School of Social Sciences, Humanities & Law
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Dr Rachel Carroll

Rachel Carroll

About Rachel Carroll

I am Reader in English in the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Law, where I lead the English Research Group.

I completed my BA (Hons) English Literature degree and PhD in English Literature at Newcastle University.  My thesis examined representations of embodiment in texts by twentieth century British and American women writers, including Leonora Carrington, Angela Carter, Flannery O’Connor and Sylvia Plath.

I teach on the BA (Hons) English Studies and English Studies with Creative Writing degrees and the MA English.  My teaching expertise is in the field of modern and contemporary writing and critical and cultural theory, including feminist theory, queer theory and transgender studies, contemporary literary culture, African American writing and film and television adaptations.

Research interests and activities

My research interests are in gender and sexuality in twentieth century and contemporary fiction (including feminism, queer theory and transgender studies), cultural practices of adaptation and appropriation (including film and television adaptation and Neo-Victorian culture) and interdisciplinary research in the arts, humanities and social sciences.

My research in gender and sexuality studies has been published in leading peer-reviewed journals, including Journal of American Studies (2010), Journal of Gender Studies (2010), Textual Practice (2000; 2014) and Women: a cultural review (2011).  Her monograph, Rereading Heterosexuality: Feminism, Queer Theory and Contemporary Fiction (Edinburgh University Press, 2012) investigated the affinities and tensions between feminist and queer theory perspectives on non-normative female heterosexual identities, with a focus on British and American novels published between 1995 and 2005.  I am currently working on a monograph entitled Transgender and the Literary Imagination: Gender Diversity in Twentieth Century Fiction which will be published by Edinburgh University Press in 2018.

I am editor of an interdisciplinary edited collection on cultural practices of adaptation and appropriation, Adaptation in Contemporary Culture: Textual Infidelities (Continuum, 2009) and have published in leading peer-reviewed journals in the field (Journal of Adaptation in Film and Performance, 2009 and Adaptation, 2014) as well as edited collections (Andrea Levy: Contemporary Critical Perspectives, 2014 and Teaching Adaptations 2014).  I am currently investigating the representation of black British identity in film and television adaptations, ranging from adaptations of classic Victorian novels to adaptations of novels by contemporary black British authors.

Research projects & external funding

I was awarded a Modern Humanities Research Association Conference Grant in support of Species of Spaces: A Transdisciplinary Conference on the Work of Georges Perec (Teesside University, March 2014).  Keynote speakers included: Dr Kate Briggs (American University Paris), Christian Bök (University of Calgary, Canada) and Dr Victoria Hunter (University of Chichester).  Research outcomes have been in Species of Spaces: Transdisciplinary Approaches to the Work of Georges Perec, a Themed Issue of Literary Geographies (2017).

PhD and research opportunities

Doctoral completion: Clare Cheverall, “Language Theory, Dialogue and Screen Adaptations of Jane Austen” (2016)

I am currently supervising the following PhD students:

Director of Studies: Robyn Ollett (North East Consortium of the Arts and Humanities Studentship Studentship) – New Queer Gothic

Director of Studies: Louise Logan (Teesside UniversityStudentship) – Representing Disability in Contemporary Museum Practice

Director of Studies (from Oct 2017): Rachael Taylor (North East Consortium of the Arts and Humanities Studentship) - Representations of Female Beauty and Cosmetic Use by Women in Mid to Late Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture

Second Supervisor Stefanie El Medawi (Huddersfield, North East Consortium of the Arts and Humanities Studentship) – Multimodal Adaptation of Affect from Autobiography to Film

I welcome applications from prospective PhD students on topics relating to gender, sexuality or race in modern or contemporary fiction or film, especially those addressing feminist, queer or transgender studies or exploring questions of representation, memory and heritage in relation to minority identities.  

External roles and professional activities

I am Chair of the Contemporary Women’s Writing Association and Associate Editor at the journal Contemporary Women’s Writing (Oxford University Press).

