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Melanie Waters

Senior Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Literature and Programme Leader for the Foundation Year in Humanities

Department: Humanities

Dr Melanie Waters is Senior Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Literature, and Programme Leader for the Foundation Year in Humanities.

After obtaining my undergraduate and Master's degrees at Newcastle University, I embarked on an AHRC-funded PhD. I joined Northumbria University in 2008.

Campus Address

Office: Lipman 419

0191 227 3474


BA, MA, PhD (Newcastle University)

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

  • My research and teaching interests focus on feminism and its relationship to literary and popular culture, particularly in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. 



Feminism and Popular Culture (London: I. B. Tauris, 2013) (with Rebecca Munford).


Edited volumes:

Feminist Periodical Culture: From Suffrage to Second Wave. Spec. Issue of Women: A Cultural Review

                (May 2017) (with Victoria Bazin).

Women on Screen: Feminism and Femininity in Visual Culture (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2011).

Poetry and Autobiography (London and New York: Routledge, 2011) (with Jo Gill). Originally published as a special issue of Life Writing 5.2 (July 2009).

Feminism, Culture, and the New Generation. Spec. Issue of Journal of International Women’s Studies (March 2009) (with Yvette Taylor). 

Politics, Sexualities, and New Feminist Scholarship. Spec. Issue of Journal of International Women’s Studies (April 2008).

Identity, Difference, and New Feminisms. Spec. Issue of Journal of International Women’s Studies 8.2 (February 2007) (with Celia Roberts).


Journal articles:

‘“Yours in Struggle”: Bad Feelings and Revolutionary Politics in Spare Rib’. Spec. Issue of Women: A Cultural Review. Ed. Victoria Bazin and Melanie Waters (May 2017).

‘Mediated and Mediating Feminisms: Periodical Culture from Suffrage to Second Wave’ (Introduction; with Victoria Bazin). Spec. Issue of Women: A Cultural Review. Ed. Victoria Bazin and Melanie Waters (May 2017).

‘Poetry and Autobiography’. Spec. Issue of Life Writing (Taylor and Francis) 5.2. Ed. Jo Gill and Melanie Waters (July 2009) (with Jo Gill).

 ‘“I think it would be better to be a Jew”: Anne Sexton and the Holocaust’, Holocaust Poetry. Spec. Issue of Critical Survey (Berghahn) 19.3. Ed. Robert Eaglestone and Antony Rowland (December 2007) (invited).


Book chapters:

‘(Bad) Sex and the City?: Feminist (Re)Awakenings in HBO’s Girls’. Reading Lena Dunham’s Girls: Feminism, Post Feminism, Authenticity and Gendered Performance in Contemporary Television. Ed. (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2017).

‘Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath’. Cambridge Companion to American Poetry, ed. Mark Richardson (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014).

‘Fangbanging: Sexing the Vampire in Alan Ball’s True Blood’. Television, Sex and Society: Analyzing Contemporary Representations. Ed. Beth Johnson (London: Continuum, 2012).

‘The Horrors of Home: Feminism and Femininity in the Suburban Gothic’. Women on Screen: Feminism and Femininity in Visual Cultures. Ed. Melanie Waters (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2011). 

‘Screening Women/Women on Screen’. Screening Women: Feminism, Femininity and Visual Cultures. Ed. Melanie Waters. (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2011). 

 ‘Sexing It Up?: Women, Pornography and Third Wave Feminism’. Third Wave Feminism: A Critical Exploration, 2nd Rev. Ed. Rebecca Munford et al (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2007), pp. 250-265. (invited).

‘“Mother, Home and Heaven”: Nostalgia, Confession and Motherhood in Desperate  Housewives’. Beyond the Picket Fence: Reading Desperate Housewives. Ed. Kim Akass and Janet McCabe (London: I. B. Tauris, 2006), pp. 190-205 (with Stacy Gillis).  

Teaching Interests

I am currently the Programme Leader for the Foundation Year in Humanities. I have also taught on and convened a range of undergraduate and postgraduate modules in the department:

  • Representing the US: From Slavery to Terrorism (Level 4)
  • Modernism and Modernity (Level 5)
  • Textual Studies (Level 5)
  • Poetry: Tradition and Experiment (Level 5)
  • Vamps and Virgins: Gothic Sexualities (Level 6)
  • Gothic Spaces (MA)

Postgraduate Supervision

I am the Principal Supervisor for the following PhD:

  • Megan Sormus, Collage Grrrls: Reclaiming Contradictory Femininities in Anti-Chick Lit

In addition to this, I co-supervise two PhDs:

  • Alison Bainbridge, Gothic Podcasting
  • Ed Luker, J. H. Prynne, Post-war British Experimental Poetry and the Lyric Subject

Successful PhDs:

  • Rowan Bowman, On Barley Hill: Spectral Landscapes and the Supernatural Gothic Horror Novel (2016)

I have also supervised a number of successful MA and MRes students working in the areas of postmodern fiction, post-war American literature, contemporary British television, and women’s gaming.

I welcome enquiries from students interested in developing research projects on aspects of feminist theory, the gothic, contemporary women’s writing, twentieth-century poetry, and American popular culture.

Affiliations and Memberships

  • Treasurer, Contemporary Women’s Writing Association (CWWA)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA)
  • Member, Feminist and Women’s Studies Association 


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