Milly Harrison

  • Research Student

PhD Title: Queer Weirdness, Weird Queerness: Queer Desire in British Weird Fiction, 1890-1930


Milly began her PhD in 2021, accepting a fully funded studentship from the School of Social Sciences and Humanities. Her research explores the intersection of queer identity and Weird fiction at the turn of the twentieth century. Her project is supervised by Dr. Nick Freeman and Dr. Sarah Parker.

In 2021, Milly completed her MA in English (Gothic Studies Specialism) at Manchester Metropolitan University, after being awarded a Postgraduate Excellence Scholarship. Her MA thesis ‘Speculative Spinsters and Weird Wives: Domesticity and Desire in Women’s Weird Fiction, 1885-1935’ considered gendered approaches to fin-de-siècle speculative fiction, including locating the ‘Domestic Weird’ in New Woman writing.

In 2020, Milly completed her BA in English at Loughborough University, with a demonstratable interest in Victorian and neo-Victorian writing. She is also a published poet, and has previously worked on academic collaborations with Manchester Poetry Library and the Victorian Popular Fiction Association’s Third Sex Reading Group.

Milly’s doctoral research investigates expressions of androcentric queer desire in British Weird fiction, with a particular focus on the long fin de siècle. Her research considers where we may locate queer potential within the Weird mode, exploring notions of belonging, ancestry, and erotic desire in works from Algernon Blackwood, E. F. Benson, and Robert Hichens, amongst others.

Her further research interests include: Victorian and Edwardian literature and culture; Aestheticism and Decadence; supernatural and occult entities and practises; British folklore; gender, sexuality, and identity; queer history; game narrative; fandom, fan-culture, and fan-works.

Professional Memberships:

  • British Association of Decadence Studies (BADS)
  • British Association for Victorian Studies (BAVS)
  • Victorian Popular Fiction Association (VPFA)

Upcoming Papers:

  • ‘Uncovering Queer Undercurrents: Water and Queer Identity in Late Nineteenth-Century Weird Fiction’, Shaping the Self Conference (University of Edinburgh, May 2022)
  • ‘Vice as Virtue: Queer Contamination in the Works of Count Eric Stenbock’, Victorian Popular Fiction Association’s 14th Annual Hybrid Conference (Loughborough University, July 2022)