Dr Stuart Lee

Senior Member, Faculty of English Language and Literature; Deputy Chief Information Officer; and Reader


Dr Stuart Lee's current research is on the works of J. R. R. Tolkien, fantasy literature, WW1 Poetry, and digital humanities.

In the Tolkien/fantasy field, Dr Lee is assisting in the development of a research cluster in this area. In War studies he has explored, through many projects, crowd-sourcing of war memories and objects (especially WW1) and is now beginning work on WW2 (memory, objects, and digitization).

Dr Lee's PhD was in Old English (Ælfric's Old Testament Homilies). In 1991, he began work in e-learning and applying these to the arts; developing his first package to teach online, based around Isaac Rosenberg's 'Break of Day in the Trenches'. This led to major digital humanities projects around the War poets - most notably the First World War Poetry Digital Archive but also major crowd-sourcing initiatives across Europe (e.g. Europeana 1914-1918). Dr Lee has also contributed the chapter on 'The British Canon' as part of the forthcoming Cambridge History of First World War Poetry and is a literary executor for the Wilfred Owen Estate.  

Dr Lee ran the 2013 Tolkien and 2014 WW1 Poetry Spring Schools at Oxford, and co-organised (with Professor Carolyne Larrington) the 2018 Summer School on Fantasy Literature. 

Moving from Old English into medievalism, Dr Lee developed his research on the writer J. R. R. Tolkien, working extensively on his fiction and manuscripts, and publishing on his interactions with the poem 'The Wanderer' and 'The Battle of Maldon', conducting interviews with the BBC, editing the Companion to J R R Tolkien (Blackwells/Wiley), and two editions (with E. Solopova) of The Keys of Middle-earth. Dr Lee also edited the Routledge Major Works four-volume set on Tolkien.

Dr Lee teaches and has taught on: Old English, WW1 poetry, Tolkien, fantasy literature, and digital humanities.


  • J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Fantasy literature
  • WW1 poetry
  • Digital humanities
  • Digital transformation
  • Digital crowd-sourcing

Media experience

Dr Stuart Lee has experience being interviewed for radio, TV, and newspapers, including BBC Radio 4’s ‘Archive on 4: Tolkien, the Lost Recordings’, which he pitched and featured in. An upcoming interview for German television on Tolkien’s life and works will air next year.