School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics

Staff Profile

Dr Anne Whitehead

Senior Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Literature



I am Senior Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Literature and Director of Postgraduate Research. In semester 1 of 2015-16, I was Acting Academic Director of the Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership for Newcastle University.

I have research and teaching interests in modern and contemporary fiction; contemporary life writing; medical humanities; memory and the archive; theories of affect, and trauma studies. 

I have published widely in trauma and memory studies, including the monographs Trauma Fiction (Edinburgh University Press, 2004) and Memory: New Critical Idiom (Routledge, 2008). My most recent publication is the co-edited volume The Edinburgh Companion to the Critical Medical Humanities (Edinburgh University Press, 2016). I am currently completing a monograph for Edinburgh University Press, Medicine and Empathy in Contemporary British Fiction, which is scheduled for publication in 2017. 

I am currently lead investigator on an AHRC funded Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Seven Stories: The National Centre for the Children's Book.




Current Work

I have recently completed the following edited book project:

Anne Whitehead, Angela Woods, Sarah Atkinson, Jane Macnaughton and Jennifer Richards (eds) The Edinburgh Companion to the Critical Medical Humanities (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2016).

You can read the Introduction under the 'Resources' tab at the following link:

I am currently writing a monograph, which is also contracted to Edinburgh University Press: 

Anne Whitehead, Medicine and Empathy in Contemporary British Fiction (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2017).


External Funding

AHRC Knowledge Transfer Partnership (PI) - Michael Morpurgo and Children's Literature Exhibition, with Seven Stories: The National Centre for the Children's Book (2015-2016).

AHRC Research Leave Award (PI) - Memory: New Critical Idiom (2006-2007)

AHRC Research Leave Award (PI) - Trauma Fiction (2002-2003)

British Academy Small Research Grant (PI)- The Charlotte Salomon Archive (2001).


Doctoral Supervision

Current students include:

Maria Chatzianastani, 'Female Experience and War Trauma in Cypriot Children's Literature Since 1974'

Marie Stern-Peltz, 'Coming of Age and the First World War in Contemporary Fiction After 1989' (AHRC)

Bonny Brooks, 'Story, empathy and trauma: "Red in the Half Light of Winter"' (AHRC)

Emily Anderson, 'Humour in British Writing of the First World War' (AHRC)

Stephanie Butler, 'Trauma, War and Domesticity in British Women's Correspondence of the Second World War'.


Completed students include:

Leen Maes, 'Imagined Witness: Representing the Holocaust in American Women's Fiction (AHRC)

Franklyn Hyde, 'Towards Decolonisation in the Fiction of J.M.Coetzee' (AHRC)

Katie Harland, 'The Roots of Traumatic Memory: Wordsworth and the Origins of Trauma in Literature' (AHRC)

Lucy Gallagher, 'The Contemporary Women's Middlebrow Novel' (AHRC)

Ivan Stacy, 'Narrative as Complicity: Atrocity, Culpability and Failures of Witnessing in W. G. Sebald and Kazuo Ishiguro'. 

Clare Almond, 'Rehearsing Modern Tragedy: A Benjaminian Interpretation of Drama and the Dramatic in Samuel Taylor Coleridge's Writings'.

Alex Adams, '"What Can Be Infinitely Destroyed Is What Can Infinitely Survive": Literary and Filmic Representations of Political Torture from Algiers to Guantanamo' (AHRC).

Alex Lockwood, 'Psychoanalysis, Self Identity and Affect: A Creative and Critical Exploration'.    

Tom Langley, 'The Postcolonial in Italy, Italy in the Postcolonial' (AHRC) 


Doctoral Examining

Sheffield University; Durham University; University of St Andrews; University of Stirling; Vaasa University, Finland. 


External Assessorships

AHRC; Leverhulme Trust; Royal Society; Newton Fellowships; Humanities and Social Sciences Research Council of Canada; the Flemish Research Council (FWO), Vlaanderen; the Research Council of KU Leuven.


Editorial Boards and Professional Memberships  

I am on the editorial board for the Journal of Trauma and Literature. I am also on the advisory board for the AHRC funded Memory Network.

I am on the steering committee for the Northern Network for Medical Humanities, and I am a member of the research network War-Net, and the Northern Theory School




Undergraduate Teaching

SEL3356, Madness, Medicine and Modern Literature.

SEL2206, Class, Nation, Identity.

SEL1023 Transformations.


Postgraduate Teaching

Thinking Theories and Methods: 'Medical Humanities'.


External Examining

From 2011-2014, I was appointed as external examiner for the undergraduate degree programmes in English Literature at Cardiff University.