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Claire Nally

Senior Lecturer in Twentieth-Century English Literature and Programme Leader BA (Hons) English Literature and Creative Writing

Department: Humanities

Claire Nally

I arrived at Northumbria University in 2011, following a lectureship at University of Hull, and a Research Associate post, funded by the Leverhulme Trust. The output from this project was the publication Selling Ireland: Advertising, Literature and Irish Print Culture 1891–1922, written with John Strachan (Bath Spa University).  I published my first monograph, Envisioning Ireland: W. B. Yeats’s Occult Nationalism in 2009. Additionally, with Angela Smith (University of Sunderland), I have co-edited two volumes on gender, as well as the library series ‘Gender and Popular Culture’ for I.B. Tauris. I undertook my undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at the University of Manchester.

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Campus Address

Office: Lipman 422

0191 227 4701


  • PhD English Studies (University of Manchester).
  • MA English Studies (University of Manchester), with Distinction.
  • BA (Hons) English Language and Literature (University of Manchester), First Class.

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

In broad terms, I work in the modern and contemporary period of English Literature. My research engages with Neo-Victorianism and Irish Studies, with related interests in subcultures, the graphic novel, and gender. I have researched figures as diverse as W. B. Yeats, Patrick McCabe, Bryan Talbot, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Dita von Teese. At present, I am particularly interested in the ways Neo-Victorianism functions as part of the (post)colonial encounter, with especial reference to Ireland, as well as the ways in which steampunk both contests and reinscribes gender norms. I am also working on the ways in which contemporary culture engages with memory, heritage, and mourning, through the Cross Bones graveyard in Southwark, London, and the Newcastle witch trials of 1650.

Teaching Interests

I am the Programme Leader for BA (Hons) English and Creative Writing, and the module leader for ‘Neo-Victorianism: Contemporary Literature and Culture’.

I also co-lead the MA English Literature module: ‘Dark Tourism - Urban Underworlds and Modern City Spaces’. I was the module leader for the English core module ‘Concepts in Criticism and Culture’ from 2012 to 2014, and I also contribute to the core module ‘Textual Studies (Modernism and Modernity)’, and ‘Literature and Adaptation’. In previous years, I have led the third-year module on ‘James Joyce's Ulysses’.



Steampunk: Gender, Subculture and the Neo-Victorian (London: I.B. Tauris, forthcoming, 2017).

Twenty-First Century Feminism: Forming and Performing Femininity, ed. with Angela Smith (London: Palgrave, 2015).

Selling Ireland: Advertising, Literature and Irish Print Culture 1891–1922, written with John Strachan (London: Palgrave, 2012).

Naked Exhibitionism: Gender, Performance and Public Exposure, ed. with Angela Smith (London: I.B. Tauris, 2012).

W. B. Yeats’s A Vision: Explications and Contexts, ed. with Matthew Gibson and Neil Mann (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2012).

Envisioning Ireland: Occult Nationalism in the Work of W. B. Yeats (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2009).

Articles and book chapters

‘Visualising steampunk aesthetics: Danny Boyle’s Frankenstein (2011) and Roger Corman’s Frankenstein Unbound (1990)’ in Transmedia Creatures: Frankenstein's Afterlives, ed. Francesca Saggini and Enrichetta Soccio (Bucknell University Press, 2018).

‘Voicing the Dead: Performance, Memory and Sites of Mourning at Cross Bones Graveyard’, in Contemporary Gothic Drama: Attraction, Consummation and Consumption on the Modern British Stage, eds Kelly Jones, Ben Poore and Rob Dean. (London: Palgrave, 2017).

‘Cross Bones graveyard: excavating the prostitute in Neo-Victorian popular culture’, Journal of Victorian Culture (forthcoming, 2017).

‘Goth Beauty, Style, and Sexuality: Neo-Traditional Femininity in Twenty-First Century Subculture’, (forthcoming, Gothic Studies, 2017).

‘First and Second Wave Feminism’, The Edinburgh Companion to Critical Theory, ed. Stuart Sim (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2016).

‘Postcolonialism’, The Edinburgh Companion to Critical Theory, ed. Stuart Sim (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2016).

‘Transvestites and Terrorists: Gendered Performance in Patrick McCabe’s Breakfast on Pluto’, in Cross-Gendered Voices: Appropriating, Resisting, Embracing, ed. Rina Kim and Claire Westall (London: Palgrave, 2012).

‘The Political Occult: Revisiting Fascism, Yeats and A Vision’, in Yeats’s A Vision: Explications and Contexts, ed. Gibson, Mann and Nally (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2012).

