterly, Ecumenica, The Nautilus and Notes and Queries.

My current research interests focus on the intersection between religion and literature, particularly in relation to the Bible. In recent years I have published on Howard Barker's use of the story of Abraham and Isaac in his play Rome, Howard Brenton's play Paul, which depicts the life of the Apostle, and Philip Pullman's depiction of the prophet Enoch in the His Dark Materials trilogy. I have also edited a collection of scholarly essays on the Australian singer-songwriter and novelist Nick Cave, The Art of Nick Cave, which was published by Intellect in 2013. My own chapter in the collection examined Cave's profound and complex engagement with the Bible and his depiction of Christ in his work. My most recent publication, in early 2015, focused on David Peace's curious decision to offer a revisionary account of the death of Christ through the prism of a medieval shipwreck in his Red Riding Quartet. I have recently completed an article on the influence of a poem of Robert Southey on one by Robert Browning.

  • Literary Studies