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Miss Louise T Benson James

  • BS8 1TB

20142019

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

My doctoral research looks at the intersections between medical hysteria and the Gothic in fiction by women, 1850-1930. My thesis takes the form of case studies on female authors over this period; Charlotte Brontë, Rhoda Broughton, Lucas Malet, Djuna Barnes, and a final addendum chapter looking at a contemporary depiction of hysteria and the Gothic in the fiction of Helen Oyeyemi. My research explores the troubled distinction between metaphor and materiality in narratives of the body and psychosomatic symptomologies, Victorian medical treatments and technologies, and constructions of masculinity and femininity through language and pathology. I am the co-editor of the Postgraduate Journal of Medical Humanities, and coordinate the University of Bristol seminar series ‘Literary and Visual Landscapes’.

Undergraduate thesis: Travel and Empire: Desire and Anxiety in Victorian Travel Narratives.
Masters thesis: Jane Eyre's Offspring: the Backwards Birth of Wide Sargasso Sea.


Roles at the University of Bristol

  • Research assistant: “Illness as Fiction: Textual Afflictions in Print and Online”, an interdisciplinary research project funded by a British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grant and led by Dr Maria Vaccarella (University of Bristol). 

  • Facilitator for postgraduate Writing Retreats for the School of Engineering, plus ad-hoc retreats for the Bristol Doctoral College, Faculty of Arts, and Academic Staff Development.

  • Facilitator for PGR Editing and Peer Review Workshops for the Faculty of Arts, SWW DTP, and GW4.

  • Hourly Paid Teacher for the University of Bristol Arts Faculty, School of English. Teacher on the English Literature and Community Engagement programme. Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

  • Widening Participation: Running sessions as part of University summer schools, workshops for local schools, and the Writing Wrongs programme for A-Level and GCSE students

  • Intern for the Bristol Institute for Research in the Humanities and Arts, November 2015 – November 2016

Other activities

  • Co-editor of the Postgraduate Journal of Medical Humanities

  • Convener of the Literary and Visual Landscapes seminar series and symposium, 2017-2019

  • International Gothic Association Postgrad Rep, 2016-2018

  • Co-chair of the University of Bristol Gothic Reading Group

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Research Output

  • 13 Conference Paper
  • 1 Chapter in a book
  • 1 Book/Film/Article review (Academic Journal)

Hysterical Bodies and Gothic Spaces: Lucas Malet’s “Moral Dissecting-Room”

Benson James, L., 19 Feb 2019, Lucas Malet, Dissident Pilgrim: Critical Essays. 1 ed. Routledge, (Among the Victorians and Modernists).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book

Hysterical Bodies and the Corporeal Grotesque in Rhoda Broughton’s 'Ghost’ Stories'

Benson James, L., 22 Mar 2019, (Unpublished).

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference Paper

  • Supervised Work

    Hysterical Bodies and Narratives: Medical Gothic and Women’s Fiction, Victorian to Contemporary

    Author: Benson James, L. T., 24 Mar 2020

    Supervisor: Matthews, S. (Supervisor) & Puri, T. K. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)