Edinburgh Research Explorer

Dr Anna Vaninskaya

Senior Lecturer

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Willingness to take Ph.D. students: Yes

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

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of Oxford
Master of Arts, University of Denver
Bachelor of Arts, University of Denver

Professional Qualifications

Higher Education Academy Teaching Associate


Dr Anna Vaninskaya was born in Russia and grew up in the United States, where she completed a BA and MA in English Literature at the University of Denver.  She came to the UK as a Marshall Scholar in 2003, and after completing a D.Phil. in English Literature at the University of Oxford, she held a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship with the Cambridge Victorian Studies Group and a Junior Research Fellowship in English at King's College, Cambridge. She was appointed Lecturer at Edinburgh in 2010, and promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2016. Anna is the author of William Morris and the Idea of Community: Romance, History and Propaganda, 1880-1914 (Edinburgh UP, 2010), as well as over thirty articles and book chapters on topics ranging from Chesterton, Orwell, Tolkien, Chukovsky and Stoppard to nineteenth-century socialism, education, popular reading, historical cultures, and immigration. She has edited special issues of Nineteenth-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 Board of the Journal of William Morris Studies.  She is also the creator and editor of the online archive 'Scotland-Russia: Cultural Encounters Since 1900'.

Research Interests

Anna Vaninskaya's research focuses on the fin de siècle and the Edwardian period, and more broadly on the following topics in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries: the intersection between literature and politics, socialist propaganda, working and lower-middle class writing, the 'middlebrow', utopia/dystopia, Englishness and patriotism, views of the past, romance, fantasy and children's literature, the history of reading and education, the rise of English, Anglo-Russian literary and cultural relations and immigrant writing in Britain.  She is also interested in intellectual, cultural, and book history, genre, and reception studies, as well as individual authors such as William Morris, Oscar Wilde, H. G.  Wells, G. K. Chesterton, Robert Tressell, George Orwell, J. B.  Priestley, J. R. R. Tolkien, and C. S. Lewis.  She welcomes research proposals in late-Victorian and Edwardian literature and culture, as well as any of the topics listed above.

Research activity

Anna Vaninskaya is working on a monograph entitled The Making of Modern Fantasy: Time and Death from Morris to Tolkien  (under contract with Palgrave Macmillan) and is editing a translated anthology Edwardian London through the Eyes of Russian Foreign Correspondents.  She was PI of the research project: Scotland and Russia: Cultural Encounters Since 1900 (funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh Arts and Humanities Network Award and the University of Edinburgh).


  • ‘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)
  • 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’; 'Historicising the Geographical and Cultural Role of Maps in J.R.R. Tolkien's Legendarium'

Highlighted research outputs

  1. Under Russian Eyes: Foreign Correspondents in Edwardian Britain

    Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

  2. Modernity: Tolkien and His Contemporaries

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

  3. The Novel, Its Critics, and the University: A New Beginning?

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

View all (46) »

Research activities & awards

  1. Studies in Scottish Literature (Journal)

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial activity

  2. 'Tolkien and Death' Fantasy Seminar

    Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

  3. Scottish Centre for Victorian and Neo-Victorian Studies (External organisation)

    Activity: MembershipMembership of external research organisation

View all (44) »

Research projects

  1. University of Dundee Centre for Global History: £500 workshop funding

    Project: Other ProjectResearch Collaboration with external organisation

  2. University of Aberdeen Research Institute for Irish and Scottish Studies: £1500 workshop funding

    Project: Other ProjectResearch Collaboration with external organisation

View all (6) »

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