Nicholas Smart

Nicholas Smart

Stipendiary Lecturer in English

Nicholas Smart is a Stipendiary Lecturer in English. He completed his undergraduate studies at New College between 2016 and 2019. After a year at Oriel for his MSt in English (1900 – Present), he returned to New College to undertake doctoral research in 2020 under a joint scholarship from All Souls College, Oxford, the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council, and the Clarendon Fund. He received a University Gibbs Prize for his undergraduate degree and the English Faculty’s Marilyn Butler Prize for his MSt research. He has also received the Matthew Arnold Memorial Prize for research into the criticism of Matthew Arnold and Zadie Smith, and has been highly commended on two occasions for both the Lord Alfred Douglas Prize and the Martin Starkie Poetry Prize. 


At New College he contributes to the teaching of Prelims Paper 1 (Introduction to English Language and Literature), Paper 3 (1830 – 1910), and Paper 4 (1910 – Present). He also supervises FHS Dissertations on various topics from 1830 to the Present. 

Research Interests

His research is centred on twentieth-century poetry, with particular interest in T. S. Eliot, seeking to understand the textual and extra-textual strategies through which Eliot was able to construct his literary reputation. More broadly, his interests are in the use of poetry and the use of criticism in the modern period. What is poetry for? Why do we read and write it? What might the future of poetry look like – if there is one – in the era of Creative Writing? 

Selected Publications

‘T. S. Eliot and the Problem of the Archive’, ELH (forthcoming, Summer 2023)

‘Arnoldian Contempt: Matthew Arnold and Zadie Smith’, Matthew Arnold Memorial Prize, Oxford University Gazette (2022). 

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