Dr Lisa O'Connell

Senior Lecturer

School of Communication and Arts
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
+61 7 336 53323


Lisa specializes in eighteenth-century British literature. Her research interests include sentimental fiction, theories of enlightenment and secularization and early global literatures. She has published articles on marriage law and literature, popular anthropology, travel narrative, and courtesan memoirs. She holds a senior lectureship in English Literature at the University of Queensland where she teaches courses on the literature of enlightenment, Gothic fiction, Jane Austen and the novel.

Research Interests

  • Secularization and British Literature, 1600-1800
    My current project, on sentimentalism and secularization, is part of a collaborative project on 'Secularization and British Literature, 1600-1800', with Prof Simon During and Dr Alison Scott. The project uses and expands upon recent models of European secularization to develop a new account of British literary history in the 17th and 18th centuries. By focusing on writing that emerged from three particular movements—neostoicism, sentimentalism and evangelicalism—it shows that literature in the period did not conform to a narrative of triumphant secularization. Rather, literary writing knew no secular/religious divide at all. From this perspective, key literary genres—the essay, the novel and meditative poetry—acquire new contexts, purposes and meanings.
  • 18th Century British literature
  • Gothic Fiction
  • Theories of Enlightenment and Secularisation
  • Gender Studies
    18th and early 19th-century women’s writing; history of sexuality; marriage fiction and law; courtesan memoirs.
  • Colonial and Postcolonial Studies
    settler colonial writing (Australia & New Zealand); British travel writing 1700-1820; 18th-century popular ethnography; early global literatures.


  • PhD, Brown
  • Master of Arts, University of Melbourne
  • Bachelor of Arts (Hons), University of Melbourne


View all Publications


View all Supervision


Book Chapter

Journal Article

Conference Publication

  • O'Connell, Lisa (2010). Ethnographical humanism and the English marriage plot. In: Thinking the Human in the Era of Enlightenment: Abstracts and biographies. Thinking the Human in the Era of Enlightenment, Canberra, Australia, (10-10). 7-9 July 2010.

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Master Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

Completed Supervision