Member Biographies

Jump to a Member’s Biography: 

Sabina Akram, Lucy Bland, Zoë BennettSarah Annes Brown, Peter Cook, John Gardner, Abderrezzaq Ghafsi, Meg Gooding, Saffya Gray, Kirsty J. HarrisNina LübbrenElizabeth LudlowEdwin MarrRohan McWilliam , Marie Moxon, Sophie Phelps, Valerie PurtonKathy ReesAnne-Louise Russell, Shelley Walters; Steven White

Sabina Akram

Zoë Bennett

Lucy Bland

Sarah Annes Brown

Sarah has published widely on the reception of Ovid’s Metamorphoses in English literature, and on allusion and influence more generally, particularly with reference to Shakespeare. Sarah joined our Department in 2006. Her principal teaching areas are Shakespeare, Renaissance literature and tragedy. She has previously taught at the universities of Bristol, Central England, St Andrews, De Montfort and Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge.

Her publications include The Metamorphosis of Ovid: Chaucer to Ted Hughes (1999),Devoted Sisters: Representations of the Sister Relationship in Nineteenth Century British and American literature (2003), Ovid: Myth and Metamorphosis (2005), a volume of essays co-edited with Catherine Silverstone, Tragedy in Transition (2007) and A Familiar Compound Ghost: Allusion and the Uncanny (2012).

Recent Publications:

  • Allusion in Averill Curdy’s Song & Error. Studies in the Literary Imagination,
  • Ovid in English (1) Metamorphoses. London: MHRA, 2013. (with A. Taylor)
  • Science fiction and classical reception in contemporary women’s writing. Classical Receptions Journal,14(2). 2012.
  • A Familiar Compound Ghost: Allusion and the Uncanny. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2012.

Peter Cook

John Gardner

john-gardner_234x234John has worked at Anglia Ruskin since 2004 having previously worked at the University of Glasgow. John’s other work includes having been an external examiner at a number of universities to date including: University of Aberdeen; University of Bedfordshire, University of Birmingham; University of Coventry; University of East Anglia; University of Glasgow; University of Hertfordshire; Northumbria University and Oxford Brookes University. John currently teaches a range of literature from Chaucer to the present day at Anglia Ruskin but mainly researches in C.18 and C.19 literature and culture. John is also responsible for enabling students to engage in International university exchanges while studying and partners include: Ramapo University, Valparaiso university in the USA; and in Europe: Ghent University; the University of Huelva and the University of Marseilles. Recent research has been on Byron; Pierce Egan; and interactions between Engineering and Literature.

Recent Publications:

In the past year, John has given papers at the Liverpool John Moores University and the University of California, Berkeley.

  • ‘Byron and the Rejected Child’. Essays in Memory of Peter Cochran, 
  • ‘Egan and Hone’. The Regency Revisited, 2016.
  • ‘Cobbett’s Return to England in 1819’. William Cobbett, Romanticism and the Enlightenment, 
  • ‘The Case of Byron’s Marino Faliero’. The Oxford Handbook of the Georgian Theatre, 2014.

Abderrezzaq Ghafsi

Meg Gooding

Saffya Gray

Kirsty J. Harris

Kirsty_HarrisKirsty J. Harris has recently completed her PhD at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, where she also studied for her Bachelors and Masters degrees. Her thesis was titled ‘In Peril on the Sea: Shipwreck and Loss in Poetry 1805-1822’, and her research considers the intersections of maritime history and poetry published around the beginning of the nineteenth century. She is currently working on establishing research into the area of the Gothic Sea, as well as exploring women’s narratives of the sea during this period, working on Mary Robinson, Felicia Hemans, Charlotte Smith, and other female authors. Her PhD was funded by an AHRC block grant.

Kirsty has published in the Byron Journal in 2016 with an article on The Corsair, and she has contributed to the Literary Encyclopaedia online with entries on the poet William Combe, and on Percy Bysshe Shelley’s fragmentary poem ‘A Vision of the Sea’. She is the Postgraduate Director and Administrator of Anglia Ruskin University’s interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies unit. Other interests include the history of piracy, queer histories and narratives, literary feminism, and the influence of German Romanticism.

Recent Publications:

  • ‘My Soul is Changed: Pirate Identity and Shifting Power in Byron’s Corsair’, The Byron Journal1 (July 2016).
  • ‘Byron’s Life and his Eastern Tales: Review of the 9thInternational Student Byron Conference’, The Byron Journal 2 (December 2014).

Nina Lübbren

nina_lubbren_234x234Nina researches German Expressionist sculpture 1910-1935.  She’s also an expert on 19th-century visual narrative, particularly history and genre paintings, and on rural artists’ colonies.

Nina is currently working on a research project on German Expressionist sculptors, in particular Gela Forster, Milly Steger, Renée Sintenis and Emy Roeder. She is also interested in visual narrative in nineteenth-century European, mainly academic, history and genre painting. Her work here draws on reception theory and narrative theory.

Nina’s past research has focused on landscape and peasant painting in the context of nineteenth-century rural artists’ colonies, with an emphasis on geographical and tourism studies. She’s also passionate about Bollywood cinema.

Nina completed her education (primary to PhD) in Jakarta (Indonesia), Sydney (Australia), Heidelberg and Berlin (Germany), Berkeley (California, USA) and Leeds (England). After graduation, she taught at Leeds, Birkbeck College and the Open University before joining Anglia Ruskin University.

Before taking up her present role as Deputy Head of the Department of English and Media and Principal Lecturer in Film Studies, she was Senior Lecturer in Art History and Modern Visual Culture in Cambridge School of Art.

Recent Publications

  • ‘Gela Forster’s Expressionist Sculpture: Feminism, War and Revolution’, Art History (special issue on ‘Weimar’s Other’, ed. by Dorothy Price and Camilla Smith), April 2017.
  • ‘Women, War and Naked Men: German Women Sculptors and the Male Nude, 1915-1925’, in Deborah Ascher Barnstone, Tom Haakenson and Barbara McCloskey (eds), Art and War, Peter Lang (series ‘German Visual Culture’, vol. 4), 2017.
  • Painting and Narrative in France, from Poussin to Gauguin, edited with Peter Cooke, Routledge / Ashgate, 2016.
  • ‘Eloquent Objects: Gérôme, Laurens and the art of inanimate narration’, in Painting and Narrative in France (see above).
  • ‘Europäische Künstlerkolonien’ (‘European Artists’ Colonies’), in Thomas Andratschke (ed.), Worpswede und die europäischen Künstlerkolonien, exh.cat. Landesmuseum Hannover, 2016.
  • Lübbren, N., 2010. The Objects of Genre. In: Baird, O. (Ed.). The Cranbrook Colony: Fresh Perspectives. Wolverhampton: Wolverhampton Art Gallery.
  • Lübbren, N., 2010. Crime, Time and Gérôme’s Death of Caesar. In: Allan, S. (Ed.).Reconsidering Gérôme. Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute.
  • Lübbren, N., 2009. Narratives of Rural Life. In: McCullough, H. and Stott, A. (Eds.). Dutch Utopia. Savannah, Georgia:  Telfair Museum of Art.

Elizabeth Ludlow (Unit Director)

elizabeth-ludlowElizabeth is a Senior Lecturer in English Literature and the MA Course Leader. Before coming to Anglia Ruskin, she completed her PhD at the University of Warwick and held teaching fellowships at the University of British Columbia and the University of Birmingham. She enjoys teaching on subjects ranging from John Milton’s Paradise Lost to contemporary adaptations of Jane Austen’s novels but her real passion is for Victorian novels and poetry. She is the author of Christina Rossetti and the Bible: Waiting with the Saints and has published articles in journals including Literature Compass, Victorian Review and English Literature in Transition, 1880-1920. She is currently editing a collection of essays coming out of the unit’s 2016 conference, The Figure of Christ in the Long Nineteenth Century and working on the religious imagination in the novels of George Eliot and Elizabeth Gaskell.

Recent Publications

  • Christina Rossetti and the BibleWaiting with the Saints (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2014).
  • ‘Elizabeth Gaskell’s Early Contributions to Household Words: The Parable and the Transformation of Communities Through “Kinder Understanding.”’ Victorian Review 42.1 (2016), 107-125.
  • ‘Elizabeth Gaskell and the Short Story’ and ‘New Attributions to All the Year Round’,The Gaskell Journal 29 (2015), 1-24.

