Dr Sarah Parker
Lecturer in English
I arrived at Loughborough in 2016. I completed a Masters in Sexual Dissidence and Culture at the University of Sussex and gained my PhD at University of Birmingham in 2012. From 2013-2015, I was an Impact Research Fellow at the University of Stirling. My research focuses on nineteenth and twentieth-century literature, with an emphasis on women’s poetry, decadence and aestheticism, gender and sexualities, and visual cultures.
I currently teach Narrative Forms and Fiction, Victorian Literature and Neo-Victorianism. At MA, I contribute to Texts and Technologies.
Specialism: Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Literature
My research specialises in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century literature, with an emphasis on women’s writing, poetry, decadence and aestheticism, gender and sexualities, and visual cultures.
My first monograph, The Lesbian Muse and Poetic Identity, 1889-1930 reconsiders the role of the muse in late-Victorian and modernist women's poetry. Encompassing British and American women poets, I examine works by Michael Field (Katharine Bradley and Edith Cooper), Olive Custance, Amy Lowell, H.D. and Bryher.
I have also published articles and book chapters on Lord Alfred Douglas, Algernon Charles Swinburne, Sappho, Amy Levy, Djuna Barnes and Sarah Waters, and on themes such as fashion; 'dead woman muses'; food, fat and homoerotic desire, and lesbian gothic.
My current research project, provisionally entitled ‘Picturing the Poetess: Women Poets and Photography, 1850-1930’, focuses on the photographic representation of transatlantic women poets in the context of a burgeoning celebrity culture (including such Victorian phenomena as the celebrity scrapbook, the carte-de-visite, the annual, the National Portrait Gallery). I argue that women poets during this period developed promotional and self-fashioning strategies that ultimately mediated the reception of their work. Poets featured in this study include: Alice Meynell, Dollie Radford, Rosamund Marriott Watson, Constance Naden, Charlotte Mew, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Edith Sitwell. A journal article on Millay is forthcoming from Women’s Studies.
In addition, I am currently preparing an essay collection on Michael Field (arising from the 2014 conference I co-organised with Ana Parejo Vadillo and Marion Thain) and I am a member of the editorial board for the Victorian Lives and Letters Consortium which is digitising Michael Field’s diaries.
I welcome proposals from potential research students interested in women’s writing of the period 1870-1930, decadence/aestheticism, and gender and sexuality during this time period.
Recent Public Lectures and Talks:
Invited lecture at Steepletop, home of Edna St. Vincent Millay (Austerlitz, New York)
Public lecture on Edna St. Vincent Millay at the Library of Congress, Washington DC [available on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEYAzKyeTII]
After Oscar: The Unknown Story of Olive Custance, Lady Alfred Douglas
Manchester LGBT History Festival
Invited Keynote: ‘When the Muse Looks Back’
Postgraduate Symposium in Nineteenth-Century Studies, Anglia Ruskin University
January to March 2015
Photographic Exhibition, ‘When the Muse Looks Back: Picturing the Poetess’
At the Pathfoot Gallery, University of Stirling, Scotland
Cultural Engagement work
Feb – May 2013
Worked with Cityread London (http://cityread.london/) as part of the AHRC Cultural Engagement Scheme with University of Leicester (see: http://www2.le.ac.uk/departments/victorian/ahrc-cultural-engagement-project-cityread-london)
Postdoctoral Representative, British Association of Victorian Studies (BAVS).
Committee Member, Midlands Interdisciplinary Victorian Studies seminar (MIVSS)