Dr Helena Ifill
Helena Ifill received her PhD in English Literature from the University of Sheffield (where she also took an MA in Nineteenth-Century Studies) in 2009. She taught at the University of Sheffield from 2010-2019 before taking up a lectureship at the University of Aberdeen in 2019. Her research centres on Victorian popular fiction and the Gothic, especially in connection with issues of gender, science and medicine.
Dr Ifill is an active member of the Victorian Popular Fiction Association, and has co-organised the annual conference for the last five years. She is also co-series-editor for the Edward Everett Root series, Key Popular Women Writers, and New Paths in Victorian Popular Fiction and Culture, and is the Associate Editor of Victorian Popular Fictions.
My research centres on Victorian popular fiction, especially sensation fiction and the Gothic. I am particularly interested in how these genres engage with issues concerning gender, science and medicine. My monograph, Creating Character: Theories of Nature and Nurture in Victorian Sensation Fiction, explored how the novels of Mary Elizabeth Braddon and Wilkie Collins respond and contribute to nineteenth-century debates about identity formation and free will. I have also published work on vampire fiction and Victorian stories of mesmerism.
I am currently working on two projects. One concerns the representation of doctors and patients in nineteenth-century Female Gothic texts. The other is a study of the Victorian popular author and journal editor, Charlotte Riddell, part of which has resulted in an article on the representation of professional female authors in Victorian Britain.
I am Programme Co-Ordinator for the MLitt in Literatures, Environments and Places
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Uncanny Stories for Canny Readers: the Explained Supernatural, the Villainous Doctor and Reader Expectations in Mary Elizabeth Braddon's Short Gothic FictionWomen's WritingContributions to Journals: Articles
Making Space: Key Popular Women Writers Then and NowVictorian Popular Fictions, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 4-32Contributions to Journals: Articles
‘The Sensation of a Moment’: Speed, Stillness, and Victorian London in Wilkie Collins’s BasilTime, the City, and the Literary Imagination. Evans, A., Kramer, K. (eds.). Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 68-86, 19 pagesChapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters
Sensation FictionChapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Entries for Encyclopedias and Dictionaries
The Female Professional as Orphan in Charlotte Riddell’s A Struggle for FameVictoriographies, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 129-146Contributions to Journals: Articles
Florence Marryat’s The Blood of the Vampire (1897): Negotiating Anxieties of Genre and Gender at the Fin de SiècleVictorian Popular Fictions, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 80-100Contributions to Journals: Articles
Creating character: Theories of nature and nurture in Victorian sensation fictionManchester University Press, ManchesterBooks and Reports: Books
Creating character: Theories of nature and nurture in Victorian sensation fictionManchester University Press, Manchester, [England]. 232 pagesBooks and Reports: Books
Creating character: theories of nature and nurture in Victorian sensation fictionManchester University Press, Manchester. 232 pagesBooks and Reports: Books
Mesmeric Clairvoyance in Mid-Victorian Literature: Eliot, Bulwer-Lytton, and MacDonaldSupernatural Studies, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 118-132Contributions to Journals: Articles