For a full list of publications and book reviews please see here.

Twitter: @ludlow_e

Edwin John Moorhouse Marr 

Edwin_MarrEdwin is currently working towards an MA in English Literature at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, with a thesis on grief and death in the works of BranwellBrontë. Edwin completed his BA at ARU in 2016, with a thesis on Universal Salvation in the works of Anne Brontë. His research in general is concerned with the Brontës, theology and their critical afterlives, and he is also interested in the impact of industrialisation, travel and railways within Nineteenth-Century literature.

Edwin has set up The Brontë Network on YouTube, discussing the Brontës’ lives and works, and he is also the administrator of Anglia Ruskin’s Nineteenth-Century Studies Facebook page.

Twitter: @Speedbird1994

Rohan McWilliam

Rohan_McWilliamRohan is Professor of Modern British History at Anglia Ruskin University and a former president (2012-15) of the British Association for Victorian Studies.  He is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Victorian Culture where he serves as reviews editor.  He is the editor of two monograph series: ‘Becoming Modern: New Nineteenth Century Studies’ (University Press of New England) and ‘New Directions in Social and Cultural History’ (Bloomsbury).  He is also co-director of the Labour History Research Unit at Anglia Ruskin.

He is the author of The Tichborne Claimant: A Victorian Sensation (2007) and is now at work on a social history of the West End of London since 1800.  He is also editing, with Sarah Lill, a book tentatively titled ‘Edward Lloyd and his World: Politics, popular fiction and the press in Victorian Britain’. This will be the first scholarly examination of the publisher who decisively shaped modern popular culture.  Lloyd made a fortune publishing mass market fiction, including the first appearance of Sweeney Todd, aimed at a working-class audience in the early Victorian period.  He has published cheap newspapers aimed at a popular audience.

He has co-edited (with Kelly Boyd) The Victorian Studies Reader (2007) and (with Jonathan Davis) Labour and the Left in the 1980s (forthcoming in 2017) as well as (with Sasha Handley and Lucy Noakes) New Directions in Social and Cultural History.  He has written articles about Victorian melodrama, G.W.M. Reynolds, Elsa Lanchester and Jonathan Miller.

Recent and forthcoming articles:

  • ‘Melodrama and Class’ in Carolyn Williams (ed.), Cambridge Companion to Melodrama (forthcoming from Cambridge University Press in 2018).
  • ‘The Bazaars of London’s West End in the Nineteenth Century’ in Helen Kingstone and Kate Lister (eds), Paraphernalia! Victorian Objects (forthcoming from Routledge in 2018).
  • ‘Back to the Future: E.P. Thompson, Eric Hobsbawm and the remaking of nineteenth-century British history’, Social History 39 no 2 (2014), pp. 149-159.
  • ‘Elsa Lanchester and Bohemian London in the Early Twentieth Century’, Women’s History Review 23 no. 2 (2014), 171-187.
  • ‘The Interconnectedness of Things: Asa Briggs and Social History’ in Miles Taylor (ed.), The Age of Asa: Lord Briggs, Public Life and History in Britain since 1945 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), pp. 23-45.
  • ‘Jonathan Miller’s Alice in Wonderland (1966): A Suitable Case for Treatment’ Historical Journal of Film, Television and Radio, vol. 31 no. 2 (2011), 229-246.

Marie Moxon

Sophie Phelps

Valerie Purton

valerie-purtonValerie is fascinated by myth, not only in the Classical and Medieval periods, but also in contemporary fiction, especially in the twentieth century novel, and has published works about Iris Murdoch, Kazuo Ishiguro and Tony Harrison.

Valerie read English at Newnham College, Cambridge, where she was an Exhibitioner, and then spent several years travelling and teaching, first in Ghana, West Africa, and then in Canada, where she taught at the Universities of Alberta and Saskatchewan. She also worked in local radio in Canada, presenting her own radio talk slot. Upon returning to England she worked at an immigrant teaching scheme in Nottingham while gaining a Distinction in the University of Nottingham’s PGCE programme. She taught in schools and with the Open University and then designed and ran the English Honours Degree Pathway at City College, Norwich, under the auspices of what was then Anglia Polytechnic University. Valerie was appointed to a full-time post at Anglia Ruskin University in 2006, promoted to Reader in 2008 and then to Professor in 2012.

