Patricia Pulham is Professor of Victorian Literature and editor of the EUP journal, Victoriographies. She completed her doctorate at Queen Mary, University of London in 2001, and taught at Brunel, Goldsmiths, Birkbeck and QMUL, where she was Lecturer in Poetry from 2002-03. In 2004, she was appointed to a lectureship in English literature at the University of Portsmouth. She joined the University of Surrey in 2017, having previously held a Readership and a series of research leadership roles at Portsmouth, including Director of the university's Centre for Studies in Literature. At Surrey, Patricia is Director of Research in the School of Literature and Languages. Formerly Secretary of the British Association for Victorian Studies (2014-19), she remains on the board as an Ordinary Member. She is also currently a member of the AHRC PRC, the UKRI FLF PRC, and sits on the editorial boards of the Journal of Neo-Victorian Studies, Palgrave Communications, and Volupté.
She has supervised several PhD students to completion and has examined numerous PhD theses in the UK and abroad. She welcomes enquiries from prospective PhD students wishing to study in any of the following areas: decadence, aestheticism, Victorian literature and visual cultures, late-Victorian Gothic, spiritualism, or neo-Victorian fiction.
Her latest book, The Sculptural body in Victorian literature: Encrypted Sexualities (2020) was published by Edinburgh University Press in their Critical Studies in Victorian Culture series.
Areas of specialism
University roles and responsibilities
- Director of Research
By broadening the focus beyond classic English detective fiction, the American ‘hard-boiled’ crime novel and the gangster movie, Crime Cultures breathes new life into staple themes of crime fiction and cinema. Leading international scholars from the fields of literary and cultural studies analyze a range of literature and film, from neglected examples of film noir and ‘true crime’, crime fiction by female African American writers, to reality TV, recent films such as Elephant, Collateral and The Departed, and contemporary fiction by J. G. Ballard, Kazuo Ishiguro, and Margaret Atwood. They offer groundbreaking interpretations of new elements such as the mythology of the hitman, technology and the image, and the cultural impact of ‘senseless’ murders and reveal why crime is a powerful way of making sense of the broader concerns shaping modern culture and society.
The life and art of Oscar Wilde are of enduring interest to contemporary readers and audiences who remain fascinated not only by his work, but also by his biography. The dramatic nature of the three trials that took place in 1895, and Wilde's spectacular fall from grace following imprisonment and exile, speak to our own period in which questions of gender and sexuality are topics of continuing tension and concern. This essay examines two examples of contemporary writing that are informed by Wilde's biography and oeuvre: Will Self's novel, Dorian: An Imitation (2002), and Craig Wilmann's drama, The Picture of John Gray (2014), and offers the first academic analysis of Wilmann's play. Exploring these works through the lens of neo-Victorianism, it considers the balance between history and fiction in each text. Drawing on Ricoeur's treatise The Reality of the Historical Past (1984), it proposes that Ricoeur's concept of the Analogue, which encompasses both the imaginative reconstruction of the past through the documentary trace and the adoption of the critical distance required to understand it, provides a new way in which neo-Victorian literature might be understood.
A Journal of Nineteenth-Century Writing, 1790–1914 seeks to invent afresh the long nineteenth century. Returning to the text as text, Victoriographies explores, as if for the first time, those canonical texts and authors that seem familiar, and interrogates the understudied, those authors and publications which demand a response. The journal is concerned with writing of the long nineteenth century and writing about the nineteenth century. Victoriographies invites articles which address philosophical, epistemological and ideological concerns, as these are embedded in the surface and texture of the text itself. The emphasis is on Victorian writing, about literary texts, poetry, prose fiction and prose non-fiction in the period 1790–1914.