Dr Rebecca Barr

University Positions
University Assistant Professor of Gender and Sexualities
Specialising in
Eighteenth-century literature

Rebecca Anne Barr’s research focuses on representations of gender and sexuality in eighteenth-century fiction, with a particular emphasis on masculinity.

Academic interests

Her academic interests include: 

  • Eighteenth-century novel
  • Gender and sexuality in literature
  • Embodiment
  • Twentieth-century poetry.

Degrees obtained

  • BA, Cantab.
  • MPhil, Cantab.
  • PhD, Cantab.

Awards and prizes

  • 2019: Huntington Library, Short Term Fellowship.
  • 2016: Lewis Walpole Library Fellowship, Yale University.
  • 2015: HERA (Humanities in the European Research Area), Research Networking Bursary.
  • 2014: Muriel McCarthy Research Fellowship, Marsh’s Library, Dublin.
  • 2012: Chawton House, Visiting Fellowship.
  • 2012: NUI Galway, President’s Award for Teaching Excellence.
  • 2002: Seatonian Prize for poetry, the University of Cambridge.


Rebecca Anne Barr is a University Assistant Professor in the Faculty of English. She studied at Jesus College Cambridge for her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, writing her PhD on the work of eighteenth-century novelist Samuel Richardson. Originally from Northern Ireland, she taught at St Peter’s College, Oxford, and the National University of Ireland, Galway, before returning to Cambridge in 2019.

Other interests

Sleeping (history, theory and practice), art, cinema, hiking, and bees.

Publications, links and resources

  • Barr, R.A, (2020), ‘Brightest wits and bravest soldiers: Ireland, Masculinity and the politics of paternity’, in Irish Literature in Transition, 1700-1780, M. Haslett, ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Barr, R.A. (2020), ‘The New Eighteenth-Century Ireland,’ Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture.
  • Barr, R.A., Brady, S., McGaughey, J. eds. (2019), Ireland and Masculinities in History, London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Barr, R.A., ‘Men, Women, and not quite non-persons: derivatization in Roxana’, La Revue de Société des Études Anglo-Américaines des XVII et XVIII Siecles (75), 2018.
  • Barr, R.A., Kleiman-Lafon, S., and Vasset, S. eds. (2018), Bellies, Bowels and Entrails in the Eighteenth Century, Manchester: Manchester University Press.
  • Barr, R.A. (2018), ‘Desire, Disgust, and indigestion in John Cleland’s Memoirs of a Coxcomb,’ Bellies, Bowels and Entrails in the Eighteenth Century, pp. 227-251.
  • Barr, R.A. (2018), ‘“Moral Painting, by Way of Dialogue”: Shaftesbury in The Cry,’ Shaftesbury: Shaping Enlightenment Politics, ed. P. Müller ed., Peter Lang: Frankfurt am Main, pp. 237-254.
  • Barr, R.A. (2016), ‘Barren desarts of arbitrary words”: language and communication in Collier and Fielding’s The Cry’, Women’s Writing, Volume 23, Issue 1(2016), 87-105.
  • Barr, R.A. (2016), ‘The man of feeling as dupe of desire: John Cleland’s 'Memoirs of a Coxcomb’, Etudes Epistémè, 30, 2016.
  • Barr, R.A., and J. Tonra (2016), ‘Annotation and the Social Edition,’ A Handbook of Editing Early Modern Texts, ed. H. Philips and C. Williams, Ashgate, pp. 117–120
  • Barr, R.A. (2014), ‘Black Transactions: waste and abundance in Samuel Richardson’s Clarissa,’ The Afterlife of Used Things: Recycling in the Eighteenth Century, A. Fennetaux, A. Junqua and S. Vasset eds., London: Routledge, pp. 199–211.
  • Barr, R.A. (2013), Pathological Laughter and the response to ridicule: Samuel Richardson, Jane Collier and Sarah Fielding,’ La Revue de Société des Études Anglo-Américaines des XVII et XVIII Siecles, XII-XIII (70) 2013, 223–246.
  • Barr, R.A. (2012), ‘W.S. Graham and epistolarity,’ Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry, 1.4 (May), 51–63.
  • Barr, R.A., (2011), ‘“Complete Hypocrite, Complete Tradesman”: Defoe’s Complete English Tradesman and masculine conduct,’ Positioning Daniel Defoe’s Non-fiction: Form, Function, Genre, ed. A. Mueller, Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Press, pp. 67–85.
  • Barr, R.A. (2010), ‘Resurrecting Saxon things: Peter Reading, ‘species decline’ and Old English poetry,’ Bone Dreams: Anglo-Saxon Culture in the Modern Imagination, N. Perkins and D. Clark eds., Cambridge: Boydell & Brewer, pp. 255–279.
  • Barr, R.A. (2010), ‘The Gothic in David Lynch: phantasmagoria and abjection,’ David Lynch in Theory, ed. F.X. Gleyzon, Litteraria Pragensia, pp. 132–146.
  • Barr, R.A. (2010), ‘Richardson’s Sir Charles Grandison and the symptoms of subjectivity,’ The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation, 51:4, Winter 2010, 1–24.

Hear from our students