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Department of English Studies

Academic Staff

Professor Patricia Waugh

Leader of Work Package 5 in Tipping Points Research Project

Contact Professor Patricia Waugh (email at


Professor Patricia Waugh was Head of Department of English Studies from 2005-2008. She joined the department in 1989 and has been a professor since 1997. She teaches widely in nineteenth and twentieth-century literature and literary theory and criticism and her special interests are in twentieth-century literature, relations between modernism and postmodernism, women’s writing and feminist theory, utopianism, literary criticism and theory, and literature, philosophy and science. She has taught special topic and MA modules on: postmodernism reading modernism; post-war fiction; utopias and utopianism; literature, philosophy and the self; Virginia Woolf and Bloomsbury; Science, Rhetoric and the Novel. She has given numerous public lectures and international conference papers in these areas and was the co-organiser of a public lecture series on The Arts and Sciences of Criticism and the co-organiser with Prof. Nick Saul (MLAC) of the IAS launch public lecture series on The Cultural Legacies of Charles Darwin and she is a co-organised of the current IAS workshop series on 'Thinking with Felling' on literature, philosophy and the cognitive sciences. She is interested in contemporary fictional writing and has been a member of the Northern Arts Literature Panel (now North-East Arts) since 1979 and is a founding fellow of the English Association. She is a member of the English panel for RAE2008.

She has published numerous articles and several books in these research areas. Books include: 1984: Metafiction: The Theory and Practice of Self-Conscious Fiction (Methuen, London and New York; 2nd edition,1988; 3rd edition,forthcoming Routledge; Japanese edition; Taiwanes edition, 1988)pp. 176; 1989: Feminine Fictions: Revisiting the Postmodern (Routledge, London and New York), pp.224; !992: Practising Postmodernism and Reading Modernism (Edward Arnold, London and New York), pp.290; 1995: The Harvest of the Sixties: English Literature and its Backgrounds 1960-90 (Oxford University Press, Oxford and New York, pp. 240);1997: Revolutions of the Word: Intellectual History and Twentieth Century Literature (Arnold, 1997).Cultura, Scientza, Hpertext (ligouri, Bologna) with D. Carpi, G. Hartmann and J.Hillis Miller. She is currently completing two books for publication in 2009-2010: After Two Cultures: Literature, Science and the Good Society; and The Blackwell History of British Fiction 1945-present.

She has also edited several books, which include: 1992: Postmodernism: A Reader (Edward Arnold, London and New York), pp. 276;
1992: Modern Literary Theory: Second Revised Edition, pp. 370; Third Revised Edition (Edward Arnold, London and New York, pp. 430); 2001: Modern Literary Theory; (Fouth revised and expanded edition, pp. 492); 2006 Literary Theory and Criticism: an Oxford Guide ( OUP, Oxford), pp. 597; and with David Fuller: The Arts and Sciences of Criticism (OUP, 1999). She has published numerous articles on modern fiction, aesthetics, literary theory, science and literature, women’s writing and modernism and postmodernism, including a chapter on Postmodernism in the Cambridge History of Criticism and a chapter on women’s writing in the Cambridge History of Literature in the Twentieth Century.

She has successfully supervised doctoral dissertations on: postmodern fiction and language disorder; apocalypticism in twentieth century literature; literature and cognitive science; the two cultures debate; fantasy writing and debates about culture; Virginia Woolf and Bloomsbury; Margaret Atwood and Canadian feminism; the encyclopaedic novel in America after Joyce; Doris Lessing; post-war fiction and the political imagination; Eliot, Joyce and Music; madness and women’s writing in the twentieth century; post-war women’s writing in Britain and Japan; female friendships in modern fiction; Virginia Woolf and cognitive science; Lawrence, phenomenology and the Body; censorshio and twentith-century fiction. She is currently supervising doctoral dissertations on: contemporary engagements with the body; minimalist aesthetics and literary theory; E M Forster and Bloomsbury and the challenge to ocularcentrism; the metaphor of the demon in science, philosophy and literature since the nineteenth century; twentieth century literature and narrative representations of the afterlife; Virginia Woolf and Thomes de Quincy (with Dr Mark Sandy); Orwell and Bakhtin (with Dr Jason Harding); Doris Lessing and object realtions theory; Woolf, women's writing and canonicity; The Faust myth and American fiction (with Dr Sam Thomas).

For relaxation, she takes her greyhound Billy and border collie, Molly, for walks and pursues interests in film, theatre, music and dance.

Research Groups

  • Critical Theory
  • Twentieth-Century Studies

Research Interests

  • Aesthetics and literary theory
  • Literature and psychoanalysis
  • Literature in its social and political contexts 1960-1990
  • Modernist and postmodernist writing
  • Utopianism and dystopianism
  • Women's writing in the twentieth century

Selected Publications

Authored book

  • Waugh, Patricia (2009). Metafiction: the Theory and Practice of Self-Conscious Fiction. London and New York: Routledge.
  • Waugh,P (1997). Revolutions of the Word: Intellectual Contexts for the Study of Modern Literature. London: Edward Arnold.
  • Waugh, P (1995). The Harvest of the Sixties: English Literature and its Background 1960-90. Oxford: Oxford UP.
  • Waugh, P (1992). Practicing Postmodernism: Reading Modernism. London: Edward Arnold.
  • Waugh, P (1989). Feminine Fictions: Revisiting the Postmodern. London: Routledge.
  • Waugh, P (1984). Metafiction: The Theory and Practice of Self-Conscious Fiction. London: Routledge.