I am a member of the Arts and Humanities Research Council Peer Review College.  I have served as a Review Panel Member for the Research Council for Culture and Society, Academy of Finland.

External research collaborations

I have worked with researchers and practitioners from disciplines across the arts, humanities and social sciences (including Criminology, Dance, Design, Fine Art, Performing Arts and Sociology) to organise conferences designed to promote cross disciplinary dialogue and collaboration. These events include: Women, Narrative and Crime: An Interdisciplinary Conference (2015); British Culture After 9/11 (2014); Species of Spaces: A Transdisciplinary Conference on the Work of Georges Perec (2014); Litpop: Writing and Popular Music (2011); Teaching Adaptations (2010); Arts Practice and Sociological Research Methods: Exploring Boundaries (2009).  My published research in this field includes an interdisciplinary collection (with Adam Hansen) entitled Litpop: Writing and Popular Music (Ashgate, 2014).

Learning and teaching interests

My teaching interests are in the field of modern and contemporary literature and culture, with a special focus on gender and sexuality in literary and film narrative.  I lead modules on topics including African American Writing, Literary Culture in the 21st Century, Questions of Feminism and Transgender in Fiction and Film.

I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.  I havea particular interest in fostering student research skills and in promoting employability in the arts and humanities.  I have presented research papers on these topics at a range of learning and teaching conferences and have published in edited collections on pedagogic research.

Enterprise interest and activities

Cultural representations – whether in fiction, film or television – have an important role to play in promoting public debate and understanding. I am interested in working with external partners to promote equality and diversity in relation to gender, sexuality and race.



Co-editor with Adam Hansen.  Litpop: Writing and Popular Music. Farnham: Ashgate, 2014.

Rereading Heterosexuality: Feminism, Queer Theory and Contemporary Fiction. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2012.

Editor.  Adaptation in Contemporary Culture: Textual Infidelities.   London: Continuum, 2009.


Articles in peer-reviewed journals

“Black Victorians, British television drama and the 1978adaptation of David Garnett’s The Sailor’s Return.”  Journal of Commonwealth Literature. Currently available via OnlineFirst:   Print publication projected for 53:2 (June 2019)

“How Soon Is Now: Constructing the Contemporary, Gendering the Experimental.”  Contemporary Women’s Writing: Special Issue – Contemporary Experimental Women’s Writing. Ed. Kaye Mitchell. 9:1 (2015) 16-33.

“‘Making the blood flow backwards’: Disability and thepolitics of representation in Julian Barnes The Sense of an Ending.”  Textual Practice 29:1(2015) 155-172.

“Black Britain and the Classic Adaptation: Integrated Casting in Television Adaptations of Oliver Twist and Little Dorrit.” Adaptation 8:1 (2015) 16-30.

“‘Violent Operations’: Revisiting the Transgendered Bodyin Angela Carter’s The Passion of New Eve.”  Women: a cultural review 22: 2/3 (September 2011) 241-55.


Chapters in edited collections

 “Coming Soon . . . Teaching the Contemporaneous Adaptation.”  Teaching Adaptations. Ed Deborah Cartmell and Imelda Whelehan.   London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.

“‘[S]heLoved Him Madly’: Music, mixtapes and gendered authorship in Alan Warner’s Morvern Callar.” Litpop: Writing and Popular Music. Ed. Rachel Carroll and Adam Hansen. Farnham: Ashgate, 2014.

 “Small Island, Small Screen: Adapting Black British Fiction.” Andrea Levy: Contemporary Critical Perspectives.  Ed. David James and Jeanette Baxter. London: Bloomsbury, 2014.

View Rachel Carroll's Publications on TeesRep

In the news

  • Black British history in ITV’s Jericho
    Journal of Victorian Culture, online, 06/05/2016
    A feature by Rachel Carroll.

  • Award-winning poet and playwright visits Teesside
    Love Middlesbrough [online] 10/06/14
    An award-winning poet and playwright will perform and discuss his work as part of a unique conference examining British culture since the 9/11 terror attacks.