Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Leah Phillips

More up-to-date information can be found at:


I am currently a postdoctoral associate in the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies. Supervised by Dr Rachel Moseley (Film and TV), my doctoral work focused on our cultural concern with the adolescent female body and that body's presentation and construction in popular media and culture. Within this discursive space, I'm particularly interested in how YA fantasy, while participating in bodily concern, manages to present that same body as changeable, unstable and open to possibility. The project is titled, "Myth (Un)Making: Female Heroes in Mythopoeic YA Fantasy".

Key texts: Tamora Pierce's Tortall books and Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles.

Other favourites (that heavily influence): Alison Croggon's The Books Of Pellinor, Kristin Cashore's Graceling Realm series, Sarah J Maas's Throne of Glass, Danielle Jensen's Stolen Songbird, Leigh Bardugo's The Grisha, Erika Johansen's The Queen of Tearling, Alison Goodman's Eon and Eona,

I joined Warwick in 2012, after having completed an MA(Res) in Children’s Literature at the University of Reading (2008). Immigrating to the UK in 2006, my BA comprises work undertaken in both the US, at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (2003–06), as well as in the UK, with the University of Leeds were I undertook study abroad and with the Open University, where I completed a BA(Hons) Humanities with Literature (2008).


Challenging Gender in Young Adult Fiction and Film: The Adolescent Female Body and Myth, Forthcoming, under contract with I.B. Tauris.

"Worlds of Possibility: Mythopoeic YA Fantasy" Beyond the Blockbusters: Themes and Trends in Contemporary Young Adult Literature, Forthcoming (reviewed collection).

"Impossible Journey: The Liminality of Female Heroes" Roundtable, 1, no. 1.

"'Real' Women Aren't Shiny (or Plastic): The Adolescent Female Body in YA Fantasy" Girlhood Studies 8, no. 3 (Winter 2015).

"Saving Cinderella: From Disney to Cyborg Princess", Discusing Disney, Forthcoming (2017).

Conferences and Papers

On the 12th of March 2016, Catherine Lester (Film and TV, Warwick) and I successfully hosted a one-day interdisciplinary conference "'Let's Hear it for the Girls": Girlhood, Media and Popular Culture, 1990-present', funded by the Humanities Research Centre. Keynote addresses from Prof Carol Dyhouse (University of Sussex) and Prof Rosalind Gill (City University London).


"Mapping YA Fantasylands: Maps and Mapping in Mythopoeic YA Fiction" (NeMLA 2017 - Baltimore) 23 - 26 March.


"I just send my mind somewhere else": Shape-Shifting and the Mind/Body Split in Tamora Pierce's Immortals Quartet (Esse2016 - Galway) 22 - 26 August.

Relational Models of Self in Mythopoeic YA Fantasy ("Let's Hear it for the GIrls": Girlhood, Media and Popular Culture, 1990-present" - University of Warwick) 12 March.


"Real" Women Aren't Shiny (or Plastic): The Adolescent Female Body in YA Fantasy (CIRCL Seminar, University of Reading, 11 November)


Saving Cinderella: From Disney to Cyborg Princess (Discussing Disney - University of Hull) 3 - 4 September.

Shapeshifters: Animals (or Humans?) in Disguise, a reprise (SF/F Now - Universty of Warwick, UK) 22 - 23 August.

Shapeshifters: Animals (or Humans?) in Disguise (Reading Animals: An International English Studies Conference - University of Sheffield, UK) 17 - 20 July.

Mapping (YA) Fantasylands: Tamora Pierce, Kristin Cashore and Marissa Meyer (PG Symposium - University of Warwick, UK) 22 - 23 May.


Re-contextualising myth: Mythopoeic Young Adult Fantasy and Change (Myth-Making: From Medusa to Madonna - University of Warwick, UK) 18 June 2013.

"The Impossible(ility of) Journey: Tamora Pierce's Tortall Books" (Southwest/Texas Popular Culture/American Culture Association - New Mexico, USA) 13-16 Feb 2013.

Blog Posts

Appearance May Be Deceiving: Pregnancy in Tamora Pierce’s Daughter of the Lioness Duology (Pregnancy Network, 2016)

Kate Middleton, Royal Baby #2 and our Preoccupation with the Pregnant Form (Pregnancy Network, 2014)

Movember: Or Penis-Envy Transformed (Huffington Post 2013)


In 2016/2017, I'm teaching four seminar groups of EN122 at Warwick, convened by Professor Paulo de Mederios.

In 2014/2015, I taught three seminar groups of Modes of Reading, convened by Dr Gemma Goodman at the University of Warwick.

In 2013/2014: I worked with Warwick's Realising Opportunities scheme, supporting a KS5 student complete an independent research project on the construction of reality and psychosis in Anthony Horowitz's Mindgame.

In 2013/2014: I taught EN301 'The Monomyth' for the Brilliant Club. During this teaching I worked with two groups of gifted and talented KS4 students at Marylebone C of E school in London, and in the summer term, I ran a revised KS5 version of the module for gifted and talented students at the George Spencer Academy in Nottingham.

I also have experience working with mature students as well as students with special needs, the last at the secondary and college levels.


Leah Phillips

L dot B dot Phillips at warwick dot ac dot uk

Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies
Humanities Building
University of Warwick
Coventry CV4 7AL