Professor Helen Groth

Bachelor of Arts, 1st Class Hons, University of Sydney; PhD, University of Cambridge, FAHA

School of the Arts & Media


+61 2 9385 4864
+61 2 9385 6812
RM 220, Level 2 Robert Webster
Kensington Campus
Fields: British and Irish Literature

After completing my PhD at the University of Cambridge, I taught at the University of Exeter before returning to Australia where I have held positions at the University of Melbourne, Macquarie University, and an Australian Research Council Fellowship at the University of Sydney. I came to UNSW in 2010 to take up an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship (2010-2014) in the School of Arts and Media.

My main areas of research are - Victorian literature and visual culture, technology and literature, the cultural history of the senses, the intersection of the histories of science of mind and literature, literature and pre-cinema, noise and the novel and the history of sound. I am the sole author of 2 books Victorian Photography and Literary Nostalgia (Oxford University Press, 2003) and Moving Images. Nineteenth-Century Reading and Screen Practices (Edinburgh University Press, 2013), as well as the co-author of a third monograph (with Natalya Lusty), Dreams and Modernity. A Cultural History (Routledge, 2013). The latter research on dreams and the history of the science of mind was funded by an ARC Discovery Grant (2010-2013). I have also coedited a number of books and special issues of journals including a special issue of Textual Practice ‘On Anachronism’ (2012), Sounding Modernism (Edinburgh University Press, 2017), and Mindful Aesthetics. Literature and the Science of Mind (New York: Bloomsbury, 2013).

My ongoing research explores the ways in which literature has historically registered some voices and sounds and filtered out others as noise. This focus has informed recent publications on the gramophone, phonographic books, Australian literary soundscapes, Christina Stead and rioting in nineteenth century literature, as well as the forthcoming publications listed below.

My recent research on rioting and the literary archive is funded by an Australian Research Council Grant (2018-2021).

Forthcoming Publications:

"Critical Listening," in Reading Nineteenth-Century Literature. Essays in Honor of J.Hillis Miller, eds., Julian Wolfreys and Monika Szuba (Oxford University Press, invited and forthcoming 2019).

"Literary Soundscapes," in Literature and Sound, ed. Anna Snaith (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2019).

"Charlotte Bronte and the Listening Reader," in The Brontes and the Idea of the Human: Science, Ethics, and the Imagination,ed., Alexandra Lewis (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming late 2019).

Research Summary

Victorian Literature and visual culture, technology and literature, cultural history of the senses, history of science and literature, literature and pre-cinema/spectacle; noise and the novel; the history of sound.



    • Groth H, 2013, Moving images: Nineteenth-century reading and screen practices
    • Groth H;Lusty N, 2013, Dreams and modernity: A cultural history,
    • Groth H, 2004, Victorian Photography and Literary Nostalgia, Original, Oxford University Press, Oxford