Valerie’s principal research interests are in the Victorian period and in the works of Alfred, Lord Tennyson and Charles Dickens. She is a member of the Executive Committee and the Publications Board of the International Tennyson Society and succeeded Dr Robert Douglas-Fairhurst of Magdalen College Oxford as Editor of the Tennyson Research Bulletin in 2011. In 2009 she produced a celebratory bicentenary CD of readings of Tennyson’s poetry by such figures as Sir John Mortimer, Lord Healey, former Chancellor of the Exchequer, the then Poet Laureate Andrew Motion and Lynn Truss, which has sold worldwide.

Valerie organised a bicentenary conference on Charles Dickens in 2012 and a conference on John Ruskin in April 2015.

Recent Publications

  • Two-Way Traffic: New Directions in Victorian Literature and Science, Anthem Press. A collection of essays based on papers given at the 2009 Darwin/Tennyson conference. Forthcoming.
  • The Palgrave Literary Dictionary of Tennyson, co-authored with Professor Norman Page, 2010. 340pp. ISBN: 978-1-4039-4317-0.
  • A monograph, Evolution and the Idylls of the King, submitted to Continuum Press.
  • An Iris Murdoch Chronologyin the Palgrave/Macmillan Chronology series (85,000 words, published in UK and USA, 2007. (201 pages).

Kathy Rees

Kathy_ReesKathy Rees undertook her PhD, entitled: ‘Reading Gosse’s Reading: A Study of Allusion in the work of Edmund Gosse’, at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge.  The aim of her thesis was to demonstrate the potential of allusion as a methodological tool in literary analysis, and to explore Gosse’s acts of re-reading, to show how Gosse could both arrest tradition by fragmenting canonical works, but at the same time promote cultural continuity by importing text from the past into the present.  Since completing in 2015, Kathy has continued as an independent researcher, focusing on the Heinemann International Library, a series of translated texts edited by Gosse, and published by William Heinemann in 1890-97.

Her interests include all aspects of Victorian culture but especially the novel, life writing, men of letters, religious tracts, and fin de siècle narratives.  She is also interested in intertextuality, allusion and translation.

Kathy is a member of BAVS and of the Cambridge branches of The Dickens Fellowship, and the Jane Austen Society.

Recent Publications:

  • ‘Edmund Gosse Entertains: Gossip in a Library (1891)’. Nineteenth- Century Prose, Special Issue: Victorian Critics, 43: 1 /2 (Spring/Fall, 2016), pp.81-100.
  • ‘Reading Edmund Gosse’s Father and Son (1907) through a Dickensian Lens’. Dickens Quarterly 33: 3 (Sept 2016), pp.223-243.

Anne-Louise Russell

Anne-Louise Russell is an AHRC funded PhD student at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, where she also gained her BA (Hons) and MA in English Literature.  Her research project examines the unique moment between 1872 and 1876 when four literary magazines were edited by female sensation novelists: Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Ellen Wood, Florence Marryat and Charlotte Riddell.  She investigates how these author-editors responded to cultural change and legislative events, and how they contributed to agitation for social reform.

Recent Publications:

Shelley Walters

Steven Michael White

Steven_WhiteSteven White completed his PhD in English at Anglia Ruskin in 2016, having previously studied for an MLitt in Romantic and Victorian Literature at the University of St Andrews and a BA in English at ARU. His thesis, ‘Representations of Society in Conservative Poetry, 1790-1798’, examined how writers used poetry as a means of creating and disseminating a form of popular conservatism in the wake of the French Revolution. His current research project centres on Victorian music magazines. At present, he is looking at the reception of, and attitudes towards, Alfred Tennyson in the musical press between 1840 and 1900. He is particularly interested in the way in which Tennyson – ‘The Lord of English Song’ as The Musical Standard called him – figures in debates about the future of ‘English National Music’.

Steven has taught across the BA and MA in English at Anglia Ruskin since 2012, having delivered seminars and lectures for the modules ‘A History of English Literature’, ‘Romantic Conflicts’, ‘The Victorian Experience’ and ‘Revolution and Reform in the Long Nineteenth Century’. He has also been a guest lecturer at the University of Suffolk in Bury St Edmunds.

Recent Publications: