I am a permanent Teaching Fellow in C19th/C20th Literature at the University of Warwick. I am an accredited Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and am currently a Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Death and Society, University of Bath. I was a fixed-term Teaching Fellow in C19th Literature at the University of Warwick September 2017 – July 2019.

I defended my thesis, Raising Revenants: Spectrality, Embodiment, and the Monstrous Child, c.1830-1914,  at the University of Bristol in May 2017. My research examined haunting depictions of the dead child in Anglo-American literatures and iconography of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as an embodiment of anxieties about the cults of childhood and death. I examined representations from across the boundaries of folkloric customs and tales, scientific narratives, and the popular press as they corresponded with the depictions in genres of realist literature, life-writing, and gothic prose. I am currently converting my research for a monograph which incorporates new research conducted since my Viva.

I am a member of

  • British Association for Victorian Studies – for which I am also one of two ECR reps.

  • International Gothic Association

  • British Society for Literature and Science

My wider interests include the Gothic, death studies, children in literature, image and text, and I am looking toward a future research project in metamorphoses books (pop-ups, lift-the-flaps, toy theatres, harlequinades) and their place in the Gothic tradition.
I am also co-Chief Editor, and co-founder of HARTS & Minds, a peer-review journal for Postgraduate students and early career researchers in the Arts and Humanities that started in 2012 http://www.harts-minds.co.uk

Since 2012 I have taught undergraduate classes on Critical Theory, Contemporary Writing  (1945 to the present) and Literature 1830-1945 at the University of Bristol,  and have taught on the modules ‘Ways of Reading’, ‘The Short Story’, ‘American Literature’ and ‘Between Men and Women’ for Bristol’s ELCE (Eng Lit and Community Engagement) degree. I also run Writers’ Retreats for PGRs, outreach sessions for local sixth formers on the Access to Bristol course, supervise foundation year dissertations, and have run workshops and day courses on Children’s Literature.


PhD in English Literature, University of Bristol (2012-2016),
Thesis: Raising Revenants: Spectrality, Embodiment, and the Monstrous Child 1830-1914
Primary Supervisor: Prof. David Punter; Secondary: Dr Samantha Matthews
External Examiner: Professor Andrew Smith (Sheffield)

MA The Child: Literature, Language and History, University of Gloucestershire (2008 – 2010) Merit.
Dissertation: ‘The Disappearance of the Child in Contemporary Fiction’

BA (hons) English Literature with History, University of Gloucestershire (2005 – 2008)  First Class.
Dissertation: ‘The Love that Dared Speak Its Name: Homosexuality in Fiction since the C19th’
Awarded Laura Brereton Prize for English as recognition of a significant achievement in English Studies through quality of work, engagement with and enhancement of the subject.            

Other Publications


     ‘Literary Moveable Ephemera and the Gothic Tradition’ in Palgrave Gothic Handbook vol.3 “Modern Gothic”, ed. Clive Bloom (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019-20)

    ‘The Revenant Child’ in Palgrave Gothic Handbook vol.2 “Steam Age Gothic”, ed. Clive Bloom (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020-21)

 Guest Editor, ‘Tales of Terror: Gothic and the Short Form’, Gothic Studies, (Special Issue) 23:3, Nov 2021.



‘Spectral Stowaways in Elizabeth Stuart Phelps’ “Kentucky’s Ghost” (1868)’, Gothic Studies, Nautical Gothic Special Issue, ed. Emily Alder and Antonio Alcalá González, 19.2 (2017), pp.45-57.

‘Traditions and Anxieties of (Un)Timely Child Death in Jude the Obscure’, Thomas Hardy Society Journal, 33 (2017), pp.61-84.

‘Paedophilic Productions and Gothic Performances: Contending with Monstrous Identity’ in Disgust and Desire: Humanity’s Paradoxical Relationship with Monsters, ed. by Kristen Wright (Leiden: Brill Publishing, 2017), pp.197-225.

‘IMPRINTS: Forming and Tracing the Malevolent Ghost Child’ in Little Horrors:  Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Anomalous Children and the Construction of Monstrosity, ed. by Simon Bacon and Leo Ruickbie (Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2016), pp.83-100.

‘Betwixt-and Between: Reclaiming Childhood in Hook’ in Children in the Films of Steven Spielberg, ed. Adrian Schober and Debbie Olson (Lanham: Lexington Books, 2016), pp.161-182.

‘The Roots of All Evil: William March’s The Bad Seed and the Human Propensity for Violence,’ in Monstrous Manifestations: Realities and the Imaginings of the Monster, ed. Agnieszka Stasiewicz-Bieńkowska and Karen Graham (Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2013), pp.119-128. [E-book]


Lisa Morton, Ghosts: A Haunted History, Folklore, 128:3 (2017), pp.326-328.

Karen Renner, (ed.) The ‘Evil Child’ in Literature, Film and Popular Culture, Monsters and the Monstrous: Monstrous Science, 4.1 (Summer 2014) [Print]

Brian Gibson, Reading Saki: The Fiction of H.H. Munro (McFarland & Company Inc., 2014) The Edwardian Culture Network, 5th September 2014 [web]



‘Prometheus Rebound, Folded, and Popping Up all over the Place: Movable Books and the Metamorphoses of Frankenstein’, The 14th International Gothic Association Conference, Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies, July 31st-August 3rd, 2018 [Forthcoming]


Demon Diseases: Contagions of Guilt in Sheridan Le Fanu’s “The Mysterious Lodger” (1850)’, Cultural Histories of Air and Illness University of Warwick. 8-9 June 2018. [Forthcoming]


The Metamorphoses of Frankenstein: Illustrated and Movable Anatomy, Science Education, and the Gothic Imagination’ British Society for Literature and Science, Oxford Brookes, 5-7 April 2018.


‘In Death, at one with Nature: Locating the Dead-Child Spirit’ Gothic Nature: New Directions in Ecohorror and the Ecogothic, Trinity College Dublin, 17 – 18 November 2017.


 ‘The Ghost of Christmas Pop-Ups: A Not-So-Ghostly Spectacle?’ Dickens Day: Dickens and Fantasy, Senate House, IES London, 14th October 2017.


 ‘Narrative Tourism of the Criminal Child in the Works of Kate Summerscale’, Criminal Heritage: Crime, Fiction, and History, Leeds Beckett University, 5 September 2017.

‘The Pitter Patter of Ghostly Feet: The Sounds and Silences of Child Death in Victorian and Neo-Victorian Literatures’         Listening to Literature Symposium, University of Exeter, 28th July 2017.

‘“Woods and Solitudes”, “Forests and Wildernesses”: Tracing the Haunts of the Dead-Child Spirit’
Beasts of the Forest: Denizens of the Dark Woods, St Mary’s University, Twickenham, 1st July 2017.

‘Pop-Up and Scare Me Sometime: Haunted Houses and Monster’s Lairs in Movable Gothic Books’
Reimagining the Gothic 2017: Gothic Spaces, University of Sheffield, 12-13 May 2017.

‘Beatific Souls: Child Death in Nineteenth-Century Literary & Visual Culture’
Invited public lecture at the Bath Royal Literary & Scientific Institution. 27 March 2016.

‘Science and Spectacle at the Site of the Dead-Child Body’
British Society for Literature & Science annual conference, University of Bristol.  6 – 8 Apr 2017.

‘”Mental Dram-Drinking”: The Queer Consumption of the Dead-Child Body in the Nineteenth Century’
British Association for Victorian Studies, Cardiff University. 31 Aug – 2 Sep 2016.

‘The Queerness of Strangers: Considering Hidden Sexualities in Roald Dahl’s Children’s Literature’
       Roald Dahl Centenary Conference, Cardiff University, 16-18 June 2016.

‘British Benevolence met European Malevolence: How the Anglo-American Ghost-Child was Made’
       Haunted Europe. Leiden University, The Netherlands, 9-11 June 2016.

‘“Lift, Pull…Scream!” The Curious Case of the Moveable Gothic Book’
Reimagining Gothic 2016: Monsters and Monstrosities, University of Sheffield. 6-7 May 2016.

‘Raising Revenants from Folklore to Fiction: Narrating the Dead Child Spirit’
Reflected Shadows: Folklore & the Gothic (Folklore Society/Kingston Uni), 15-17 April 2016.

‘Strange Cries from Across the Mere: M.R. James and the Dead Child Spirit’
Haunted Studies: The Ghost Stories of M.R. James, The Leeds Library. 19 March 2016.

‘Corporeal (Dis)Enchantment: Bodily Anxieties and the Edwardian Ghost Child’
Enchanted Edwardians (Edwardian Culture Network), University of Bristol. 30-31 March 2015.

‘Placing the Paedophile: Spatial Conceptions of Monstrosity’
Literary and Visual Landscapes Research Seminar Series, University of Bristol. 9 Feb 2015.

‘Gothic Narratives? Performing and Producing the Paedophile’
12th Global Conference Monsters and the Monstrous.Mansfield College, Oxford Uni. 25-27 July 2014.

‘Vengeance is Sweet: Subverting the Revenge Narrative in the Works of Roald Dahl’
Born Happy: Happiness, Childhood and Children’s Literature. St Hilda’s College, Oxford. 16 Nov 2013.

‘Dysmorphic Spaces in Jan Švankmajer’s Něco z Alenky’
       Literary and Visual Landscapes Research Seminar Series, University of Bristol. 27 Jan 2013.

‘The Roots of All Evil: William March’s The Bad Seed and the Human Propensity for Violence.’
10th Global Conference Monsters and the Monstrous. Mansfield College, Oxford. 11 Sep 2012.

‘Roald Dahl, the Modern Fairy Tale and the Subversion of Order’.
       After Grimm: Fairy Tales and the Art of Story Telling, Kingston University. 7 Sep2012.

Blog Posts



    • Tales of Terror: Gothic, Horror, and Weird Short Story, University of Warwick in 21-22 March 2019. https://talesofterrorconference.wordpress.com/

    • In June 2018 I co-organised an Early Careers Event for Victorianists, held at the University of Warwick, in association with BAVS

    • Postgraduate Summer Sessions. University of Bristol (2014) A colleague and I co-ran sessions for English PGRs to practice conference papers, and talks from department lecturers on academic careers.

    • Postgraduate Alternative Academia Sessions. University of Bristol (2014-15) A colleague and I co-organised talks for the Arts and Humanities PGRS by academics who had gone into “alternative” academic careers (publishing, public engagement, etc).

    • I organised the conference “Devils and Dolls: Dichotomous Depictions of ‘the Child'” which took place on 27th-28th March 2013 at the University of Bristol and was a two-day international conference for academics at any stage in the arts and humanities who were interested in the child as subject.



    Notches: (re)marks on the History of Sexuality                          http://notchesblog.com/
    ‘“A filthy brutish offence”: Child Sex Abuse and the Law in C17th England’ (Jan 2014)
    ‘Shirley Temple: Unwitting Coquette’ (Feb 2014)


    British Society Literature & Science                                                                       Feb 2017 – Present

    International Gothic Association                                                                             Sep 2013 – Present

    British Association of Victorian Studies                                                                  Sep 2014 – Present

    Dr Jen Baker

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