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Dr Becky Munford

BA (Oxford), MA, PhD (Exeter)

Reader

School of English, Communication and Philosophy

Email:
munfordr@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 6398
Location:
2.06, John Percival Building, Colum Drive, Cardiff, CF10 3EU
Available for postgraduate supervision

I am a Reader in English Literature with teaching and research interests in gender and feminist theory, modern and contemporary women's writing, literary and visual cultures of dress (especially trouser-wearing women), literary and cultural constructions of girlhood, and Gothic and spectrality.

I joined Cardiff in 2007, having worked previously at the University of Exeter (2006-2007) and the University of Manchester (2004-2006). 

Professional memberships

  • Angela Carter Society
  • Contemporary Women’s Writing Association (member of Executive Committee, 2011-14) 
  • Feminist & Women’s Studies Association (member of Executive Committee, 2003-06)
  • Fellow of Higher Education Academy (since 2008)
  • Modernist Network Cymru

Academic positions

  • 2006-07: Lecturer in Twentieth-Century Literature, University of Exeter
  • 2004-06: Lecturer in Literature, Culture and Theory, 1850 to Present, University of Manchester (fixed-term)
  • 2003-04: Teaching Fellow in English, University of Exeter
  • 2003-04: Part-time Lecturer in English, University of Plymouth

  • 2002-03: Recognised Teacher in English, University of Exeter

Committees and reviewing

  • Associate Editor, Contemporary Women's Writing (since 2017)
  • International Advisory Board member, Angela Carter Society (since 2018)
  • International Editorial Board, Assuming Gender (since 2010)
  • Reviews Editor (UK), Contemporary Women’s Writing (2012-15)
  • Executive Committee, Contemporary Women’s Writing Association (2011-14)
  • Executive Committee, Feminist and Women’s Studies Association (2003-06)
  • Reviewer for Ashgate (US), Edinburgh University Press, I.B. Tauris, Manchester University Press, Palgrave, Oxford University Press (US), Routledge (US); and Adaptation, Assuming Gender, Contemporary Women’s Writing, Feminist Theory, Journal of Gender Studies, Literature Interpretation Theory, PMLA, Transformations and Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature.

2019

2018

  • Munford, R. 2018. Foreword. In: Grace, Tamar and Laszlo the Beautiful by Deborah Kay Davies.. Parthian, pp. 1-4.

2017

2016

  • Munford, R. 2016. Spectral femininity. In: Horner, A. and Zlosnik, S. eds. Women and the Gothic: An Edinburgh Companion.. Edinburgh Companions to the Gothic Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press

2015

2013

2012

2010

  • Munford, R. J. 2010. Luce Irigaray. In: Eaglestone, R. ed. The Encyclopedia of Literary and Cultural Theory., Vol. 2. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 645-48.
  • Munford, R. J. 2010. Elaine Showalter. In: Eaglestone, R. ed. The Encyclopedia of Literary and Cultural Theory., Vol. 2. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 843-45.
  • Munford, R. J. and Garner, K. L. 2010. Feminism. In: Eaglestone, R. ed. The Encyclopedia of Literary and Cultural Theory., Vol. 2. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 595-605.

2009

2008

2007

2006

  • Munford, R. ed. 2006. Re-visiting Angela Carter: Texts, contexts, intertexts.. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Munford, R. 2006. Angela Carter and the politics of intertextuality. In: Munford, R. ed. Re-visiting Angela Carter: Texts, Contexts, Intertexts.. Basingstoke: Palgrave, pp. 1-20.
  • Munford, R. 2006. Anna Kavan. In: Hammill, F., Miskimmin, E. and Sponenberg, A. eds. Encyclopedia of British Women’s Writing 1900-1950.. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 132-133.
  • Munford, R. 2006. Emmeline Pankhurst. In: Hammill, F., Miskimmin, E. and Sponenberg, A. eds. Encyclopedia of British Women’s Writing 1900-1950.. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 180-181.
  • Munford, R. 2006. Vernon Lee. In: Hammill, F., Miskimmin, E. and Sponenberg, A. eds. Encyclopedia of British Women’s Writing 1900-1950.. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 141-142.
  • Munford, R. 2006. Violet Keppel Trefusis. In: Hammill, F., Miskimmin, E. and Sponenberg, A. eds. Encyclopedia of British Women’s Writing 1900-1950.. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 253-255.
  • Munford, R. 2006. Bloomsbury Group. In: Hammill, F., Miskimmin, E. and Sponenberg, A. eds. Encyclopedia of British Women’s Writing 1900-1950.. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 15-16.

2005

  • Munford, R. 2005. Postmodern theory. In: Heywood, L. L. ed. The Women's Movement Today: An Encyclopedia of Third Wave Feminism.. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, pp. 256-258.
  • Munford, R. 2005. Television. In: Heywood, L. L. ed. The Women's Movement Today: An Encyclopedia of Third Wave Feminism.. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, pp. 314-320.
  • Munford, R. 2005. Postmodern theory. In: Heywood, L. L. ed. The Women's Movement Today: An Encyclopedia of Third Wave Feminism.. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, pp. 256-258.
  • Munford, R. and Gillis, S. 2005. Genealogies and generations: the politics and praxis of third wave feminism. In: Heywood, L. L. ed. The Women's Movement Today: Primary Documents of Third Wave Feminism.. Greenwood, pp. 111-120.
  • Munford, R. 2005. Gertrude Stein. In: Marshall, B. ed. France and the Americas: Culture, Politics and History.. Transatlantic Relations Santa Barbara: ABC-Clio, pp. 1093-1095.
  • Munford, R. 2005. Blood, laughter and the Medusa: The Gothic heroine as menstrual monster. In: Howie, G. and Shail, A. eds. Menstruation: A Cultural History.. Basingstoke: Palgrave, pp. 259-272.

2004

2003

2002

My teaching interests are in modern and contemporary literature and culture, especially women's writing, gender and sexuality, feminist theory and history, Gothic and spectrality, and fashion. At Cardiff, I have taught the following modules: Reading and Identity (year 1); The Victorian Novel (year 2); Critical Theory 1 (year 2); Critical Approaches to Gender & Sexuality (year 2); Contemporary Women's Writing (year 2); Feminisms (year 3); Magical Realism (year 3); Gothic and Gender (MA); and Women’s Writing, 1970s to the present (MA).

In a typical academic year I teach the following modules:

  • Girls (year 2)
  • Interwar Experiments: Sex, Gender, Style (year 3)
  • Spectral Femininities (MA)

My research interests lie in the literary and visual fields of gender studies, with a particular focus on fashion and dress history, modern and contemporary women’s writing, European gothic and spectrality, girls and 'girliness', experimentalism and feminist theory.

Currently, I am researching and writing a monograph, provisionally entitled Making Strides: A Literary and Cultural History of Women in Trousers, which anatomises the visual problem of women in trousers as they move across the material, aesthetic and socio-political spaces of modernity. More particularly, this book traces the myriad ways in which writers, artists and performers responded to social, religious, medical and legal interdictions placed upon trouser-wearing women in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Related to this, an article on 'Medical Bloomers and Irrational Rationalists' recently appeared in Women’s History Review. I am also working on two essays that examine sartorial and aesthetic interconnections: the first explores trousers and sartorial/stylistic self-fashioning in Virginia Woolf’s late-nineteenth-century letters and writing of the 1920s; the second examines fashion, femininity and experimentalism in Anaïs Nin's writing.

The research that I have undertaken for Making Strides has led to the creation of a digital resource: Women in Trousers: A Visual Archive (www.womenintrousers.org). This digital archive is home to images of bloomers, knickerbockers, slacks, culottes, breeches, plus fours, dungarees, overalls and shorts, amongst other bifurcated garments, which capture the multiple and often unstable meanings attached to trousers and trouser-wearing women from the 1850s to the 1960s. Read alongside one another, these images document some of the momentous cultural, political and economic changes shaping women’s history, including the dress reform movement, the popularisation of cycling, the World Wars, the expansion of the leisure industry, innovations in fashion design and emerging definitions of the ‘modern woman’.

A second current project, in its early stages, explores the peculiar temporalities and uncanny locations of adolescent girlhood in contemporary short forms (including short stories and photography). This builds on my previous work on troubling girls and girl trouble in (post)feminist contexts and feeds directly into my undergraduate module on ‘Girls’.

My research more generally is concerned with the dynamic conversations between feminist discourse and popular culture. Feminism and Popular Culture: Investigating the Postfeminist Mystique (I.B. Tauris, 2013; Rutgers University Press, 2014), co-authored with Melanie Waters, considers a range of popular texts that have emerged in the wake of media speculations about the death of feminism and traces the movements of 'ghost feminism' across contemporary culture.

I have also published on modern and contemporary women's writing - including Daphne du Maurier, Shirley Jackson, Emma Tennant, Ali Smith and, especially, Angela Carter. Carter's work has provided a particular focus for my broader interest in theories of gender and sexuality, intertextuality, and the Gothic in its European and erotic modes. My first monograph, Decadent Daughters and Monstrous Mothers: Angela Carter and European Gothic (Manchester University Press, 2013), which was short-listed for the Allan Lloyd Smith Memorial Prize, examines Carter's textual and intellectual engagements with a dirty lineage of European Gothic that can be mapped from the Marquis de Sade's obsession with desecration and defilement, through Baudelaire's perverse decompositions of the muse and decadent imaginings of infernal femininity, to surrealism's violent dreams of abjection. 

I welcome applications or informal queries relating to PhD supervision in the following areas:

  • modern and contemporary literature
  • literary and visual cultures of fashion and dress
  • girls and girlhood
  • feminism and popular culture
  • feminist and gender studies
  • gothic and spectrality (especially in its European and erotic modes)

Current supervision

Josie Cray

Josie Cray

Research student

Robert Lloyd

Research student

Marine Furet

Research student

Ana Tomcic

Research student

Rosie Couch

Research student

Past projects

Current supervisions

Nerida Brand, Mary Coleridge and Aestheticism at the Fin de Siècle (AHRC SWW DTP; co-supervisor with Professor Angelique Richardson, University of Exeter, 2019-)

Rosie Couch, Kind of a Woman But More Like a Girl: Pragmatically Bad Femininity and the Contemporary Re-emergence of the Femme Fatale (AHRC SWW DTP; co-supervisor with Professor Helen Hanson, University of Exeter, 2018- )

Josie Cray, Anaïs Nin and Surrealism (2017-)

Marine Furet, Looting and Rummaging in an Official Past: The Material Politics of Things in Angela Carter (AHRC SWW DTP; co-supervisor with Professor Daisy Hay, University of Exeter, 2017- )

Robert Lloyd, Spectral Guises: Ghost Reading/Writing in Shirley Jackson’s Fiction (2015- )

Ana Tomcic, Gods and Goods: Psychoanalysis, Holism and Modernist Women (AHRC SWW DTP; co-supervisor with Professor Laura Salisbury, University of Exeter, 2015-19)

Previous supervisions

(Supervisor) Amber Jenkins, From Pen to Print: Virginia Woolf, Materiality and the Art of Writing (awarded 2018)

(Supervisor) Emily Blewitt, Hidden Mothers and Poetic Pregnancy in Women's Writing (1818 to the present day) (AHRC funded; awarded 2016)

(Supervisor) Caleb Sivyer, The Politics of Gender and the Visual in Angela Carter and Virginia Woolf (AHRC funded; awarded 2016)

(Co-supervisor; 50%) Nicole Thomas, The Daughters of Modron: Evangeline Walton’s Feminist Re-Visioning of the Mabinogi (awarded 2012)

(Consultant supervisor) Hannah O'Connor, Sapphic Spectres: Lesbian Literature of the Weimar Republic (MPhil in Modern Languages) (awarded 2014)