    Book Chapters

    • Groth H, 2018, 'Dickens' Visual Mediations', in Robert Patten; Catherine Waters; John Jordan (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Charles Dickens, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 241 - 256
    • Groth H, 2018, 'Rioting and writing voice in Dickens’s Barnaby Rudge', in Sound, Space and Civility in the British World, 1700-1850, Routledge, pp. 88 - 101,
    • Murphet J;Groth H;Hone P, 2017, 'Introduction: Sounding Modernism', in Sounding Modernism Rhythm and Sonic Mediation in Modern Literature and Film, pp. 1 - 18
    • Groth H, 2017, 'How to Listen to Joyce: Gramophones, Voice and the Limits of Mediation', in Groth H; Murphet J; Hone P (ed.), Sounding Modernism. Rhythm and Sonic Mediation in Modern Literature and Film, Edinburgh University Press, pp. 63 - 76,
    • Groth H, 2016, 'Mediating Popular Fictions: From the Magic Lantern to the Cinematograph', in Gelder K (ed.), New Directions in Popular Fiction, Palgrave, London, pp. 287 - 308,
    • Peniston-Bird C;Ugolini W, 2015, 'Introduction', in JOURNAL OF WAR & CULTURE STUDIES, edn. 1, ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD, pp. 1 - 6,
    • Danta C;Groth H, 2014, 'Introduction: Between Minds', in Danta C; Groth H (ed.), Mindful Aesthetics: Literature and the Science of Mind, edn. 1, Bloomsbury, New York, pp. 1 - 14,
    • Groth H, 2014, 'The Mind as Palimpsest.James Sully's Psychological Aesthetics', in Groth; Danta C (ed.), Mindful Aesthetics. Literature and the Science of Mind, Bloomsbury, New York, pp. 107 - 121,
    • Groth H;Danta C, 2013, 'Between Minds', in Groth H; Danta C (ed.), Mindful Aesthetics: Literature and the Science of Mind., Bloomsbury, New York, pp. 1 - 14
    • Groth H, 2012, 'Panoramic byron: Reading, history and pre-cinematic spectacle', in Reading Historical Fiction: The Revenant and Remembered Past, pp. 85 - 100,
    • Groth H, 2011, 'Kaleidoscopic vision in late Victorian Bohemia: George Sims's social kaleidoscope', in Media, Technology, and Literature in the Nineteenth Century: Image, Sound, Touch, pp. 91 - 104
    • Groth H, 2009, 'Introduction', in Groth H; Sheehan P; Uhlmann A (ed.), Literature and Sensation, edn. Original, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle, pp. i - x
    • Groth H, 2009, 'Cosmopolitan sympathies : Edward Bulwer Lytton's sensational tale of Pompeii', in Groth H; Sheehan P; Uhlmann A (ed.), Literature and Sensation, edn. Original, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle, pp. 12 - 23,
    • Groth H, 1999, 'Victorian Women's Poetry and Scientific Narratives', in Armstrong I; Blain V (ed.), Women’s Poetry, Late Romantic to Late Victorian, Gender and Genre, 1830-1900, Macmillan, London, pp. 325 - 351
    • Groth H, 1996, 'Island Queens: Nationalism, Queenliness and Women's Poetry 1837-1861', in , Boydell and Brewer, Oxford, pp. 14 - 30,

    Journal articles

    • Groth H, 2018, 'Rioting, Nineteenth-Century Fiction, and the Limits of Liberalism', Occasion, vol. 11,
    • Groth H, 2015, 'Andrew McGann. Popular Literature, Authorship and the Occult.', Journal of British Studies, vol. 54, pp. 782 - 784,
    • Groth H, 2015, 'Modernist Voices and the desire for communication in Christina Stead's Seven Poor Men of Sydney', Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature, vol. 15, pp. 1 - 14
    • Groth H;Groth H;Cummins J, 2015, 'Critical Soundings: Voice, Space and Sound in Victorian Literature', Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature, vol. 15, pp. 1 - 9
    • Groth H, 2014, 'Phonographic books and the late nineteenth-century reader', Australian Literary Studies, vol. 29, pp. 116 - 129
    • Groth H, 2014, 'Time and the Moment in Victorian Literature and Society by Sue Zemka [Review]', Nineteenth-Century Literature, vol. 69, pp. 141 - 144,
    • Groth H, 2012, 'The Soundscapes of Henry Mayhew. Urban Ethnography and Technologies of Transcription', Cultural Studies Review, vol. 18, pp. 109 - 130,
    • Groth H, 2012, 'Projections of Alice: anachronistic reading and the temporality of mediation', Textual Practice, vol. 26, pp. 667 - 686,
    • Groth H;Sheehan P, 2012, 'Introduction: Timeliness and Untimeliness', Textual Practice, vol. 26, pp. 571 - 585,
    • Groth H, 2011, 'Subliminal Histories: Psychological Experimentation in the Poetry and Poetics of Frederic W. H. Myers', 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century, vol. 12, pp. 1 - 22,
    • Groth H, 2010, 'Review of Luisa Cale and Patrizia Di Bello (eds) Illustrations, Optics and Objects in Nineteenth Century Literature and Visual Culture', The Review of English Studies, vol. 61, pp. 653 - 654,
    • Groth H, 2009, 'Domestic phantasmagoria: The victorian literary domestic and experimental visuality', South Atlantic Quarterly, vol. 108, pp. 147 - 169,
    • Groth H, 2008, 'Nature Exposed: Photography as Eyewitness in Victorian Science by Jennifer Tucker [Review]', Nineteenth-Century Contexts, vol. 30, pp. 99 - 101
    • Groth H, 2007, 'Kaleidoscopic vision and literary invention in an "age of things": David Brewster, Don Juan, and a lady's Kaleidoscope', ELH - English Literary History, vol. 74, pp. 217 - 237,
    • Groth H, 2007, 'Reading Victorian illusions: Dickens's Haunted Man and Dr. Pepper's "Ghost"', Victorian Studies, vol. 50, pp. 43 - 65,
    • Groth H, 2005, 'From Life: Julia Margaret Cameron and Victorian Photography by Victoria Olsen [Review]', Victorian Studies, vol. 48, pp. 197 - 198
    • Groth H, 2003, 'Literary nostalgia and early victorian photographic discourse', Nineteenth-Century Contexts, vol. 25, pp. 199 - 217,
    • Groth H, 2003, 'Consigned to sepia: Remembering Victorian poetry', Victorian Poetry, vol. 41, pp. 611 - 620,
    • Groth H, 2002, 'Technological mediations and the public sphere: Roger Fenton's Crimea exhibition and "the charge of the light brigade"', Victorian Literature and Culture, vol. 30, pp. 553 - 570,
    • Groth H, 2000, 'A different look - Visual technologies and the making of history in Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Casa Guidi Windows', Textual Practice, vol. 14, pp. 31 - 52,


    • Groth H; Cummins J (eds.), 2015, Critical Soundings. Voice, Space and Sound in Australian Literature [Special Issue]., Association for the Study of Australian Literature
    • Groth H; Sheehan P (eds.), 2012, The Uses of Anachronism "Introduction: Timeliness and untimeliness" [Special Issue], Taylor & Francis (Routledge),

    Edited Books

    • 2017, Sounding Modernism. Rhythm and Sonic Mediation in Modern Literature and Film [Anthology], Edinburgh University Press
    • Danta C;Groth H, 2014, Mindful Aesthetics, Bloomsbury, New York
    • Groth H;Sheehan P, 2010, Remaking Literary History, Cambridge Scholars Publishing
    • Uhlmann A;Groth H, 2009, Literature and sensation, Cambridge Scholars Publishing

Teaching and Supervision

Areas of HDR supervision:
Nineteenth-Century & Twentieth-Century Literature
Nineteenth-Century Visual Culture
Literature & Sound Studies
Literature and the History of Cinema
Literature and the Science of Mind
Gothic and Popular Fiction

Current HDR supervisions as Primary Supervisor are:
Elizabeth Drumm, Precarity and Nineteenth-Century Fiction
Patricia May, Reading Domesticity in the writing of Virginia Woolf
Katherine Sumner, Thomas Chatterton and the performance of literary professionalism
Chunhui Lu, Virginia Woolf & Gilles Deleuze

Recent HDR completions as Primary Supervisor are:
Penelope Hone, Voice and the Nineteenth-Century Novel (Awarded 2016)
Jayne Chapman, Hand and Mechanical Reproduction in Nineteenth-Century Poetry (Awarded 2017)
Clare Caldwell, Adolescent Masculinity in Twentieth-Century American Young Adult Fiction. (Awarded 2018)

Honours and prizes

Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, 2016.


Australian Research Council Discovery Grant (with Jumana Bayeh and Julian Murphet) 2018-2021

Australian Research Council Discovery Grant (with Natalya Lusty) 2010 - 2013

Australian Research Council Future Fellow, University of New South Wales 2010 - 2014

Macquarie University Research Development Grant 2006 - 2009

Australian Research Council Fellow, University of Sydney 1998 - 2001

Australian Research Council Discovery Grant 2003 - 2005

Macquarie Early Career Research Grant 2005.

Engagement and Professional contributions

Australasian Victorian Studies Association, member.
North American Victorian Studies Association, member.
Modern Languages Association, member.
Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities
Judging Panel, for Voss Literary Prize, 2015.
Australasian Association of Literature, co-founding member and Vice-President 2007- 2010
Australasian Association of Literature, co-founding member and President 2010 - 2014
Founding Executive member of the AUHE - Australian Heads of English 2012 - 2016.
Member of Editorial Board, Victoriographies, (Edinburgh University Press)
Member of Editorial Board, Cogent Arts & Humanities (Routledge)
Member of the Editorial Board, Affirmations
Member of the Editorial Committee, Australasian Journal of Victorian Studies

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