Professor Donna Landry

Emeritus Professor of English and American Literature
Professor Donna Landry


(BA, Duke; MA, PhD, Virginia)
Donna has published widely on animals as simultaneously cultural agents and commodities, Anglo-Ottoman and East-West relations, travel writing, labouring-class writing, women’s writing, the Black Atlantic, imperialism, Orientalism, and the politics and aesthetics of the countryside. She regularly crosses disciplinary boundaries and currently poaches in Ottoman studies, environmental history and ecology, migration studies, landscape aesthetics, postcolonial theory, and comparative imperial history. Her latest book, Noble Brutes explored how blood horses imported from the Ottoman Empire revolutionised British equestrian culture, inspiring Book 4 of Gulliver’s Travels and George Stubbs’s sporting art.
Donna is part of the research team for MOVES (Migration and Modernity: Historical and Cultural Challenges), a European Joint Doctorate (EJD) funded by the European Union. 

Her current projects include a monograph, ‘War Horses, Waterloo, and the Eastern Question’, a new venture into military history from the perspective of the horses, and continuing research related to questions of travel, migration, and East-West relations following the Ottoman explorer and ‘long rider’ Evliya Çelebi (1611-c.1687). Donna is also researching the making of a radical anti-imperialist, Lady Anne Blunt, who established the Crabbet Arabian Stud with her husband, Wilfrid Scawen Blunt, and whose writing, painting and anti-colonialist campaigning deserves to be better known.
With Philip Mansel of the Society for Court Studies, and Tobias Capwell of the Wallace Collection, Donna collaborated in 2018 on ‘Horses and Courts: The Reins of Power’  future ‘Horse Power’ events are planned.
With Ercihan Dilari, Caroline Finkel, and Gerald MacLean, Donna was a founding member of the Evliya Çelebi Ride and Way, a project of historical re-enactment, leading to the establishment of an UNESCO cultural route, The Evliya Çelebi Way. Her participation was supported by the Leverhulme Trust

Research interests

Donna’s research interests include horses in history, and animals as simultaneously cultural agents and commodities; Anglo-Ottoman and East-West relations; travel and travel writing; historical reenactment as a mode and practice of research; subaltern studies; labouring-class writing; gender studies and queer theory; women’s writing; the Black Atlantic; slavery, colonialism and migration in relation to discourses on ‘race’; imperialism; Orientalism; and the politics and aesthetics of the countryside. She investigates historically and cross-culturally, and whenever possible with a multidisciplinary lens. She regards the crossing of disciplinary boundaries as a form of academic trespassing or poaching, thereby honoring the long history of rural transgression against attempts to privatise the countryside. Donna currently poaches in Ottoman studies, environmental history and ecology, migration studies, art history, postcolonial and postimperial theory, and military and comparative imperial history. 


Donna invites applications in such research fields as: Animals in cultural history; travel and travel writing (especially in Turkey and the Ottoman Empire); questions of movement and migration; early modern and Enlightenment empires and their literary representations in comparative frame; the politics and aesthetics of land and landscape; re-enchantment of the landscape through practices of walking, riding, hunting, painting; historical reenactment as a mode of research; postcolonial and postimperial studies; Orientalism and attitudes to Islam; Black Atlantic writing; gender studies and queer theory; women’s writing; labouring-class writing; fiction and historiography; non-Eurocentric approaches to ecology and ecocriticism.


Professor Landry is a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society and editorial board member of The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation, Eighteenth-Century Studies, The John Clare Society Journal, and Criticism. She reads for a number of academic presses, and with Professor Caroline Rooney, co-edits the Routledge ‘Research in Postcolonial Literatures’ series. She is a member of the British and American Societies for Eighteenth-Century Studies, the World Arabian Horse Organization, the Anglo-Turkish Society and Turkish Area Studies Group, the Association for the Study of Travel in Egypt and the Near East, the Society for Court Studies, the John Clare Society and the Society of Authors.

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