Dr Joshua Schouten De Jel

Dr Joshua Schouten De Jel

Associate Lecturer

School of Society and Culture (Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business)



Joshua Schouten de Jel is a Romanticist, specifically a Blakean. He has published works on Enlightenment empiricism, Rousseauian pedagogy, and Epicurean epistemology. His monograph, Blake and Lucretius: The Atomistic Materialism of the Selfhood, was published via Palgrave Macmillan in 2021.


BA (Hons) English and Creative Writing (First Class Honours), University of Plymouth

MA English and Culture (with Distinction), University of Plymouth

PhD, University of Plymouth

Professional membership

British Association for Romantic Studies



Teaching interests

Joshua teaches across the undergraduate programme at Plymouth, and has been the module leader on ENGL402 – Writing the Modern World (1600-1700), ENGL407 – Rewritings: Contemporary Literature and its Histories, ENGL509 – Women and Romanticism, and ENGL518 - The Impact of Publishing.



Research interests

My area of research specialism is Romantic literature. Specifically, I am interested in the Epicurean influence on the Romantics, especially William Blake. My 2021 monograph, Blake and Lucretius: The Atomistic Materialism of the Selfhood, contended that Blake consistently showed a familiarity with, and consequently incorporated across his entire mythopoeia, the atomistic materialism of the Epicurean school as it was principally transmitted through the first-century BC Roman poet and philosopher Lucretius’ treatise De Rerum Natura in ways, and to an extent, which has hitherto been unacknowledged. By aligning his idiosyncratic concept of the Selfhood – the lens through which the despiritualised subject beholds the material world – with the epistemological parameters of atomistic materialism, Blake mapped postlapsarian existence onto the philosophical framework of Epicurean cosmogony. As a result, when the subject succumbs to the Selfhood and once the Selfhood manipulates the subject’s ability to observe the external world, a psycho-topography – a psychological projection which takes on the physical attributes of phenomenological existence – is created which adheres to the principles of atomistic entropy, which Blake calls the cycle of Eternal Death. I am working on a subsequent monograph, continuing to explore Blake's use of Epicureanism. I am also considering a project which would discuss the wider influence of Epicurean epistemology on the Romantics.



Key publications

Key publications are highlighted


Schouten de Jel, Joshua (2023). 'The Radicalism of Blake's Neologism,' SEL.

Schouten de Jel, Joshua (2019). 'Fathers, sons, and monsters_ Rousseau, Blake, and Mary Shelley,' Palgrave Communications. 5(78), p. 1-9.

Schouten de Jel, Joshua (2018). 'Demonstration and Damnation_ William Blake's Eternal Death of Unbelief,' The AnaChronisT. 18, p. 32-57.

Schouten de Jel J (2019) 'Fathers, sons, and monsters: Rousseau, Blake, and Mary Shelley' Palgrave Communications 5, (1) , DOI Open access
Schouten de Jel J (2018) 'Demonstration and Damnation' The AnaChronisT 18, (1) , DOI
Schouten De Jel J 'Demonstration and Damnation: William Blake's Eternal Death of Unbelief' The AnaChronisT 18, (1) 32-57

Schouten de Jel, Joshua (2021). Blake and Lucretius: The Atomistic Materialism of the Selfhood. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Schouten de Jel J (2021) Blake and Lucretius. Springer International Publishing , DOI