Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Victorian and Edwardian literature, as well as the individual authors and topics listed below

Personal profile

Biography

Dr Anna Vaninskaya is a Senior Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Edinburgh, a Fellow of the Edinburgh Futures Institute and founding Programme Director of the EFI Narrative Futures MSc.  She came to Edinburgh in 2010 after holding a Leverhulme Postdoctoral Research Fellowship with the Cambridge Victorian Studies Group and a Junior Research Fellowship in English at King's College, Cambridge.  Prior to that, she completed a D.Phil. in English Literature at the University of Oxford as a Marshall Scholar. 

Anna is the author of William Morris and the Idea of Community: Romance, History and Propaganda, 1880-1914 (Edinburgh UP, 2010), Fantasies of Time and Death: Dunsany, Eddison, Tolkien (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020), winner of the 2021 Mythopoeic Scholarship Award for Myth and Fantasy Studies, and editor and co-translator of London Through Russian Eyes, 1896-1914: An Anthology of Foreign Correspondence (Boydell and Brewer, 2022).  She has published over forty articles and book chapters on topics ranging from Chesterton, Orwell, Stoppard, Chukovsky and Serge to nineteenth-century socialism, education, popular reading, historical cultures, immigration and Anglo-Russian cultural perceptions.

Anna has edited special issues of Studies in Scottish LiteratureNineteenth-Century Contexts, the Journal of William Morris Studies, the Oscholars, and 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century, and is on the Editorial Advisory Boards for the Bloomsbury Academic 'Perspectives on Fantasy' series, Oxford Bibliographies Online (Victorian Literature) and the Journal of William Morris Studies.  She is also the creator and editor of the online archive 'Scotland-Russia: Cultural Encounters Since 1900' (funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh Arts and Humanities Network Award and the University of Edinburgh).

Research Interests

Anna Vaninskaya's research focuses on the fin de siècle and the Edwardian period, and more broadly on the following themes, topics and genres in the literary, intellectual and cultural history of the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth centuries: the intersection between literature and politics, especially labour, socialist and anarchist writing; utopia/dystopia; Englishness and patriotism; the 'middlebrow'; reception and views of the past; the romance revival; the history of reading and education; periodical history; the rise of English as a discipline; Anglo-Russian relations and immigrant writing in Britain; fantasy and children's literature.  She is interested in individual authors such as William Morris, Oscar Wilde, H. G.  Wells, G. K. Chesterton, Robert Tressell, J. B. Priestley, George Orwell, Victor Serge, Lord Dunsany, E. R. Eddison, J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and Ursula Le Guin.  She welcomes research proposals in late-Victorian and Edwardian literature and culture, as well as any of the topics listed above.

Research activity

Anna is beginning a new research project provisionally entitled The Left Dissenters: Revolutionary Moods in Literature

Teaching

  • ‘The Making of Modern Fantasy’ (Year 3 Option)
  • ‘George Orwell and the Politics of Literature’ (Year 4 and MSc Option)
  • 'Modern Love: Victorian Poetry and Prose (Year 4 Core and MSc Option)
  • ‘Romanticism and Victorian Society 1815-1900’ (MSc Core)
  • 'The Victorians and the Past' (MSc Option)
  • 'The World of Story: Narrative, Creativity and the Arts (EFI MSc Core)
  • 'The World as Story: Narrative, Self and Society' (EFI MSc Core)
  • Undergraduate and MSc disseration supervision
  • English Literature 2 and Scottish Literature 2
  • PhD research projects supervised: ‘Victorians and The Earthly Paradise: Audience, Community and Storytelling in William Morris’s First Success’; ‘The Nationality of a World State: (Re)Constructions of England in Utopian Fiction’; ‘Authorship and Authorial Identity in the Novels of Sydney Owenson’; 'Mapping Middle-earth: Tracing Environmental and Political Narratives in the Literary Geographies and Cartographies of J.R.R. Tolkien's Legendarium'; 'Currents of Hope: Connecting the Socialist Literature of William Morris with The Radical Works of William Cobbett, Robert Owen and Ernest Jones'; 'Constructed Binaries in Contemporary Fantasy: Robin Hobb, Brandon Sanderson and N. K. Jemisin'; 'Economics and Ethics: Reconciling Self and Other in George Eliot's Writings' 

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of Oxford

Award Date: 1 Jan 2007

Master of Arts, University of Denver

Award Date: 1 Jan 2003

Bachelor of Arts, University of Denver

Award Date: 1 Jan 2002

External positions

Fellow

May 2019 → …

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