Academic makes film for BBC Arts

Nadine Muller

Dr Nadine Muller, Senior Lecturer in English Literature and Cultural History, has appeared in her first presenter-led documentary, a short film for BBC Arts based on her research on the history of widowhood in Britain.

Dr Muller was selected from over 500 applicants as one of ten BBC/AHRC New Generation Thinkers in 2015. As part of the scheme, she has recorded two broadcasts for BBC Radio 3 in front of live audiences; one on widows in the Victorian period for an edition of Free Thinking, the other an episode of The Essay dedicated to the challenges widows have faced in twentieth-century Britain.

In her new film, shot entirely at the Victoria & Albert Museum, Dr Muller revisits Victorian widowhood and focuses on the often deviant - even criminal - representations of widowed women in Victorian popular culture. 

On filming at the V&A and appearing as a presenter for the first time, Dr Muller commented: “It was so exciting and surreal to have a space such as the V&A all to myself, even if only for a couple of hours. I think years of lecturing really paid off when it came to writing, learning and delivering my script to camera, even though it seemed slightly odd to look at a lens rather than 100 students! I really enjoyed making the film, but I was terrified at the prospect of watching it back, so I’m surprised to say I’m actually really proud of the end result.”

Dr Muller’s media work on widowhood is based on her forthcoming book The Widow: A Literary & Cultural History (Liverpool University Press, 2017), for the completion of which she was granted a currently ongoing, faculty-funded sabbatical leave. Next to finishing her monograph, Nadine is also working in partnership with the War Widows’ Association of Great Britain, in the hope of raising awareness of the diverse and challenging lives of war widows in post-war Britain.

You can watch Women in Weeds: The Victorian Widow on BBC iPlayer, and you can follow Nadine’s work via her blog and Twitter - @Nadine_Muller

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