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Personal profile

Academic Biography

I am Reader in English in the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Law, where I lead the English Research Group.

I completed my BA (Hons) English Literature degree and PhD in English Literature at Newcastle University.  My thesis examined representations of embodiment in texts by twentieth century British and American women writers, including Leonora Carrington, Angela Carter, Flannery O’Connor and Sylvia Plath.

I teach on the BA (Hons) English Studies and English Studies with Creative Writing degrees and the MA English.  My teaching expertise is in the field of modern and contemporary writing and critical and cultural theory, including feminist theory, queer theory and transgender studies, contemporary literary culture, African American writing and film and television adaptations.

Summary of Research Interests

My research interests are in gender and sexuality in twentieth century and contemporary fiction (including feminism, queer theory and transgender studies), cultural practices of adaptation and appropriation (including film and television adaptation and Neo-Victorian culture) and interdisciplinary research in the arts, humanities and social sciences.

My monograph, Rereading Heterosexuality: Feminism, Queer Theory and Contemporary Fiction (Edinburgh University Press, 2012) investigated the affinities and tensions between feminist and queer theory perspectives on non-normative female heterosexual identities, with a focus on British and American novels published between 1995 and 2005.  My most recent monograph, Transgender and the Literary Imagination: Gender Diversity in Twentieth Century Fiction, was published by Edinburgh University Press in 2018.  Transgender and the Literary Imagination is the first full length study to revisit twentieth century narratives and their afterlives, examining the extent to which they have reflected, shaped or transformed changing understandings of gender. Grounded in feminist scholarship, informed by queer theory and indebted to transgender studies, this book investigates the ways in which transgender identities and histories have been ‘authored by others’, with a focus on literary fiction by British, Irish and American authors, life writing and adaptation for stage and screen.  My research in gender and sexuality studies has also been published in leading peer-reviewed journals, including Journal of American Studies (2010), Journal of Gender Studies (2010), Textual Practice (2000; 2014) and Women: a cultural review (2011). 

I am editor of an interdisciplinary edited collection on cultural practices of adaptation and appropriation, Adaptation in Contemporary Culture: Textual Infidelities (Continuum, 2009) and have published in leading peer-reviewed journals in the field (Journal of Adaptation in Film and Performance, 2009 and Adaptation, 2014) as well as edited collections (Andrea Levy: Contemporary Critical Perspectives, 2014 and Teaching Adaptations 2014).  I am currently investigating the representation of black British identity in film and television adaptations, ranging from adaptations of classic Victorian novels to adaptations of novels by contemporary black British authors.

Research Projects & External Funding

I was awarded a Modern Humanities Research Association Conference Grant in support of Species of Spaces: A Transdisciplinary Conference on the Work of Georges Perec (Teesside University, March 2014).  Keynote speakers included: Dr Kate Briggs (American University Paris), Christian Bök (University of Calgary, Canada) and Dr Victoria Hunter (University of Chichester).  Research outcomes have been in Species of Spaces: Transdisciplinary Approaches to the Work of Georges Perec, a Themed Issue of Literary Geographies (2017).

PhD and Research Opportunities

Doctoral completion: Clare Cheverall, “Language Theory, Dialogue and Screen Adaptations of Jane Austen” (2016)

I am currently supervising the following PhD students:

Director of Studies: Robyn Ollett (North East Consortium of the Arts and Humanities Studentship Studentship) – New Queer Gothic

Director of Studies: Louise Logan (Teesside University Studentship) – Representing Disability in Contemporary Museum Practice

Director of Studies (from Oct 2017): Rachael Taylor (North East Consortium of the Arts and Humanities Studentship) - Representations of Female Beauty and Cosmetic Use by Women in Mid to Late Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture

Second Supervisor Stefanie El Medawi (Huddersfield, North East Consortium of the Arts and Humanities Studentship) – Multimodal Adaptation of Affect from Autobiography to Film

I welcome applications from prospective PhD students on topics relating to gender, sexuality or race in modern or contemporary fiction or film, especially those addressing feminist, queer or transgender studies or exploring questions of representation, memory and heritage in relation to minority identities.

External Research Collaborations

I have worked with researchers and practitioners from disciplines across the arts, humanities and social sciences (including Criminology, Dance, Design, Fine Art, Performing Arts and Sociology) to organise conferences designed to promote cross disciplinary dialogue and collaboration. These events include: Women, Narrative and Crime: An Interdisciplinary Conference (2015); British Culture After 9/11 (2014); Species of Spaces: A Transdisciplinary Conference on the Work of Georges Perec (2014); Litpop: Writing and Popular Music (2011); Teaching Adaptations (2010); Arts Practice and Sociological Research Methods: Exploring Boundaries (2009).  My published research in this field includes an interdisciplinary collection (with Adam Hansen) entitled Litpop: Writing and Popular Music (Ashgate, 2014).

External Roles and Professional Activities

I am Chair of the Contemporary Women’s Writing Association and Associate Editor at the journal Contemporary Women’s Writing (Oxford University Press).

I am a member of the Arts and Humanities Research Council Peer Review College.  I have served as a Review Panel Member for the Research Council for Culture and Society, Academy of Finland.

Enterprise Interest and Activities

Cultural representations – whether in fiction, film or television – have an important role to play in promoting public debate and understanding. I am interested in working with external partners to promote equality and diversity in relation to gender, sexuality and race.

Learning and Teaching Interests and Activities

My teaching interests are in the field of modern and contemporary literature and culture, with a special focus on gender and sexuality in literary and film narrative. I lead modules on topics including African American Writing, Literary Culture in the 21st Century, Questions of Feminism and Transgender in Fiction and Film.

I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.  I have a particular interest in fostering student research skills and in promoting employability in the arts and humanities.  I have presented research papers on these topics at a range of learning and teaching conferences and have published in edited collections on pedagogic research.

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Rachel Carroll is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

heterosexuality Social Sciences
sexuality Social Sciences
imitation Social Sciences
narrative Social Sciences
feminism Social Sciences
music Social Sciences
gender Social Sciences
discourse Social Sciences

Research Output 1998 2019

Black Victorians, British television drama and the 1978 adaptation of David Garnett’s The Sailor’s Return

Carroll, R., 1 Jun 2019, In : Journal of Commonwealth Literature. 54, 2, p. 207-224

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
Victorian Era
Television Drama
British Television
Black British

Transgender and the Literary Imagination: Changing Gender in Twentieth-Century Writing

Carroll, R., 13 Sep 2018, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. 288 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBookResearch

Queer Theory
Literary Fiction

How Soon Is Now: Constructing the Contemporary / Gendering the Experimental

Carroll, R., 23 Feb 2015, In : Contemporary Women’s Writing. p. -

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
51 Downloads (Pure)

Black Britain and the Classic Adaptation: Integrated Casting in Television Adaptations of Oliver Twist and Little Dorrit

Carroll, R., 2014, In : Adaptation. p. -

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access

Coming Soon . . . Teaching the Contemporaneous Adaptation

Carroll, R., 2014, Teaching Adaptations. p. -

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearch


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Festival features work of writers

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Special women on the agenda

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International conference will celebrate experimental author

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Now is the summer of our literary event...

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Award-winning poet and playwright visits Teesside

Rachel Carroll


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