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Julia F. Saville

Professor Emerita



Julia F. Saville did undergraduate degrees in English and Speech and Drama at the Universities of Natal and Cape Town, South Africa. She wrote her Master’s thesis under the supervision of Professor J. M. Coetzee, at that time winner of the Booker Prize for The Life and Times of Michael K (1983). Saville subsequently moved to Stanford University in California where she did her PhD in Comparative Literature.

Saville has long been a specialist in Victorian poetry completing two books: A Queer Chivalry: the Homoerotic Asceticism of Gerard Manley Hopkins (2000) and Victorian Soul-Talk: Poetry, Democracy, and the Body Politic (2017). She is currently working on a new project that explores the environmental ethics underpinning the work of late nineteenth-century British poets such as Thomas Hardy and Gerard Manley Hopkins. Their so-called "nature poetry," with its self-reflexive formal experiments and inventions, can be read as anticipating today's vibrant field of "ecopoetics."

Saville is an enthusiastic environmentalist and is currently training as a Master Naturalist in the East Central Illinois Master Naturalist program through the University of Illinois Extension (College of Agriculture, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences).  


Recent Publications


“Anthropocentrism and the Soul of Hopkins’s Ecopoetics” (for special issue celebrating centennial of Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins (1918), edited by Lesley J. Higgins and Amanda Paxton) Victorian Poetry 56.2 (Fall 2018): 129-146.


“Soul,” in Keywords: inaugural issue of Victorian Literature and Culture 46.3 & 4 (Fall/Winter, 2018): 885-888.