Meet the researchers working within the Institute

We are a highly research-active community with a wide range of expertise within Literature and Cultural History.

Our advisory board 

Bryan Biggs, Artistic Director, Bluecoat, Liverpool

Professor Kate Chedgzoy, Newcastle University

Professor Fan Dai, Director of the Center for Creative Writing in the School of Foreign Languages at Sun Yat-sen University

Professor Elspeth Graham, Professor Emeritus, LJMU

Chris Gribble, Chief Executive of National Centre for Writing, Norwich

Professor Claire Langhamer, University of Sussex

Dr Diana Leighton, Head of Research Excellence and Research Strategy, LJMU

Professor Philip Martin, Professor Emeritus, Sheffield Hallam University

Dr Derek Neale, The Open University

Professor Andrew Newsam, Astrophysics Research Institute, LJMU

Professor Glenda Norquay, Professor Emeritus, LJMU

Professor Margaret Stetz, University of Delaware

Visiting Lecturers

Bella Adams
Ross Dawson
Alice Ferrebe
Jo Price
Helen Rogers

Our PhD students

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Recent PhD graduates

Recent PhD graduates

Joseph Thorne

Joseph Thorne began his PhD on late-Victorian decadence, sociability and material culture in 2015 and graduated in November 2019. His research interests include decadence, networks, materiality and decadent afterlives. He worked as a research assistant for the 2016 ‘Richard Le Gallienne: Liverpool’s Wild(e) Poet’ exhibition at the Liverpool Central Library, co-organised the 2017 ‘Neo-Victorian Decadences’ conference at Durham University, and was an external advisor for the 2019 conference ‘C21 Global Victorians’ at Warwick University. He is a student committee member for the British Association for Decadence Studies. In addition to his academic work, Joseph has voluntary and paid experience in widening participation for the last five years. He is the screenwriter for the Neo-Victorian mining drama The House of Abraham Phillips which is currently in development.

Sam Saunders

I am a researcher of nineteenth-century popular fiction, Victorian print culture and journalism, and crime and detective fiction. My first monograph, The Nineteenth Century Periodical Press and the Development of Detective Fiction, is currently contracted for publication with Routledge in 2021. My current research project explores a forgotten genre of mid-Victorian popular fiction which presents the first-person recollections of fictional police officers, and I am working to re-insert this popular form of writing into the well-entrenched chronology of crime fiction’s development.

I am currently a visiting lecturer in English Literature at University Centre Shrewsbury, part of the University of Chester, where I teach on Victorian and neo-Victorian fiction, popular fiction from the nineteenth century to the present day, and text-to-film adaptation across different literary genres. Before coming to UCS, I taught at Liverpool John Moores University on literary periods and forms from the Renaissance to the contemporary era, literary and cultural theory, and nineteenth century fiction and the digital humanities.

I received my PhD from Liverpool John Moores University in 2018, after having also completed a Master’s by Research (MRes) degree, also at LJMU, in 2015. I also hold a BA in English and History from Bangor University, completed in 2013.    

Twitter: @samfordsaunders