Dr Barbara Cooke

BA MA (Warwick), PhD (University of East Anglia)


Contact Details:

•E: bc144@le.ac.uk

•T: +44 (0)116 229 7568


Research Interests

Barbara Cooke’s principal research interest lies in non-fictional narrative, and in producing and critiquing interdisciplinary texts that play with biographical form. She has recently completed Evelyn Waugh's Oxford, a fully illustrated exploration of Oxford's lasting significance in Waugh's life and work and is currently editing A Little Learning as part of Leicester's Complete Works of Evelyn Waugh project.

Dr Cooke received her PhD in July 2013 for Oil Men: The Twinned Lives of Arnold Wilson and Morris Young. This biography explores, through the divergent histories of a colonial soldier and a naturalised Ukrainian-Israeli doctor, the varying personalities that could be co-opted into service of the British Empire in Iran and Iraq during the turbulent years of the early twentieth century.

Other research interests include trauma theory in global literature, travel writing and new understandings of modernism.


Dr Cooke is a Research Associate on the AHRC-funded Complete Works of Evelyn Waugh project, which will see a new, 42-volume edition of all Waugh’s fiction, travel-writing, juvenilia, letters and essays published by Oxford University Press between 2016 and 2022. There is currently no Complete Works in existence, and so this joint venture between Leicester and numerous partners including the Harry Ransom Center, the British Library and Alexander Waugh marks a watershed in Evelyn Waugh studies.

Postgraduate Supervision

Barbara Cooke welcomes enquiries from MA students who plan to use travel or life writing in their dissertations, or who have an interest in the construction of selfhood in literature.   



Evelyn Waugh's Oxford, 1922-1966. Bodleian Library Publishing (forthcoming 2018).

Cooke, Barbara and John Howard Wilson (eds.) The Complete Works of Evelyn Waugh Volume 18: A Little Learning with A Little Hope. Oxford University Press (forthcoming 2017).

'Organising a Large Edition (with An Early Modern Addendum by Claire Loffman & Harriet Phillips)'. Claire Loffman and Harriet Phillips (eds.), A Handbook of Editing Early Modern Texts. Routledge (forthcoming 2017).

“‘The Eastern Glow Where the Big Sons Go’: Arnold Wilson, Clifton College and the First World War.” Lissa Paul and Rosemary Johnston (eds), Children's Literature and Culture of the First World War. Taylor & Francis, December 2015.

‘The Adventures of Miss Ross: Interventions into, and the tenacity of, romance narrative in South West Persia.’ Forthcoming in Journeys: The International Journal of Travel & Travel Writing. Vol. 16 No. 1, Summer 2015.

'In Search of Nancy.' The Mitford Society Annual. Volume 1, December 2013.

‘Threshold People: Liminal Subjectivity in Etienne van Heerden, J.M. Coetzee and Nadine Gordimer.’ The Postcolonial Short Story: Contemporary Essays. Palgrave Macmillan, October 2012

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