Amy Milka

Amy was appointed Lecturer in Eighteenth Century English Literature at the University of York (2013‒2014), and Teaching Fellow in the School of English at the University of Sussex (2014‒2015). She has taught undergraduate and postgraduate courses on many aspects of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century literature and culture, including primitivism, representations of the city, and gender and sexuality.  She is committed to an interdisciplinary approach to teaching and research, and to new ways of studying literature, culture and society in the long eighteenth century. She is also interested in the digital humanities, and thinking about new digital research methods and approaches.  She co-founded the University of York Digital Humanities Forum in 2013.  In 2015, she joined the Australian Reserach Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (CHE) at The University of Adelaide to work in the ‘Change’ program.

In a new project for the ‘Change’ program with Professor David Lemmings, titled 'Professors of Feeling: Emotion and the English Criminal Courts, 1700‒1830', she will consider the affective language of the courtroom in criminal trials. The project will analyse the shifts in language and address which accompanied the introduction of lawyers into the courtroom, the changing role of the jury, and new approaches to prosecution and defence. Throughout the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, the language and discourse of criminality and legality were in flux. In the courtroom, at the level of local justice, and in wider intellectual and print culture, attitudes to the law, the government and individual rights were subject to significant change. This project investigates the role that emotion played in the language of the law as spoken by legal professionals, and the way that ideas about performance, oratory, and sympathy influenced their address.  It will consider how changes in the discourse of sympathy and sensibility, in the way people perceived the role of government and their own natural rights, impacted on emotional language within the law. Further, this project is concerned with representation and reception, thinking about emotional engagement with the law outside the courtroom. How was criminal justice represented in private accounts and in print culture, and to what extent did emotion play a part in the interpretation of crime, punishment, and the workings of the law? How did factors such as class, gender, or the nature of the crime affect sympathetic responses? The project aims to consider a cross-section of material engaging with criminal justice, to situate the changing language of the law within an affective landscape, and within a broader understanding of eighteenth-century culture.

Justice and Jacobins: Eighteenth-Century Literature and Culture blog


Professors of Feeling: Emotion and the English Criminal Courts, 1700‒1830


Milka, A. and D. Lemmings. ‘Manipulating Emotions: Lawyerization, Performance and the Criminal Trial’. In Research Handbook on Law and Emotion. Edward Elgar Press (forthcoming 2021).

Milka, A. ‘Feeling for Forgers: Character, Sympathy and Financial Crime in London During the Late Eighteenth Century’. Journal for Eighteenth Century Studies (2018).

Milka, A. ‘Impostors: Performance, Emotion and Genteel Criminality in Late Eighteenth-Century England’. Emotions: History, Culture, Society 1.2 (2017): 81–107.

Milka, A. and D. Lemmings. ‘Narratives of Feeling and Majesty: Mediated Emotions in the Eighteenth-Century Criminal Courtroom’. Journal of Legal History 38.2 (2017): 155‒78. 

Milka, A. 'Next-Door Neighbours: The Contrast and Caricature in theEearly 1790s'. Skepsi 5.2 Autumn (2013):11‒25.


‘Elizabeth Inchbald and the Politics of Translation’, 2018 American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Annual Meeting, Orlando, Florida, USA, 22‒25 March 2018.

‘Scandalous Paragraphs: Newspapers, Emotions and the Criminal Trial in Eighteenth-Century England’.  Emotions and Media in Early Modern Europe panel (convened by Amy Milka and Abaigeal Warfield).  International Association for Media History Conference, Universite Paris 2 Pantheon-Assas, 10–13 July 2017.

‘“Hold thy tongue, for thou shocks me”: Emotions in the Courtroom in Eighteenth-Century York’, Powerful Emotions/Emotions and Power conference, University of York, UK, 28‒29 June 2017.

‘“Frères et Amis”: Forging Emotional Bonds in Political Correspondence During the French Revolution’, History of Emotions Panel, British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies conference, Oxford, 4‒6 January 2017.

‘Federative Feeling: Emotion, Festival and the Language of Unity in the Early 1790s’, 22nd International Congress of Historical Sciences, Jinan, China, 23–29 August 2015.

‘"Electricity Whigs of the French School": Representing English Jacobins', invited speaker at the 18th and 19th Century Research Seminar, University of Sussex.

'Strangers, Conspirators, and Englishwomen: Revolution Tourists and Satire in the early 1790s', 'Rethinking the Grand Tour' Conference, University of York.

'Mud-slinging and Name-Calling: Political Slurs in the 1790s', Centre for Eighteenth-Century Studies Postgraduate Forum, University of York.

'Cross-Channel Conversations: Political Interchange in the Revolutionary Period', Society for the Study of French History Conference, University of York.

'Editing the Jacobin' – Paper presented at the White Rose Eighteenth Century Conference, University of Leeds.

'Next-Door Neighbours: The Contrast and Caricature in the Early French Revolution'. Invited speaker at Cradled in Caricature conference, University of Kent in Canterbury.

'The Dog Tax and Eighteenth Century Political Satire', York Georgian Society annual conference.

'Grande Conspiration: The Jacobin Club and the Revolutionary Complot Narrative', ‘Conspiracies Real and Imagined’ Conference, University of York.

'Cross-Channel Conversations', British Society for Eighteenth Century Studies Conference, St Hugh’s College, Oxford.

'A Jacobin in the Margins', University of York English Postgraduate Conference.

'The Dog Tax and Eighteenth Century Political Satire', Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies Postgraduate Forum, University of York.



21 March 2017: ‘The Many Tricks of Thomas Tyler, Swindler’, by Amy Milka. Justice and Jacobins blog.