Dr Victoria Stewart

stewart, victoriaBA Hons (Sheffield), MA (Leeds), PhD (Leeds)

Reader in Modern and Contemporary Literature

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Research Interests

Dr Stewart’s research interests include the twentieth-century and contemporary novel, war writing and life-writing. She has particular interests in the representation of the First and Second World Wars (including the Holocaust) in both fiction and autobiography. Her book Women’s Autobiography: War and Trauma (Palgrave, 2003) considered the work of writers including Vera Brittain, Virginia Woolf and Anne Frank from the perspective of trauma theory. Narratives of Memory: British Writing of the 1940s (Palgrave, 2006) examines a range of novels and short fiction from this decade, by authors such as Elizabeth Bowen, Graham Greene and Patrick Hamilton, focusing in particular on their depiction of the processes of memory.

Dr Stewart's most recent monograph, The Second World War in Contemporary British Fiction: Secret Histories (Edinburgh University Press, 2011), considers the use of secrecy as both a trope and a narrative device in recent fictional treatments of the war.

Dr Stewart is an active member of WAR-Net, a network on war and representation.

As well as maintaining her interests in war writing, Dr Stewart also works on early and mid-twentieth century middlebrow writing and has published on a number of neglected authors from this period, including Gilbert Frankau, Rumer Godden and Dodie Smith. Her current project examines the relationship between true-crime narratives and detective fiction in the mid-twentieth century, with a focus on the writing of Dorothy L. Sayers, Marie Belloc Lowndes and F. Tennyson Jesse.  Her work in this area has been fostered by her involvement in the AHRC Middlebrow Network. She is a member of the editorial board for the monograph series 'Literary Texts and the Popular Marketplace', published by Pickering & Chatto.

Dr Stewart contributed to the Radio 3 documentary 'I Have Been Here Before', first broadcast in September 2014, about the legacy of the interwar time theorist JW Dunne, presented by Francis Spufford and produced by Mark Burman. You can download the podcast here

Dr Stewart has also had articles published in a range of journals, and has written book reviews for Literature and History. She is a member of the Contemporary Women's Writing Association and is currently serving as a member of the editorial board of Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature.

Dr Stewart is an Associate Member of the Stanley Burton Centre for Holocaust Studies.


Current Postgraduate Supervision

Dr Stewart would welcome inquiries from prospective research students interested in working in the following areas:

  • Writing from and about the First and Second World Wars
  • Holocaust Writing
  • Mid 20th-Century Novel
  • Non-canonical Authors, the ‘Middlebrow’, and Detective Fiction

Teaching and Administration

Dr Stewart contributes a module on the 1940s to the MA in Modern Literature.

Recent Publications

  • 'Mid-Twentieth-Century Stories', in Ann-Marie Einhaus, ed, The Cambridge Companion to the English Short Story. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016, pp.115-27 
  •  ' "A bomb made of words": Letter-Writing in Fictions of the Second World War' in Petra Rau, ed, Long Shadows: The Second World War in British Fiction and Film. Illinois: Northwestern University Press, 2016, pp.221-240.
  • 'The Second World War in Contemporary Women's Fiction: Revisiting the Home Front' , Contemporary Women's Writing, 9.3 (2015) 416-432
  • 'Representing Nazi Crimes in post-Second World War life writing', Textual Practice, 29.7 (2015) 1131-1330
  • 'Defining Detective Fiction in Interwar Britain', The Space Between: Literature and Culture, 1914-1945, 9.1 (2013) 101-18
  • 'The Second World War in British Drama since 1968' in Adam Piette and Mark Rawlinson, eds, The Edinburgh Companion to Twentieth-Century British and American War Literature. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2012. pp. 118-125.
  • 'The Woman Writer in Mid-Twentieth Century Middlebrow Fiction: Conceptualizing Creativity'. Journal of Modern Literature, 35.1 (2011) 21-36
  • 'True-Crime Narratives and Detective Fiction in Interwar Britain'. Clues: A Journal of Detection 29.2 (2011) 16-29
  • The Second World War in Contemporary British Fiction: Secret Histories. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2011

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