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Dr. Emma Francis

I gained my BA and MA at Southampton and PhD at Liverpool, all in English Literature. I joined the English Department in 2001 after lecturing for four years in Warwick's Centre for the Study of Women and Gender, of which I am still a member.


My research is located at the interface of Victorian studies and feminist thought and I have particular interest in nineteenth-century British women's poetry especially Amy Levy, Letitia Landon, Emily Brontë and Mathilde Blind. My current research focuses on the intellectual traffic between Bloomsbury and the East End between 1880 and 1920, and its inflection by 'Darwinian Epiphany' - considering, among others, Olive Schreiner, Eleanor Marx, Clementina Black, Israel Zangwill and Stewart Headlam. I am also working currently on a shorter project 'Psychoanalysis in Egypt: Victorian "science" and Freud's "historical novel"', material from which was delivered for the first time at the BAVS/NAVSA conference Churchill College, Cambridge in July 2009 as part of a panel on 'Victorian Freud. My next major project, which will explore the formation of the psychosomatic in its modern, secular and scientific sense in literature from Tennyson to Freud had a try out in my paper 'Swooning, Swaying, Flushing and Blushing: Pathological Circulations of Early Victorian Poetry', at VSAWC, 2011.

Current and recent national research activity 

in Spring of 2010 in collaboration with Nadia Valman (QMUL) I curated a semester of the London Nineteenth Century Studies Seminar, at the Institute of English Studies. We brought together scholars working across the disciplines of English, history and cultural geography to address the topic 'Revisiting the Victorian East End'. Papers from the series and others on the theme have been published as the Winter 2011 issue of 19.

In October 2011, in collaboration with psychoanalytic psychotherapist Janet Campbell, I created Psychoanalysis, Literature and Practice, a seminar at the IES. Sponsored jointly by Warwick and the IES, this group brings together academics from English and other humanities and social science disciplines with clinicians to discuss psychoanalytic and cultural texts and ways of understanding the relations between them. The seminar takes a sabbatical in Autumn term 2013, and resumes in January 2014.

Since 2008 I have been an Independent Assessor for the Reviewing Committee of the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest, which reports to the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, Department of Culture, Media and Sport. I advise on the adjudication of the Waverley criteria in the proposed export of 19th century British women's manuscript and published literary texts.

Selected publications

Co-ed (with Nadia Valman) Revisiting the Victorian East End, 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long 19th Century, Winter 2011.

'Why wasn't Amy Levy more of a socialist?: Levy, Clementina Black and Liza of Lambeth', in Naomi Hetherington and Nadia Valman eds. Amy Levy: Critical Essays (Ohio University Press, 2010)

'"I like solitude before a mirror": Corinne, Marie Bashkirtseff and the decline of the Woman of Genius', Corvey Women Writers on the Web, Issue 2, Spring 2005

'"Healing relief without detriment to modest reserve": Keble, women's poetry and Victorian cultural theory', in Kirstie Blair ed., John Keble in Context (Anthem, 2004)

Co-ed (with Kate Chedgzoy and Murray Pratt) In a Queer Place: Sexuality and Belonging (Ashgate: 2002)

'Socialist feminism and sexual instinct: Amy Levy and Eleanor Marx', in John Stokes ed. Eleanor Marx: Life, Work, Contacts (Ashgate: 2000)

'"Conquered good and conquering ill": Femininity, power and Romanticism in Emily Bronte's poetry', in Edward Larrissy ed., Romanticism and Postmodernism (Cambridge University Press: 1999)

Doctoral Supervision and Post-Doctoral Sponsorship 

I supervise PhD research in two areas - 19th century literature and culture, and gender and sexuality. My first doctoral supervision was of a project on adolescent masculinity and western classical dance; I would welcome projects focused on the dancing body, of any gender and dance tradition. I'm especially interested in projects that engage any or all of psychoanalysis, religious experience and identity, Darwinism, and their heresies. A list of the doctoral projects I have supervised and the posts my students have gained is on the tab above.

I sponsor postdoctoral fellows working in the same areas and will support those who want to apply through the British Academy, Leverhulme and Wellcome schemes and Warwick's various forms of postdoctoral opportunity. In 2010-11 I was sponsor of Dr Alexandra Lewis's tenure of the Institute of Advanced Study Junior Research Fellowship; her project was Re-membering Mnemosyne: Understandings of Memory, Affect and the Novel, 1792-1901 and of Dr Sondeep Kandola as a visiting scholar to the Department, who worked on Deidre's Daughters: Cultural Nationalism and Feminism in Ireland, 1845-1922. I sponsored the application of Dr Tara Puri through Warwick's 2012 Postdoctoral Global Fellowship competition. Dr Puri commenced her 5 year appointment in October 2012; her project is Interrogating Duty and Desire: Women's Magazines in Victorian Britain and India.






Associate Professor


Office Hours week 3, Thursday 8 May 2-3pm.