Research Centre for English Literature and Cultural History - Staff

Academic Staff

Elspeth Graham
From my earlier work on seventeenth-century radicalism, I have extended my interest into research on cultural connections and intersections in the early-modern period.  I am particularly interested in two related areas: human relations with the environment and with other species who co-exist within culture; and the seriousness of play as a component of the identities of different social and cultural groups.  I have published on horses, drama and class relations in the 1630s, and on aristocratic self-writing and identity.  Papers I have given on space, movement and changes in the formation of subjectivity form the basis of a large project, A Gadding Humour:  Space, Movement and Identity.

Dr Bella Adams
I am lecturer in American literature and Director of the American Studies Resource Centre. My publications include Amy Tan (2005) and Asian American Literature (2008). I am currently researching Asian American literature and the environment. Other research interests include race in the US and anti-racist pedagogies. I am editor-in-chief of the American Studies Resource Centre’s journal, American Studies Today.  I was awarded an early career grant to write a chapter on Asian American literature and the environment.

Jonathan Cranfield
My doctoral thesis examined the Sherlock Holmes stories and The Strand Magazine as popularisers of science. My research interests include Victorian periodicals, literature and science, rehabilitating the notion of ideology critique, twentieth-century Victorians and indulging an unreasonable passion for the work of Arthur Conan Doyle. I have published on all of these subjects and am currently completing a monograph on Doyle's lesser-studied twentieth-century fiction as well as an edited collection of essays on the Professor Challenger stories.

Dr Joanna Croft
My research focuses on the interface between literature and psychoanalysis, and I am particularly interested in the political and psychic investments that have been made, since the late 19th century, in reading, writing and playing as constituents of identity. Adolescence has consistently been an axiomatic term within my work, because of its cultural purchase as a transitional or borderline category. Other key research interests include children’s fiction,  domestic space, twinship, and representations of trauma.

Ross Dawson

Dr Alice Ferrebe
My earliest research focused upon the representation of gender in British literature and culture, and resulted in my first book, Masculinity in Male-Authored Fiction 1950-2000. This looked at the influence of conceptions of masculinity on fictional form and theme through a period of intense political and stylistic negotiation by male authors with the gendered subject-positions both of fictional characters and those who read about them, ranging from the (allegedly) Angry Young Men, to the contemporary confessional literature of Nick Hornby. This research and writing in the field of literary gender studies continues, and I’m also really interested in the performances of gender that are at work in the English classroom – I’ve recently co-edited a collection of essays that explore this dynamic with my LJMU colleague Fiona Tolan.

Brian Gibbons
I am currently writing up research on the Faust legend. I have also begun research on various versions of the myth of Medea, which I propose to carry forward in two directions: a) an exploration of issues of gender and ethnicity in twentieth-century appropriations of the myth; b) a more general study of the figure of the sorceress in Western culture.

Dr Colin Harrison
My PhD explored the later fiction of Herman Melville and its treatment of different forms of social and economic exchange. Since then, I have written on 19th century urban disorder, American modernism, and late 20th century cultural and intellectual history. My recent book American Culture in the 1990s is an attempt to comprehend the developments taking place in America at the end of the last millennium, examining a variety of cultural spheres including film, television, radio, music, literature, fine art and digital culture.

Dr Kate Houlden
My work focuses primarily on questions of gender and sexuality in post-war Caribbean literature, although I also have an interest in post-war British fiction and postcolonial writing more generally. I am particularly concerned with how ideas of sex and sexuality disrupt notions of national identity and have had a number of articles published on this subject. I am a co-founder of the Postgraduate Feminist Reading Group at the Institute of English Studies and have also recently begun a new project on popular postcolonialisms, which examines how colonial and postcolonial ideologies play out in popular cultural production.

Dr Sondeep Kandola
My research is largely in the field of national identity with a particular focus on nineteenth-century British literature, gender and sexuality in the period and the Gothic. Other interests include women’s writing, Irish literature of the Romantic and Victorian periods, the literature of empire and European identity at the turn of the twentieth century. In particular, my research engages with the works of Vernon Lee, Oscar Wilde, W.B. Yeats, Robert Burns and Charles Robert Maturin. My current research is primarily concerned with nineteenth-century literature and the formation of the United Kingdom. Last year, along with Professor Frank McDonough (History), I organised a high profile lecture series on the topic of National identity that has included distinguished speakers such as Professor Tariq Ramadan (Oxford University) and the actress Dame Janet Suzman. I was also awarded a HEFCE Promising Researcher award for the academic year 2010-11.

Professor Brian Maidment
My research interests centre on the social history of nineteenth century print culture, especially periodicals, illustration, and writing by, and for, working men and women. Most of my recent work concerns illustrated mass circulation literature from the first half of the nineteenth century, and I have a new book, Comedy, Caricature and the Social Order 1820-1850 coming out at the beginning of 2013. Current projects include editing the Victorian volume of The Oxford History of Popular Print Culture.  In addition to my part-time post at LJMU I am a Visiting Professor in the Centre for Text and Print Culture at the University of Ghent and a Visiting Scholar at the Lewis Walpole Library at Yale University where I teach an annual residential seminar on the history of prints for post-graduate students.

