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Dr Emma Francis

Associate Professor

Email: e dot j dot francis at warwick dot ac dot uk
Tel: +44 (0)24 7652 2403

FAB 5.17


I am an Associate Professor in English and Comparative Literary Studies. 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.

Research interests

Much of my current 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. A current project 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 on a shorter project 'Psychoanalysis in Egypt: Victorian "science" and Freud's "historical novel"', material from which has been trialled in panels and places focusing on the subject of 'Victorian Freud'. I am interested in the issue of embodied knowledge. An early piece of this work is my paper 'Swooning, Swaying, Flushing and Blushing: Pathological Circulations of Early Victorian Poetry', which had a try-out at VSAWC.

Teaching and supervision

My main commitments to our undergraduate programme are EN227 Romantic and Victorian Poetry, the Honours level core option and my Honours option, EN328 English Literature and Feminisms, 1790-1899. I supervise undergraduate dissertations in the areas of 19th century literature and culture, and gender, sexuality and the body, (mostly) 1780 - the present.

I created and co-convened the MA Gender, Literature and Modernity which ran jointly out of English and CSWG 1997-2005. Following my move to English we took the decision to dissolve this MA as a separate programme and transfer much of its content into the Gender and Sexuality Pathway of the MA in English. Alternating with Dr Rashmi Varma, and sometimes in collaboration, I teach the core course of this pathway, Feminist Literary Theory, and also contribute to the MA pathway in 18th and 19th century studies with my option course, The Condition of England: Perceptions in Victorian Literature. I contribute to the Psychoanalysis pathway of the MA with my option module, Psychoanalysis and Creativity and with the supervision of MA dissertations.

I supervise PhDs in two areas - 19th century literature and culture, and gender, sexuality and the body. I'm especially interested in projects that engage any or all of psychoanalysis, religious experience and identity, Darwinism, and their heresies. Above is a tab to link to the list of my past and current doctoral students. The first doctorate I supervised was a study of the politics and poetics of adolescent boys in workshop engagement with classical dance. I welcome projects exploring people of any gender's experience within any dance tradition.

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)


  • BA; MA (Southampton)
  • PhD (Liverpool)

Office Hours Autumn term 2024 - tba

Summer Vacation Arrangements:

During the summer personal students are welcome to contact me by email. I will be taking the majority of my Annual Leave entitlement over the summer so be aware that there may be some delay in my replying.