Dr Sarah Parker

Pronouns: She/her
  • Senior Lecturer in English

Specialism: Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Literature

Sarah Parker specialises in nineteenth and twentieth-century literature, with an emphasis on poetry, women's writing, decadence, aestheticism, modernism, gender and sexualities, and visual culture.

Sarah is the leader of the Cultural Currents Research Group at Loughborough, which focuses on continuities between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. As leader of this group, Sarah has organised several conferences including Editing Decadence (2022) and George Egerton and the Fin de Siècle (2017), as well as a popular public engagement event, the Decadent Literary Salon.

Beyond Loughborough, Sarah is the Careers and Professionalisation Officer for the British Association of Victorian Studies (BAVS). She is a member of several other academic bodies and peer review boards, including the editorial leadership board of two international digital humanities projects, The Diaries of Michael Field and the Amy Lowell Letters Project.

Sarah regularly presents her research to public audiences, and has featured on Radio 3’s Free Thinking. Her article on Michael Field for The Conversation attracted a considerable readership and was republished in The Independent.

Sarah’s co-curated exhibition Poets in Vogue, at the National Poetry Library, Southbank Centre, London, attracted significant visitor numbers and widespread media interest, featuring in Vogue and The Guardian.

Sarah’s research focuses on nineteenth and twentieth-century poetry, with intersecting interests in gender and sexuality, decadence, aestheticism, and modernism, and visual cultures.

Sarah’s most recent monograph, Form and Modernity in Women’s Poetry, 1895-1922: A Line of Her Own (Routledge, 2024) presents a new narrative of twentieth-century poetry by attending to the work of mature women poets, Alice Meynell, Michael Field (Katharine Bradley and Edith Cooper), Dollie Radford, and Katharine Tynan. While still primarily associated with the late nineteenth century, Sarah's book reveals that these poets used established poetic forms to address the conditions of modernity, including contemporary concerns such as suffrage, sexuality, motherhood, and the First World War.

Sarah’s research also encompasses the fields of gender and sexuality, including LGBTQ+ literatures. Her most recent book in this area is Interrogating Lesbian Modernism Histories, Forms, Genres (Edinburgh University Press, 2023), co-edited with Jana Funke and Elizabeth English.

Sarah’s first monograph, The Lesbian Muse and Poetic Identity, 1889-1930 (Routledge 2013) reconsidered the role of the muse in late-Victorian and modernist women's writing, analysing poetry by Michael Field, Olive Custance, Amy Lowell, H.D. and Bryher. This volume was praised as ‘the most original full-length work on the figure, texts, and contexts of nineteenth-century female poets since Yopie Prins’s Victorian Sappho of 1999’ (The Year's Work in English Studies).

Sarah is a recognised authority on the collaborating poets ‘Michael Field’ (Katharine Bradley and Edith Cooper). She is the co-editor of the volumes Michael Field, Decadent Moderns (Ohio University Press 2019, with Ana Parejo Vadillo) and Michael Field, For That Moment Only and Other Prose Works (MHRA Jewelled Tortoise series, 2022, with Alex Murray).

In addition to the above, Sarah has published chapters and articles on poets including Iris Tree, Amy Levy, H.D., Edna St. Vincent Millay, Amy Lowell, Olive Custance and Djuna Barnes.

Sarah teaches across all undergraduate years, on modules including Analysing Poetry (Part A), Victorian Literature (Part B), Strange Fascination: Queer Desires and Identities in Literature, 1886-1952 (Part B, co-convened with Claire O’Callaghan), and Radicals and Reactionaries: Writing Women of the 1890s (Part C, co-convened with Anne-Marie Beller). She has supervised numerous dissertations in her areas of research specialism.


Sarah is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Sarah welcomes proposals in areas relating to her research specialisms, including nineteenth and twentieth century poetry, women’s writing, and decadence, aestheticism and modernism.


  • Joanna Turner, ‘Paternal Influence, Self-Construction, and Literary Lineage: Reimagining Marie Corelli’ (principal supervisor).
  • Milly Harrison, ‘Queer Desire in British Weird Fiction, 1890-1930’ (secondary supervisor)
  • Sarah Featonby, ‘“There Is A Difference”: Angela Carter’s Publishing House of Their Own’ (principal supervisor).
  • Jill Walters, ‘Mediating Modernity: The Literary Career and Prose Writings of Lionel Johnson’ (secondary supervisor).


  • Isobel Sigley, ‘A (New) Woman's Touch: Tactility and Feminism in Women's Fin-de-Siècle Short Fiction, 1880-1930’ (principal supervisor), 2023.
  • Aaron Eames, ‘The Critics as Artists: Oscar Wilde’s Sexual Identity in Biographical Literature, 1900-1967’ (secondary supervisor), 2021.
  • Eleanor Dumbill, ‘Vanished Authors: A Study of the Relationships Between Three Nineteenth-Century Women Writers and Their Male Publishers’ (secondary supervisor), 2020.


Recent articles/chapters: