Edinburgh Research Explorer

Anna Vaninskaya

Senior Lecturer, EFI Fellow

Profile photo

Willingness to take PhD 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 is a Senior Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Edinburgh and a Fellow of the Edinburgh Futures Institute.  She came to Edinburgh in 2010 after holding a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship with the Cambridge Victorian Studies Group and a Junior Research Fellowship in English at King's College, Cambridge, and, prior to that, completing 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), as well as over forty articles and book chapters on topics ranging from Orwell, Chesterton, Chukovsky and Stoppard to nineteenth-century socialism, education, popular reading, historical cultures, immigration and Anglo-Russian cultural perceptions. She 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 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, the romance revival, 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, Lord Dunsany, E. R. Eddison, Robert Tressell, George Orwell, J. B.  Priestley, 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 Vaninskaya 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’; 'Historicising the Geographical and Cultural Role of Maps in J.R.R. Tolkien's Legendarium'; The Radical Imaginary of Cobbett, Owen, Morris and the Chartists

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 (53) »

Research activities & awards

  1. Melrose Literary Society

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesPublic Engagement – Public lecture/debate/seminar

  2. Orwell

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesPublic Engagement – Public lecture/debate/seminar

  3. History, Medievalism and the Games Industry

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

View all (55) »

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