‘Colonialism’, entry in The Encyclopaedia of Consumer Culture, ed. Dale Southerton (London: Sage, 2011).

‘Barbie Dolls’, entry in The Encyclopaedia of Consumer Culture, ed. Dale Southerton (London: Sage, 2011).

‘“In a Time of Civil War”: Anglo-Irish Identity, National Conflict, and A Vision’, in New Voices in Irish Studies: Essays on History and Literature, ed. Brian Griffin (Bath Spa: Bath Spa University Press, 2009), 89–107.

‘Grrly Hurly Burly: Neo-Burlesque and the Performance of Gender’, Textual Practice, 23:4 (2009), 641–663.

‘“Protestant Suspicions of Catholic Duplicity”: Religious and Racial Constructions in Le Fanu and Yeats’, in No Country for Old Men: Fresh Perspectives on Irish Literature, eds. Paddy Lyons and Alison O’Malley-Younger (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2008), 213–231.

‘Leo Africanus as Irishman? Cultural Politics and the Discarnate States of W. B. Yeats’s A Vision’, Irish Studies Review, 14:1 (2006), 57–67.

‘Yeats’s Forging/Forgery of National Identity: the “Giraldus” Portrait in A Vision’, Canadian Journal of Irish Studies 32:2 (2006), 48–53.

Book Reviews

‘Impure Thoughts: Sexuality, Catholicism and Literature in Twentieth-Century Ireland by Michael G. Cronin and Continuity and Change in Irish Poetry, 1966–2010 by Eric Falci’, Irish Studies Review, 22:3 (2014), 407–409.

‘Commodity culture and social class in Dublin 1850–1916 by Stephanie Rains’, Irish Studies Review, 21:1 (2013), 129–130.

‘Yeats and European drama by Michael McAteer’, Irish Studies Review, 21:1 (2013), 132–133.

‘The first Yeats: poems by W.B. Yeats 1889–1899 by Ed Larrissy and Irish modernism: origins, contexts, publics by Edwina Keown and Carol Taaffe’, Irish Studies Review, 19:1 (2011), 122–124.

‘Joyce’s Ulysses by Sean Sheehan and Bloomsday 100, eds. Morris Beja and Anne Fogarty’, Irish Studies Review, 18:3 (2010), 378–380.

‘Irish Literature since 1990: Diverse Voices, eds. Scott Brewster and Michael Parker’, Irish Studies Review, 18:2 (2010), 259–261.

‘Irish Poetry after Feminism, ed. Justin Quinn’, Irish Studies Review, 17:4 (2009), 541–543.

‘A Reader’s Guide to Twentieth-Century Irish Literature by Aaron Kelly’, Irish Studies Review, 17:1 (2009), 123–125.

Current/Recent Projects

2008-2011 Leverhulme Post-Doctoral Research Associate, University of Sunderland.

12 November 2016 - 21st May 2017 ‘Fabricating Histories: An Alternative Nineteenth Century’, co-curator of exhibition in collaboration with Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums (Discovery Museum).

Funding Awards and Fellowships

  • ‘Fabricating Histories’, Arts Council England, ‘Grant for the Arts’, £24,000.
  • ‘Fabricating Histories’ Exhibition, Principal Investigator (October 2015), QR Funding £4,000.
  • ‘Fabricating Histories’ Exhibition, Principal Investigator (February 2015), QR Funding £6,600.
  • ‘Fabricating Histories’ Exhibition, Principal Investigator (January 2015), HEIF Sandpit Fund £500.
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
  • Arts and Humanities Research Council three-year doctoral award (2002–2005).
  • Arts and Humanities Research Council one-year MA award (2001-2002).

Postgraduate Supervision

I am especially interested in supervising Masters and PhD projects in Neo-Victorianism, Irish Studies, and subcultures. I have supervised a number of successful MRes students: Daniel Thompson, who worked on Beckett, Auster and the metaphysical detective genre; Karen Sturgeon, who researched gender and Neo-Victorianism in literature and film; Helen Storey, on James Joyce; and Katie Liddane on Cross Bones Graveyard.

Successful PhDs:

Helen Green ‘Middlebrow Mystics: Henri Bergson and British Culture 1899–1939’ (supervision team member).

Sponsors and Collaborators

My research is heavily invested in enterprise and impact culture, through an ongoing partnership with Tyne and Wear Museums.

Affiliations and Memberships

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, 2015–present
  • Member of the International Association for the Study of Irish Literatures (IASIL), 2004–present
  • Member of the British Association for Irish Studies (BAIS), 2005–present


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