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Personal profile

Research interests

I am a Senior Lecturer in the English department specialising in Victorian coasts and seascapes. My research interests include:

  • Victorian literature and culture
  • The blue humanities
  • Queer ecologies
  • Transhistorical, transatlantic Gothic from the eighteenth century to the present day
  • Ann Radcliffe, Wilkie Collins, Shirley Jackson

I also research regional literatures with a focus on Cornwall. My first monograph, Cornish Gothic (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2023), considers: dark tourism, neomedieval Arthurianism, ghosts, folklore and folkhorror, shipwrecks and seafaring, mining and the subterranean, railway travel, and travel writing.

I am currently working on two new projects:

  • Blood in the Water: Imperial Ecologies and Seascapes in the Victorian Novel. This project looks at the ways in which seas are represented as monstrous spaces in nineteenth-century literature as a response to both environmental and colonial anxieties.
  • Queer Blue Seas: Queering the Environment in Victorian Literature and Culture. This project looks at intersections between ecological awareness and changes to queer experience in the long nineteenth century as a means of positing an embryonic queer ecological imagination amidst emerging industrial capitalism.

My further research considers the sea as a health environment in nineteenth-century literature and culture. This includes shipboard medical treatment; illness and malady while travelling at sea (with a focus on seasickness and its cures); coastal health tourism and thalassotherapy; and the health of the sea itself, considering embryonic ideas of oceanic pollution.


I currently teach on:

  • Critical Issues (UG year 1, convener)
  • The Radical Gothic (UG year 2, convener)
  • Literature's Children (UG year 3, convener)
  • Celebrity Cultures (UG year 3)
  • The Gothic (MA, convener)
  • Introduction to Literary Research (MA, Modernism and Contemporary strand)

I have previously taught on:

  • Literature 1740-1900
  • ELCE programmes
  • Sutton Trust
  • Access to Bristol


  • Committe of the British Association for Victorian Studies
  • Co-leader of the Haunted Shores Network
  • Events Officer for the Centre for Environmental Humanities


I am open to queries about research supervision in any of my areas of expertise.

joan.passey@bristol.ac.uk and @JoanPassey on Twitter



  • Monograph: Cornish Gothic (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2023)
  • Anthology: Our Haunted Shores: Tales from the Coasts of the British Isles (London: British Library, 2022)
  • Anthology: Cornish Horrors: Tales from the Land’s End (London: British Library, 2021)


  •  ‘“A delightful place to be buried in”: Representations of Cornwall in Thomas Hardy’s A Pair of Blue Eyes’, Victorians: A Journal of Culture and Literature (2021), pp. 43-57
  • Robert Lloyd, Joan Passey & Eric Savoy, 'Book Forum: Rethinking Darryl Hattenhauer’s Shirley Jackson’s American Gothic', Women's Studies (2020), pp. 901-908
  • ‘Surfacing: Cornish Women Rising from the Depths’, Question: Essays and Art from the Humanities, 1.1 (2017), pp. 36-45
  • 'Gothic Landscapes and Seascapes: Dark Regions in Wilkie Collins's The Dead Secret', Studies in Gothic Fiction, 5.2 (2016), pp. 21-30
  • ‘The Aesthetics of the Auditory: Sound and Silence in the Novels of Ann Radcliffe’, Horror Studies,7.2 (2016), pp. 189-204

Book Chapters

  • ‘Ann Radcliffe’s Influences and Legacies’, The Palgrave Handbook of Gothic Origins, ed. Clive Bloom (London: Palgrave, 2022), pp. 121-124
  • 'The Haunted Regions of Sabine Baring-Gould', The Palgrave Handbook of Steam Age Gothic, ed. Clive Bloom (London: Palgrave, 2021), pp. 559-571
  • ‘Dark Tourism’, The Palgrave Handbook of Contemporary Gothic, ed. Clive Bloom (London: Palgrave, 2020), pp. 49-62
  • ‘“Imagined ghosts on unfrequented roads”: Cornish Gothic Tourism in the Nineteenth Century’, Virtual Dark Tourism, ed. Kathryn McDaniel (London: Palgrave, 2018), pp. 41-62
  • 'Sea-wolves, Seascapes, and Smugglers: Captain Cruel Coppinger and Criminality in Cornwall', Pirates in History and Popular Culture, ed. Antonio Sanna (North Carolina: McFarland, 2018), pp. 75-87
  • ‘Introduction’, The Sisters (London: Ampersand Publishing, 2017)

Reference Texts

  • ‘Gothic’, Palgrave Encyclopaedia of Victorian Women’s Writing (London: Palgrave, 2022)
  • ‘E.F. Benson’, Companion to Victorian Popular Fiction, ed. Kevin Morrison(North Carolina: McFarland, 2018)
  • ‘Sabine Baring-Gould’, Companion to Victorian Popular Fiction, ed. Kevin Morrison(North Carolina: McFarland, 2018)


  • Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia’, Gothic Nature (2022)


Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Exeter

Award Date: 11 Feb 2020


  • gothic
  • ecocriticism
  • environments
  • nineteenth century
  • victorian
  • seascape
  • blue humanities
  • hauntology
  • landscape
  • monstrosity
  • folklore
  • fairytale
  • thomas hardy
  • ann radcliffe
  • shirley jackson
  • helen oyeyemi
  • ecocolonial
  • postcolonial
  • imperial ecologies
  • coasts
  • cornwall
  • eighteenth century
  • twentieth century
  • horror
  • folkhorror
  • oceans
  • queer
  • queer ecologies
  • ecologies
  • extractivism
  • mining
  • charlotte smith
  • literature and science
  • Environmental Humanities
  • science humanities
  • medical humanities


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