Professor Patricia Pulham

Professor of Victorian Literature
+44 (0)1483 686189
18 AD 02

Academic and research departments

School of Literature and Languages.


Areas of specialism

Nineteenth-century literature and visual cultures; Decadence and Aestheticism; Neo-Victorianism

University roles and responsibilities

  • Director of Research


    Research interests

    My publications


    B Nicol, E McNulty, P Pulham (2011)Crime Culture: Figuring Criminality in Fiction and Film Continuum International Publishing Group

    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.

    Patricia Pulham (2019)Traces of Wilde: Fact and Fiction in Dorian: An Imitation and The Picture of John Gray, In: Victoriographies9(3)pp. 298-315 Edinburgh University Press

    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.

    Rosario Arias, Patricia Pulham (2019)Introduction: Material Traces in Neo-Victorianism, In: Victoriographies9(3)pp. 213-221 Edinburgh University Press
    (2019)Victoriographies9(3) Edinburgh University Press Ltd

    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.