Dr Julie Scanlon

Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Literature, Gender and Sexuality and Programme Leader for the Humanities Foundation Year
Department: Humanities

Julie is Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Literature, Gender and Sexuality. She is also the Programme Leader for the Humanities Foundation Year.

Julie -Scanlon ,-Northumbria -University ,-Humanities -Department

I took my first degree in English Language and Literature before going on to an MA in Modern and Contemporary Fiction, during which I became increasingly interested in literary theory. I then specialised further in contemporary women's fiction for my PhD, which I undertook by part-time study, graduating in 2003. Whilst working for my PhD, I taught part-time at the University of Sheffield, both in the English Literature Department and in the Division of Adult Continuing Education, and also at Barnsley College. 

Subsequently, I held temporary contracts as a Teaching Fellow at Lancaster University's Department of English and Creative Writing for two years before taking up a Lectureship at Northumbria in 2005. I was moderator for the University's Higher Education Foundation Course in English Literature from 2007-11 and was Acting Programme Director of the University's American Study Abroad Programme in 2007. I have been Programme Leader for BA English, BA English and Film, for PhD students and am now Programme Leader for the Humanities Foundation Year. I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. In 2014, I became a member of the Committee of NU Women at Newcastle University and I also work to progress gender equality with regard to H.E. staff at Northumbria. 

I publish primarily in theories of gender and sexuality in relation to contemporary literature, film and television.  I am a member of the Advisory Board for the journal Genders and from 2010-2016 was a member of its Editorial Board. I am also a peer reviewer for the Journal of Gender Studies

Campus Address

Office: Lipman 406

0191 243 7327


BA (Birmingham Polytechnic), MA (Sheffield), PhD (Sheffield), PGCert (Lancaster)

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

My interests lie in contemporary literature, particularly  women’s fiction, and in theories of gender and sexuality in relation to literature, film and television.

Teaching Interests

I have taught a wide range of modules at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, covering material from the Renaissance period to the present. I run a third-year option entitled ‘Sexuality Matters: Theory, Culture, Identities’ that examines theories of sexuality in relation to contemporary cultural products. With Dr Victoria Bazin, I am currently developing a new MA module, ‘Reading the American Man’, examining twentieth-century constructions of male masculinity in American literature.


Julie Scanlon and Ruth Lewis, ‘Whose Sexuality Is it Anyway? Women’s Experiences of Viewing Lesbians on Screen’, Feminist Media Studies (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14680777.2016.1257998

Rev. of Mark Asquith, The Lost Frontier: Annie Proulx’s Wyoming Stories, in Western American Literature 50.2 (2015), 174-175.

Rev. of Dana Heller, ed., Loving The L Word, in Critical Studies in Television 9.3 (2014), 122-123.

 ‘The L Word: Producing Identities Through Irony’, The Handbook of Gender, Sex and Media, ed. Karen Ross (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012), 226-240.

‘Dystopia’ in Encyclopedia of Religion and Film, ed. Eric Michael Mazur (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2011), 163-166.

‘Getting The Girl: Wittig and Zeig’s Trojan Horse’, Genders 52 (2010) http://www.colorado.edu/gendersarchive1998-2013/archive/author/scanlon

‘Unruly Novels, Unruly Selves’, Generic Instability and Identity in the Contemporary Novel, ed. Madelena Gonzalez and Marie-Odile Hedin (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2010), 139-159.

Rev. of Alex Hunt, ed., The Geographical Imagination of Annie Proulx: Rethinking Regionalism, in Great Plains Quarterly 30.2 (2010), 155-156.

‘Why Do We Still Want to Believe? The Case of Annie Proulx’, JNT: Journal of Narrative Theory, 38.1 (2008), 86-110.  

Ed., with Amy Waste, Crossing Boundaries: Thinking Through Literature (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2001).  220 pages.

Co-authored, with Amy Waste, ‘Introduction’ to Crossing Boundaries: Thinking Through Literature (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2001), 13-16.

‘Sue Grafton, O is for Outlaw’, Beacham’s Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction, 14 (Farmington Hills, MI: Gale Group, 2001), 285-294.

 ‘“XX+XX=XX”: Monique Wittig’s Reproduction of the Monstrous Lesbian’, Paroles Gelées (UCLA) 16.1 (1998), 73-96.

