Dr Victoria Stewart

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

Reader in Modern and Contemporary Literature

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BA Hons, MA, PhD

My teaching and research focus on modern and contemporary British writing.


In Semester 2 of 2017-18, I am convening the MA Modern Literature/MA Modern Literature with Creative Writing.


Recent publications

  • ' "Commando Consciousness" and Criminality in post-Second World War Fiction', Journal of War and Culture Studies, 10.2 (2017) 165-77.
  • '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

Full list of publications.


My research interests include the twentieth-century and contemporary novel, war writing and life-writing. I have particular interests in the representation of the First and Second World Wars (including the Holocaust) in both fiction and autobiography. My 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) examined 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.The Second World War in Contemporary British Fiction: Secret Histories (Edinburgh University Press, 2011) explored the use of secrecy as both a trope and a narrative device in recent fictional treatments of the war. My latest book, Crime Writing in Interwar Britain: Fact and Fiction in the Golden Age (Cambridge University Press, 2017), 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. My new project, 'Crimes and War Crimes', will bring together my interests in crime writing and representations of the aftermath of the Second World War.

I am a member of WAR-Net, a network on war and representation, and also of the Stanley Burton Centre for Holocaust Studies, at the University of Leicester.My work on middlebrow writing has been fostered by my involvement in the AHRC Middlebrow Network and The Space Between Society. I also belong to the Contemporary Women's Writing Association. I serve on the editorial board for the monograph series 'Literary Texts and the Popular Marketplace', published by Pickering & Chatto.


I 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

Learn more and apply for research degrees in English.


I 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. Download the podcast.

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