Dr Joe Moran
My research reflects both my interdisciplinary teaching interests and cross-disciplinary academic background in history, politics, English and cultural studies. Halfway between cultural studies and contemporary British cultural history, it focuses on the habits and spaces of everyday life as a way of making sense of cultural and political change in postwar Britain.

Dr Nadine Muller
Nadine is Lecturer in English Literature and Cultural History. Before taking up her post at LJMU, she completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Salford and her Ph.D. in English Literature at the University of Hull. Nadine’s research covers Victorian and neo-Victorian literature and culture, feminist theory and practice, women’s fiction, and cultural histories of women and gender from the nineteenth century to the present day. She is currently working on two book projects: The Feminist Politics of Neo-Victorian Fiction, 2000-2010 and The Widow in in British Literature and Culture, 1850-2010. Nadine is a member of the Journal of Gender Studies editorial board, co-editor of Women and Belief, 1852-1928 (2012), and a member of the Feminist & Women’s Studies Association executive committee. She also has developed a keen interest in postgraduate and early-career development. You can find out more about Nadine and her work by following her on Twitter (@Nadine_Muller) and by visiting her website (

Professor Glenda Norquay 
I have three main areas of research interest - Robert Louis Stevenson and late nineteenth-century literary culture; Scottish women’s writing; and British women’s suffrage fiction – and my work is driven by an engagement with the intersections of literature and cultural history. Publications in these areas, include Robert Louis Stevenson and Theories of Reading (2007), anthologies of suffrage fiction, essays on Scottish fiction, and The Collected Works of Lorna Moon (2002).

Dr Joanna Price
Joanna Price’s research expertise is mainly in late twentieth century and twenty-first century American literature.  She is particularly interested in questions of personal and cultural memory, mourning and trauma, as they are explored in recent fiction, autobiography and travel memoir, including polar writing.  She is also interested in pedagogical issues relating to the support and promotion of students’ intellectual and personal development though work experience at home and abroad.

Dr Helen Rogers
Helen Rogers, Reader in Nineteenth Century Studies, English department, Liverpool John Moores University
My main teaching and research interests lie in the nineteenth century. I have published books on women and radical culture and on gender and fatherhood and I am one of the editors of the Journal of Victorian Culture. Currently I am working on a study of crime, punishment and rehabilitation based on the work of the prison visitor Sarah Martin with inmates at Yarmouth Gaol. I am also part of a group working to establish a digital archive of working-class writing to be hosted by Liverpool John Moores University.

Dr Gerry Smyth
I have research interests in modern Irish fiction, popular music since the 1960s, and contemporary critical theory. I am currently writing a book provisionally entitled Betrayal in Modern Irish Fiction, which is contracted to Manchester University Press. I am also working on a number of music-related projects, including the production of two CDs: the first, entitled Roll & Go, a collection of sea-songs and shanties associated with Liverpool; the second, a musical treatment of James Joyce’s poetry cycle, Chamber Music (1908).

Dr Fiona Tolan
My research is primarily concerned with contemporary literature, with a strong emphasis on British and Canadian writing, and on feminist and postcolonial theories. Since completing a PhD in 2004 on the relationship of Margaret Atwood’s fiction with second wave feminism, I have maintained a strong research interest in Atwood’s work, and am a member of the International Advisory Board for the Margaret Atwood Studies journal, and author of Margaret Atwood: Feminism and Fiction (2007). My current research is broadly concerned with recent British writing. At the moment I am working on a monograph provisionally entitled Painting Whilst Rome Burns: The Good of Art in Contemporary British Fiction, which is concerned with the debates around the representation of art and literature as a moral Good, as they occur in the works of writers such as Zadie Smith, Ian McEwan, Pat Barker and Kazuo Ishiguro. I am also working towards a co-authored book on post-millennial British fiction.

Dr Kathryn Walchester
My main research interest is travel writing ; in particular nineteenth-century European travel. I have published books about women travellers in Italy and Norway and I am currently working on a monograph about travelling servants and a co-edited text about image and travel.

Professor Roger Webster
Roger Webster is Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Professional and Social Studies and professor of literary studies. He has published on Thomas Hardy, working-class writing, literary theory, suburbia, and Joseph Conrad. His most recent publications have been on Hardy and film. He is interested in supervising students in the areas of nineteenth- and twentieth-century fiction, literature and painting, literature and film.

Part-time Staff

Zoe Alker
Nick Barnett
Alfie Brown
Jacky Eden
Bob Kettle
Amber Regis
Morag Reid
Janet Smith
Mark Tooke

Page last modified 09 July 2014.

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