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Dr Olivia Smith

Dr Olivia Smith

Balzan Post-doctoral Research Fellow

Email: Dr Olivia Smith

Research Interests

I work on early modern literature, philosophy and science.

My current research investigates the correlations that John Locke and his contemporaries perceived between types of reading and writing and types of thinking, particularly the question of how literary practices relate to notions of free thought and mental oppression in the seventeenth century. This research is part of the Balzan seminar ‘Literature as an Object of Knowledge’.

My doctoral thesis was about John Locke’s philosophical method, and looked at how the act of communicating physical and cognitive experience functioned as a route to knowledge.

I join St John’s from Queen Mary, University of London, via a short FWO fellowship in Flanders. I am involved with preparing the notebooks and tracts volumes of a new edition of seventeenth-century physician and writer Sir Thomas Browne’s Complete Works (OUP), have a longstanding interest in the early-modern physical environment, and have previously taught courses on Shakespeare and Old and Middle English.

Contact details

St John's College
St. Giles, Oxford OX1 3JP
Work Tel: 01865 277300
Fax: 01865 277435
University of Oxford