School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics

Staff Profile

Dr Ella Dzelzainis

Lecturer in Ninteenth-Century Literature


Research Interests

My research is interdisciplinary, located in the intersection between literature, feminist history and economic history in the long nineteenth century. I am interested in the novel as a genre, the genealogy of feminism, ideas of history, and the relationship between politics and faith. Recently my work has taken a transatlantic turn, focusing on the way in which Britain responded to the idea of American democracy in a range of literary and visual forms. 



BA, MA, PhD (London)


British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship (2007-10)


Esteem Indicators

Standing Advisory Editor, Oxford Bibliographies Online

Editorial Board, Gaskell Journal

Editorial Board, 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century

Editorial Board, Victorian Newsletter



British Association for Victorian Studies

North American Association for Victorian Studies

The Gaskell Society





Current Work

Currently I am hard at work completing my book, Commerce Between the Sexes: Feminism and Political Economy in Industrial Fiction, 1832-1855. At the same time, along with my co-editor, Ruth Livesey (Royal Holloway, London), I am putting the finishing touches to The American Experiment and the Idea of Democracy in British Culture, 1776-1914, a collection for Ashgate’s new Nineteenth-Century Transatlantic Studies Series that will include my own essay, ‘Dickens, Democracy and Spit’. I am also co-convener of the Malthus Reading Group, held at King’s College London – a venture which arose out of my British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship project, which considers the impact of Malthusian thinking in economic fictions by women in the long nineteenth century. A further spin-off from this project will be a conference to be held here at Newcastle next year, provisionally titled ‘Taking Liberties: Sex, Pleasure, Coercion’.


Postgraduate Supervision

I welcome applications from postgraduate research students who wish to work on the relationship between sex, desire and money in nineteenth-century fiction, on literature’s engagement with political, historical and religious ideas, on nineteenth-century women’s writing in all its forms, on the transatlantic reception of texts and ideas, or on Victorian feminism. I am interested in research projects focusing on Victorian novelists such as Elizabeth Gaskell, the Brontës, Charles Dickens, George Gissing, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman (particularly those that take an interdisciplinary approach).




Undergraduate Teaching

SEL1003: Introduction to Literary Studies 1

SEL1011: Introduction to Literary Theory

SEL2204: Victorian Passions

SEL3033: Victorian Literature: Fictions of Wealth and Poverty

SEL3327: Extended Study

SEL3099: Dissertation


Postgraduate Teaching

I am currently Degree Programme Director for the MA in Literary Studies: Writing, Memory, Culture and teach on the core course, Reading the Past, as well as supervise dissertations. In Autumn 2011, this programme is being relaunched as the MA in English Literature 1500-1900. Click here for further details: MA in English Literature 1500-1900


I am supervisor to two postgraduate students:

Harriet Briggs, The Value of Laughter: Charlotte Brontë and the Comic Spirit, 1830- 1860 (AHRC funded)

Hellen Giblin-Jowett, Perfume, Smell, Smelling and ‘Psychological Aesthetics’ in Supernatural Fictions of the Fin de Siècle