Sarah Parker specialises in nineteenth and twentieth-century literature, with an emphasis on women’s poetry, decadence and aestheticism, gender and sexualities, and visual culture. Prior to Loughborough, she was an Impact Research Fellow at the University of Stirling.

Sarah co-leads the Cultural Currents 1870-1930 Research Group at Loughborough. She is the Careers Officer for the British Association of Victorian Studies. Sarah regularly presents her research to public audiences, and has featured on Radio 3’s Free Thinking.

Sarah Parker’s research specialises in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century literature, with an emphasis on poetry, women’s writing, decadence and aestheticism, gender and sexualities, and visual cultures.

Her current research project focuses on the enduring careers of women poets in the period 1895-1922, emphasising the continuities in poetic practice across the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Poets featured in this project include Alice Meynell, Michael Field (Katharine Bradley and Edith Cooper), and Dollie Radford.

Her previous research explores intersections between poetry, gender and sexuality. Her first monograph, The Lesbian Muse and Poetic Identity, 1889-1930 (2013) reconsiders the role of the muse in late-Victorian and modernist women's poetry, analysing works by Michael Field, Olive Custance, Amy Lowell, H.D. and Bryher.

Sarah’s enduring interest in Michael Field can be seen in her volume Michael Field, Decadent Moderns, co-edited with Ana Parejo Vadillo (Ohio University Press, December 2019). She is currently editing Michael Field’s prose works for the MHRA Jewelled Tortoise series, alongside Alex Murray.

She has published numerous articles and chapters on other writers including Edna St. Vincent Millay, Constance Naden, Amy Levy, Djuna Barnes and Sarah Waters.

Her interest in the photographic representation of women poets can be seen in her online exhibition for the National Portrait Gallery, Women Poets and Photography, 1860-1970.

Specialism: Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Literature

Sarah teaches across all undergraduate years, on topics including poetry, Victorian Literature, modernism and women’s writing. She has supported numerous dissertations in her areas of research specialism.

  • Isobel Sigley, The haptic experience of the fin-de-siècle New Woman, 1870-1930
  • Aaron Eames, The Critics as Artists: Oscar Wilde’s Sexual Identity in Biographical Literature, 1900-1967
  • Joanna Turner, Fin-de-Siècle Anxieties of Influence: Reading Dickens’ Domestic Narratives in the Selected Works of Marie Corelli, 1886-1906


  •  Michael Field: Decadent Moderns, co-edited with Ana Parejo Vadillo (Ohio: Ohio University Press, December 2019) 
  •  The Lesbian Muse and Poetic Identity 1889-1930 (London: Pickering and Chatto, 2013)

Recent articles/chapters:

  • ‘“But with this I’m embodied”: H.D.’s public photographic portraits, 1913-1958’ (co-authored with Jade French), Feminist Modernist Studies 4.1 (March 2021), 93-124:

  • ‘The New Woman and Decadent Gender Politics’, Decadence: A Literary History, ed. Alex Murray (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020), 118-135:

  • “It’s Just a Matter of Form”: Edna St. Vincent Millay’s Experiments with Masculinity’, Humanities 8 (Special Issue: Modernist Women Poets: Generations, Geographies and Genders, 2019):

  •  'Olive Custance, Nostalgia, and Decadent Conservatism', Volupté: Interdisciplinary Journal of Decadence Studies 2.1 'Women Writing Decadence' (Spring 2019), 57-81:

  •  ‘Burning the Candle at Both Ends: Edna St. Vincent Millay’s Decadence’, Decadence in the Age of Modernism, eds. Kate Hext and Alex Murray (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 2019), 135-160.

  •  ‘Cherchez la femme: Looking for lesbian femininities in literature, 1850-1928,’ Intersections of Gender, Class, and Race in the Long Nineteenth Century and Beyond, ed. Barbara Leonardi (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), 247-274.