Dr Nicola Darwood

Senior Lecturer in English Literature

Nicola Darwood

Course Coordinator for BA (Hons) English Literature and BA (Hons) Education Studies and English

I studied for my BA in English and Cultural Studies at De Montfort University and then continued at the university to study for a PhD in English Literature, focusing on the fiction of Elizabeth Bowen.

I have been teaching at the University of Bedfordshire since 2009; I teach across all years of undergraduate and postgraduate study and supervise research degrees.


  • PhD in English Literature, De Montfort University (2007)
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice, University of Bedfordshire (2012)
  • BA (Hons) in English and Cultural Studies, De Montfort University (1999)

I am the course coordinator for BA (Hons) English Literature, BA (Hons) English Studies, and BA (Hons) Education Studies and English.

I am the unit coordinator for five units (courses) across the undergraduate English Literature programme:

  • Ways of Reading (year 1)
  • Eighteenth Century Literature (year 2)
  • Modern Irish Literature (year 3)
  • Gothic Literature (year 3)
  • Research as Practice (year 3)

I am also the unit coordinator for 'Reading Ulysses', an MA unit on our MA in English Literature, and contribute to two other MA units: 'Research Methods' and 'Literature and Modernity in the Long Twentieth Century'. In addition, I supervise undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations. 


Women writers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, in particular the lives and works of Stella Benson and Elizabeth Bowen.

Research Supervision

  • Director of Studies of MPhil/PhD student (Pilgrimage, quest and meaningful journeys in the writings of Elizabeth Bowen)
  • Director of Studies of MPhil/PhD student (A Place Amongst the Galaxy of Roses: Gender, Sexuality and Flaneurie in the Poetry of Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven)
  • Director of Studies of PhD student (Gender Subversion, Sexual Deviancy and the Other in George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire)
  • Hockliffe Collection: Representations of Punishment in Nineteenth Century Stories for Children) (viva passed with minor corrections February 2019)
  • Director of Studies of MA (Research) student (Desire in the fiction of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries) (degree awarded in March 2014)
  • Second supervisor of PhD student (From Monmouth to Merlin: The evolution and stasis of gender representations in the Arthurian myth) (viva passed with minor corrections July 2015)

I have also examined research degrees, and have chaired a number of vivas for both PhD and MA (Res).

I welcome applicants for PhD, MPhil , MA (Res) study or collaborative research projects in the fields of late nineteenth/early twentieth century literature, book history and literary history.


  • 2022 (forthcoming) ‘Sometimes I pose, but sometimes I pose as posing’: Stella Benson’s early fiction’ in Kane, Louise (ed) Re-Reading the Age of Innovation: Victorians, Moderns, and Literary Newness, 1830–1950 (London: Routledge).
  • 2022 ‘‘OHO, WHAT NEXT? …’ ~ Stella Benson: editor’ in Benson, Stella and Brad Bigelow (ed) Pull Devil, Pull Baker (Norwich: Boiler House Press).
  • 2020. 'Nancy Spain’s Cinderella goes to the Morgue, An Entertainment' in Darwood N and Alexis Weedon (eds). Retelling Cinderella: Cultural and Creative Transformations. (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing).
  • 2020. Edited with Alexis Weedon. Retelling Cinderella: Cultural and Creative Transformations. (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing).
  • 2020. 'Flying Dangerously: Elizabeth Bowen’s To the North' in McCluskey, Michael & Luke Seaber (eds). Aviation in the Literature and Culture of Interwar Britain (London: Palgrave Macmillan)
  • 2020. Edited with W R Owens and Alexis Weedon. Fiction and the 'Woman Question' 1850-1930. (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing).
  • 2020. 'The making of a suffragette: Stella Benson and I Pose (1915)' in Darwood, Nicola, W R Owens and Alexis Weedon (eds). Fiction and the 'Woman Question' 1850-1930. (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pp.103-122).
  • 2020. Edited with Nick Turner. Interwar Women's Comic Fiction: 'Have Women a Sense of Humour?' (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing).
  • 2020. ‘Laughter and dying: Stella Benson’s Hope Against Hope and Other Stories and Tobit Transplanted’ in Darwood, Nicola and Turner, Nick (eds) Interwar Women's Comic Fiction: 'Have Women a Sense of Humour?' (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pp.63-82).
  • 2012. A World of Lost Innocence: The fiction of Elizabeth Bowen. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publications
  • 2010. ‘Eviction from Eden: The Fiction of Elizabeth Bowen’ in The Glass, No.22, Spring 2010, pp.41-49.
  • 2009. ‘Empty Boxes, Empty Spaces: Elizabeth Bowen’s The Little Girls’ in McNair, A and Ryder, J (eds) in Further From the Frontiers: Crosscurrents in Irish and Scottish Studies. Aberdeen: AHRC Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies, pp. 11-20.
  • 2020 with Nick Turner, Co-editor The Elizabeth Bowen Review, volume 3, September 2020 (forthcoming)
  • 2019 with Nick Turner, Co-editor The Elizabeth Bowen Review, volume 2, September 2019.
  • 2018 with Nick Turner, Co-editor The Elizabeth Bowen Review, volume 1, May 2018. www.bowensociety.com/elizabeth-bowen-review