Chapter in book

  • Waugh, PN (2013). 'The Naturalistic Turn, the Syndrome, and the Rise of the Neo-Phenomenological Novel'. In Diseases and Disorders in Contemporary Fiction: The Syndrome Syndrome. Peacock, James & Lustig, Tim Routledge. 17-35.
  • Waugh, PN (2012). ' "Did I not banish the soul?" Thinking Otherwise, Woolf-wise'. In Contradictory Woolf: Selected Papers from the Twenty-First Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf. Ryan, Derek & Bolaki, Stella International Virgina Woolf Society, Clemson University Press. 23-42.
  • Waugh, PN (2012). 'Iris Murdoch and the Two Cultures: Science, Philosophy and the Novel'. In Irish Murdoch: Texts and Contexts. Rowe, Ann & Horner, Avril Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Waugh, PN (2012). 'The Novel amid other Discourses.'. In The Cambridge History of the English Novel. Caserio, Robert L. & Hawes, Clement Cambridge University Press. 661-677.
  • Waugh, PN (2012). 'Thinking in Literature: modernism and contemporary neuroscience'. In The Legacies of Modernism: Historicising Postwar and Contemporary Fiction. James, David Cambridge University Press. 73-95.
  • Waugh, PN (2011). 'Kazuo Ishiguro’s Not-Too-Late Modernism'. In Kazuo Ishiguro: New Critical Visions. Groes, Sebastian & Lewis, Barry Palgrave Macmillan. 13-30.
  • Waugh, PN (2011). 'Legacies: from literary criticism to literary theory'. In T. S. Eliot in Context. Harding, Jason Cambridge University Press. 381-394.
  • Waugh, PN (2010). 'Contemporary British Fiction'. In Cambridge Companion to Modern British Culture. Higgins, Michael, Smith, Clarissa & Corner, John Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 115-137.
  • Waugh, PN (2010). 'Muriel Spark and the Metaphysics of Modernity: Art, Secularization and Psychosis'. In Muriel Spark: Twenty First Century Perspectives. Herman, David University of John Hopkins Press. 63-93.
  • Waugh, Patricia (2010). Intellectual History and Twentieth-Century Fiction. In The Cambridge History of the Novel. caseiro, Robert Cambridge: CUP.
  • Waugh, Patricia (2009). 'Critical Theory and the Novel'. In The Encyclopedia of Twentieth-Century Fiction (part of the three-volume Encyclopedia of Literary and Cultural Theory). Shaffer, Brian W. John Wiley & Sons Ltd Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Waugh, Patricia (2009). 'Empathy, Affect and the Cosmopolitan in the Novels of Ishiguro'. In Kazuo Ishiguro and the International Novel. Groes, Sebastian
  • Waugh, Patricia (2009). 'The Historical Context of Post-War British Literature'. In The Post-War British Literature Handbook. Cockin, Katharine & Morrison, Jago London and New York: Continuum. 35-37.
  • Waugh, PN (2009). 'Writing the Body in Modernism and Postmodernism'. In The Body and the Arts. MacNaughton, Jane, Maude, Ulrika & Saunders, Corinne Palgrave: Palgrave Macmillan. 131-148.
  • (2008). Revising the Good: Iris Murdoch and the Two Cultures Debate. In
  • Waugh, PN (2007). 'Visceral Perturbations and Human Judgements: Ethics and the Novel'. In On the Turn: The Ethics of Fiction in Contemporary Narrative in English. Aritzi, B & Martinez-Falquina, S Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. 20-42.
  • Waugh, P (2006). 'The Woman Writer and the Continuities of Feminism'. In A Concise Companion to Contemporary British Fiction. English, James F. Oxford: Blackwell. 188-209.
  • Waugh, P. (2005). 'Science and Fiction in the 1990s.'. In British Fiction of the 1990s. Bentley, Nick. London: Routledge. 57-77.
  • Waugh, P (2005). ‘Feminism and Writing: The Politics of Culture’. In The Cambridge History of Twentieth-century Literature. Marcus, Laura & Nicholls, Peter Cambridge: Cambridge UP. 600-618.
  • Waugh, Patricia (2001). 'Beyond Mind and Matter: Scientific Epistemologies and Modernist Aesthetics'. In Significant Forms: The Rhetoric of Modernism. Thobo-Carlsen, John Aalborg: 14.
  • Waugh, P. (2001). 'Postmodernism.'. In The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism: Volume IX Twentieth-Century Historical, Philosophical and Psychological Perspectives.. Knellwolf, Christa. & Norris, Christopher. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Vol. IX: Twentieth-Century Historical, Philosophical and Psychological Perspectives.: 289-305.
  • Waugh, P (2001). ‘'Think of a Table When You’re not There': The Problem of Knowledge in Modernist Painting and Fiction’. In Literature and the Visual Arts in the Twentieth Century. Carpi, Daniela Bologna: Enzo Editrice. 29-57.
  • Waugh PN (2000). 'Utopias and Utopianism: Political Science, Aesthetic Indeterminacy and the Legacy of Thomas More'. In Utopias. Le Saux, Francoise & Thomas, Neil Modern Language Ser.: GM9: 1-36.

Edited book

Journal Article

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