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, sensation fiction and the Gothic, especially in connection with issues of gender, genre, science and medicine.
Dr Ifill is Co-Director of the Centre for the Novel, and Secretary of the Victorian Popular Fiction Association. She is Co-Series-Editor for the critical monograph series, Key Popular Women Writers and is Co-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 exploration of “science” reflects the Victorians’ own flexible, multifaceted conceptions of the term and ranges from physiological textbooks through to periodical debates over the unclear boundaries between (pseudo)science and the supernatural. I am particularly interested in the representation of unusual medical conditions and mental states, and deterministic factors (such as heredity, education and upbringing) in Victorian popular fiction. I am also interested, more broadly. in the relationship between concepts of genre and literary classification, and the production of popular fiction.
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.
- From Bildungsroman to Alien Invasion: Exploring Genre in Victorian Fiction (EL35VB)
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Welcome: Victorian Popular Fictions 5.1Victorian Popular Fictions Journal, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 1-2Contributions to Journals: Editorials
Sensation and the City: Charlotte Riddell’s George Geith and the Emergence of the Sensation GenreVictoriographies, vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 221-242Contributions to Journals: Articles
Uncanny Stories for Canny Readers: the Explained Supernatural, the Villainous Doctor and Reader Expectations in Mary Elizabeth Braddon's Short Gothic FictionWomen's Writing, vol. 29, no. 1, pp. 131-152Contributions 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, Manchester, [England]. 232 pagesBooks and Reports: Books
Collins, William WilkieChapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Entries for Encyclopedias and Dictionaries