  • ‘A changeling lover [… and a] changeling son’: Stella Benson’s Goodbye, Stranger’ – From Brontë to Bloomsbury Fifth International Conference: Reassessing Women's Writing of the 1920s and 1930s – Fifth International Conference 1920s and 1930s ICVWW Conference Canterbury Christ Church University, July 2018
  • Politics and “the Woman Question” in Mary Cholmondeley’s Red Pottage (1899) and Stella Benson’s I Pose (1915) - The Mark Rutherford Symposium: Literature and 'The Woman Question' - University of Bedfordshire, June 2018.
  • '[W]hat a small gift it was': Stella Benson and I Pose (1915) - English: Shared Futures, Newcastle, July 2017
  • 'Enter a murderer: Nancy Spain's Cinderella goes to the Morgue' - All about Cinderella: retellings in the cultural imagination, University of Bedfordshire, June 2017.
  • ''No one is incapable of boiling a kettle' - Elizabeth Bowen: a reevaluation, University of Bedfordshire, May 2017.
  • ‘Stella Benson: a life of reading, writing and publishing’ – SHARP (Society for History, Authorship and Publication) Annual Conference, BNF and BULAC, Paris, July 2016
  • ‘‘The violent destruction of solid things’: Elizabeth Bowen’s wartime short stories’ – International Conference on Elizabeth Bowen: Warsaw, July 2016
  • ‘Flying Dangerously: Elizabeth Bowen’s To the North’ – ‘Flying through the Thirties’, Croydon Aerodrome Hotel, March 2016
  • ‘Generation and Regeneration: A tale of Helen’s Babies’ – SHARP (Society for History, Authorship and Publication) Annual Conference, University of Sherbrooke at Longueuil/McGill University, Montreal, July 2015.
  • ‘Stella Benson and Living Alone: a real book for real people?’ – ‘Making it New’, De Montfort University, Leicester, February 2015.
  • 'Crossing Borders: the fantastical world of Stella Benson's Living Alone' – 'Crossing the Space Between, 1914-1945' – Annual conference of The Space Between: Literature and Culture, 1914-1945, July 2014.
  • 'Crooked teeth and fleas the size of bumblebees: the subversive world of Elizabeth Taylor's Mossy Trotter' – 'The Hockliffe Conference: Conflict in Children's and Young Adult Fiction', University of Bedfordshire, September 2013.
  • 'Travel agencies and trinket shops: representations of women of business in Elizabeth Bowen's fiction' – IAMCR Annual Conference, Dublin City University, Dublin, June 2013.
  • ''Moving Dangerously': Fatal Flights in Elizabeth Bowen's To the North' - 'Moving Dangerously: Women and Travel, 1850-1950', Newcastle University, April 2012.
  • 'Elizabeth Bowen and a Tale of Two Tigers' – 'Sound, Image, Text', ISSCL Annual Conference, Trinity College, Dublin, March 2010.

  • Co-organiser - Elizabeth Bowen: Blurred Boundaries - University of Bedfordshire, June 2019
  • Co-organiser - The Mark Rutherford Symposium: Literature and 'The Woman Question' - University of Bedfordshire, June 2018.
  • Co-organiser - Elizabeth Bowen: a reevaluation, University of Bedfordshire, May 2017.
  • Convenor - All about Cinderella: retellings in the cultural imagination, University of Bedfordshire, June 2017.

  • External examiner (2020-2024) Leeds Trinity University: BA (Hons) English and Film; BA (Hons) English and Media; BA (Hons) English Literature
  • Co-chair of the Elizabeth Bowen Society and co-editor of The Elizabeth Bowen Review, an open access, peer reviewed journal.
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Member of the Literature Advisory Board for Cambridge Scholars Publishing
  • Occasional reviewer for English and Victorian Studies

address

School of Education and English Language
University of Bedfordshire
Bedford campus
Polhill Avenue
Bedford
MK41 9EA
UK

twitter

School of Education and English Language
@UoB_SEEL

Bedfordshire English
@BedsEnglish

Our Tweets: @UoB_SEEL