Current/Recent Projects

Public Engagement:

Co-host, with Jacky Collins, ‘Scottish Queer International Film Festival on Tour’, screening of Break My Fall at Tyneside Cinema November 2015

As part of Northumbria’s Gender and Society Research Hub, I organised and hosted ‘A Conversation with Caroline Criado-Perez OBE’ journalist and feminist campaigner in October 2015.

Also as part of the Hub, I was a co-organiser of the ‘Festival of Feminist Ideas and Actions’, a series of ‘conversations’ with local and national activists and creative practitioners throughout March and April 2015 at Newcastle City Library.     

In the spring-summer of 2014, I co-hosted a series of screenings at Newcastle’s volunteer-run cinema, The Star and Shadow, entitled ‘Lesbians on Screen: How Far Have We Come?’  Arising from audience research throughout this season, I have recently co-written an article with Ruth Lewis on women’s experiences of viewing lesbians on screen. The series examined representations from the late 1960s to the present.  In January 2015 we hosted a visit by Monika Treut and held an audience discussion after the screening of her latest film at the Jam Jar Cinema, Whitley Bay.

With colleagues from the Gender and Society Research Hub, I helped to organise ‘Greenham Common, Then and Now: Actions and Impacts’, which took place in December 2013 and was a public event that commemorated the thirtieth anniversary of the actions at Greenham. Following on from this, I also co-organised ‘North-East Women and Activism’, which took place in July 2014, where local activists shared their stories.  We are developing a project with local activists arising from these events.

Gender Equality:

I am active in campaigning to address inequalities faced by women academics.  In June 2013, I founded and now chair the Humanities Departmental Gender Equality group.  I was invited to speak on  ‘Gender and Aspiration’ at ‘Building an Aspirational Culture’, a half-day event at Sunderland University, in January 2015 and was co-organiser, with Angela Smith of Sunderland University, of a symposium, ‘Building an Aspirational Culture 2’, focussing on gender in Higher Education at Sunderland University, April 2015.  I was co-organiser, with Sarah Cohen (Politics, Northumbria University) of ‘Women’s Experiences in Academia’, a half-day event, Northumbria University, June 2015.  I am a member of NU Women Committee (Newcastle University), September 2014-present.

Funding Awards and Fellowships

  • ‘North-East Women’s Activism’ (co-organiser) (£2000), Higher Education Impact and Engagement Fund (HEIF), Northumbria University, November 2014.
  • ‘Lesbians on Screen: How Far Have We Come?’ (co-organiser) (£2000), HEIF, Northumbria University, February 2014.  
  • ‘Greenham Women: Actions and Impacts’ (co-organiser) (£2000), HEIF, Northumbria University, November 2013.
  • Conference participation funds (CAN $1500), from conference committee for presentation, ‘The Novel-ty of Newfoundland: Annie Proulx, Place and Space’, at Meeting Places: An International Canadian Studies Conference, Canada, St Mary’s University, Halifax and Mount Allison University, Sackville, September 2013.
  • ‘Applauding and Promoting Teaching’ Award (£1000) for innovation in teaching and learning.  Project: ‘“The Magic Bullet”: Making Large Seminars Work’. Northumbria University, May 2007.

Postgraduate Supervision

I welcome enquiries from prospective students wishing to work in any of my fields of interest.

I have supervised many MA and MRes dissertations on contemporary literature and representations of gender and sexuality in contemporary culture.

Current PhD supervision:

  • Principal supervisor: ‘Blurring the Screen: Queer Sex and Sexuality in the Screenwriting of Russell T. Davies’, full time 2015-
  • Principal supervisor: ‘Seeing Sex: Contemporary Cinematic and TV Representations of Queer Desire’, full time 2015-
  • Principal supervisor: ‘How the West Has Warmed: Climate Change and the Contemporary Western’, full time, 2014-
  • Principal supervisor: ‘Non-Binary Gender in the Fiction of Robin Hobb’, part time 2014-  
  • Second supervisor (maternity cover): ‘Collage Grrrl: Anti-Chick-Lit Fiction and the Palimpsestuous Narrative’, full time, 2014-2015 

Completed PhDs:

  • Second supervisor, ‘Seventeen: A Novel’, full time, 2010-13
  • Second supervisor, ‘Quentin Crisp’s Fashioned Androgyne’, part time, 2006-2012

Affiliations and Memberships

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Member of the British Association of American Studies
  • Member of Northumbria University’s Gendered Subjects research group
  • Member of Northumbria University’s Gender and Society Research Hub
  • Associate Member of Northumbria’s Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning