Dr Ian Higgins

BA (Hons), MA (Qld), PhD (Warwick)
Honorary Reader in English
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences

Areas of expertise

  • British And Irish Literature 200503

Research interests

Literary history, literature and politics, pamphlets and pamphleteering, contextual interpretation of literature from the late seventeenth century to the mid-twentieth century. Principal research focus is on literature and politics of the Jacobite era 1688-1788; the life and works of Jonathan Swift (1667-1745); the career and writings of Charles Leslie (1650-1722)


Ian Higgins received his BA (first class Honours in English, University Medal) and MA from the University of Queensland and his PhD from the University of Warwick in England. He taught at La Trobe University in Melbourne before joining the Australian National University. He has lectured in Britain, Ireland, Europe, and the USA. He works in the field of British and Irish literary studies, and has a particular research interest in the century from the Revolution of 1688 to 1788. He taught English literature from Chaucer to the contemporary period at ANU from 1991 to 2022.

Researcher's projects

Ian Higgins is a founding general editor of The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Jonathan Swift (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008 - in progress) which is his main ongoing research project. He is co-editing three volumes for the Cambridge Swift project: two volumes of Swift's Writings on Religion and the Church, and a volume of Swift's English Political Writings. He regularly reviews manuscripts, articles and books on eighteenth-century literature for publishers and scholarly journals and publishes essays in his research area.

Past student projects

Supervision of Honours, Masters and PhD theses in the areas of early modern literature, eighteenth-century literature, modern literature, and contemporary literature. Higher Degree Research theses supervised have included projects on John Milton, Richard Lovelace, Jonathan Swift, Daniel Defoe, Christopher Smart, Joseph Conrad, Henry Rider Haggard, D. H. Lawrence and Australia, Evelyn Waugh, Tom Stoppard, James Kelman, and Tony Harrison.


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Updated:  21 July 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers