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Personal profile

Biography

Helena Ifill received her PhD in English Literature from the University of Sheffield (where she also took an MA in Nineteenth-Century Studies) in 2009. She taught at the University of Sheffield from 2010-2019 before taking up a lectureship at the University of Aberdeen in 2019. Her research centres on Victorian popular fiction and the Gothic, especially in connection with issues of gender, science and medicine.

Dr Ifill is an active member of the Victorian Popular Fiction Association, and has co-organised the annual conference for the last five years. She is also co-series-editor for the Edward Everett Root series, Key Popular Women Writers, and New Paths in Victorian Popular Fiction and Culture, and is the Associate Editor of Victorian Popular Fictions.

Research Interests:

My research centres on Victorian popular fiction, especially sensation fiction and the Gothic. I am particularly interested in how these genres engage with issues concerning gender, science and medicine. My monograph, Creating Character: Theories of Nature and Nurture in Victorian Sensation Fiction, explored how the novels of Mary Elizabeth Braddon and Wilkie Collins respond and contribute to nineteenth-century debates about identity formation and free will. I have also published work on vampire fiction and Victorian stories of mesmerism.

 

Current Research

I am currently working on two projects. One concerns the representation of doctors and patients in nineteenth-century Female Gothic texts. The other is a study of the Victorian popular author and journal editor, Charlotte Riddell, part of which has resulted in an article on the representation of professional female authors in Victorian Britain.  

Teaching Responsibilities:

I currently co-ordinate the following modules:

EL30VC    Fallen Women and Self-Made Men: Representing Gender in Victorian Literature

EL35VB    'From Bildungsroman to Alien Invasion: Exploring Genre in the Victorian Novel

 

I also teach on EL1009: Acts of Reading and the MLitt module EL5089: Novel Ideas: Reading Prose Fiction.

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Helena Ifill is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Victorian Era Arts & Humanities
Fiction Arts & Humanities
Nature Arts & Humanities
Mesmerism Arts & Humanities
Gothic Arts & Humanities
Vampires Arts & Humanities
Anxiety Arts & Humanities
Novel Arts & Humanities

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Research Output 2013 2019

Open Access
Florence
Anxiety
Blood
Vampires
Gothic

The Female Professional as Orphan in Charlotte Riddell’s A Struggle for Fame

Ifill, H., Jul 2019, In : Victoriographies. 9, 2, p. 129-146 18 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Fame
Orphans
Husbands
Emotion
Person

Creating character: Theories of nature and nurture in Victorian sensation fiction

Ifill, H., 28 Feb 2018, Manchester: Manchester University Press. 240 p. (Interventions: Rethinking the Nineteenth Century)

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Fiction
Victorian Era
Nature
Degeneration
Education

Mesmeric Clairvoyance in Mid-Victorian Literature: Eliot, Bulwer-Lytton, and MacDonald

Ifill, H., Jul 2015, In : Supernatural Studies. 2, 2, p. 118-132 15 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Mesmerism
Victorian Literature
Clairvoyance
Victorian Era
Appearings

Wilkie Collins’s Monomaniacs in Basil, No Name, and Man and Wife

Ifill, H., 2013, In : Wilkie Collins Journal. 12

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Wives
Insanity
Names
Person
Hallucinations